Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Maine Sign Post

This postcard shows a famous sign post located in Lynchville, Maine, at the junction of Routes 5 and 35. This sign post is said to have been erected about 1930. Mileage is given to what appear to be nine foreign countries or cities. Actually these are places in Maine that are named after foreign cities and countries.

A 1988 New York Times article, On Maine's Grand Tour, Mexico Is North of Paris, has information about the towns named on this sign post as well as some others: Madrid, Belfast, Stockholm, Rome, Vienna, and Moscow.

To view more of my blog posts about signs postcards, click the signs label at the bottom of this post.

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

3rd Edition, July 2009: Signs

Monday, June 29, 2009

Google Blocking

According to Google, this blog has been identified as a spam blog & I have no idea why.

Boot Hill Cemetary Sign

In 1865 Fort Dodge opened on the Santa Fe Trail to protect wagon trains traveling west and U. S. mail service, and to supply troops involved in Indian wars. In 1872, Dodge City, Kansas was founded five miles west of the fort, and the railroad reached the town. Dodge City became the largest cattle market and the shipping center of the Southwest.

Dodge City was notorious for violence. In the first years of the town, there was no law enforcement and shootings were common. The violence created a need for a local burial ground, Boot Hill. The name Boot Hill originated because it was where gunfighters and those who died violently “with their boots on" were buried. Many other towns in the American West also had Boot Hill cemeteries.These cemeteries were also used for burying those too poor for a funeral.

The Boot Hill Cemetary plot in Dodge City, Kansas is “a monument to those who died with their boots on, and were buried with their boots on.” The sign pictured on this postcard has a quotation from a poem by Josephine McIntire that appeared in her 1945 book, Boot Hill. The following words were quoted by Stanley Vestal in Dodge City--Queen of Cowtowns.

To any traveler who may pass this way,
And climb this lonely Hill to pause and say
A prayer for us who early found our rest
Upon the prairie's wind-swept, ageless breast:

Weep not for us who early made our beds
Wrapped in our blankets, saddles for your heads,
For we are happy here, secure and still,
Locked in this rock-strewn, silent, sun-baked Hill.

Ours was an age when strong men's blood was red,
And hurtled through their veins like molten lead!
Although our history's page was smudged with crime,
We built an empire on the plains of time,
And while we slumber in this snug retreat,
It ebbs and flows around our booted feet.

Weep not for us who early made our beds
Wrapped in our blankets, saddles for our heads;
We tamed the west when this, our land, was young,
And sank into our graves unknown—unsung!

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

3rd Edition, July 2009: Signs

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday - Tickled Pink*

I saw that Marie was wishing Imajica a Happy Birthday, so I decided to do the same. Happy Birthday! "I wish you all you wish yourself — Whether 'tis gladness, love or wealth."

This unusual birthday card is printed on hot pink paper. Like the original message writer, I have never seen anything else like this.

The message says:

Don't know whether you have seen any cards like this. I didn't until yesterday. Thought it would be a bit of a change for your album.

* tickled pink means "to be delighted."

Postcard Friendship Friday

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - Coffee, Cream, & Sugar

This postcard is oversize (5" x 7-3/4") and is made of heavy cardboard. It is ©1965 Faroy, Houston, Texas, Card No. 25-5. My mother added my name to the cup and mailed it to me in the 1960s. On the back is a long letter-length message beginning as follows:

"I thot this card suited you - so I couldn't resist it! Bot it at Harper Court - a new group of 'arty' shops…"

Harper Court is in the Hyde Park area of Chicago. It was purchased by the University of Chicago in 2008 and is now on the verge of redevelopment.

Below are some of my potholder thingies — sugar bowls and creamers to go with the coffee on the postcard.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Watermelon Festival - Rush Springs, Oklahoma

Rush Springs, Oklahoma calls itself the Watermelon Capitol of the World. A Watermelon Festival is held there on the second Saturday of August. The Rush Springs Watermelon Festival has been held annually since 1948.

Many other locations also have Watermelon Festivals. The National Watermelon Promotion Board has a list of Watermelon Festivals and other information for watermelon lovers on their website.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Floral Station, Sedalia, Missouri

This is a view of The Floral Station on a postcard published in 1933. This station was located next to the Missouri State Fairgrounds for many years, but is no longer there. There is still a State Fair Floral Company elsewhere in Sedalia that "has been proudly serving Sedalia since 1912."

Information on the back of the postcard:

This station won first for the most attractive station in the U. S. recently.
• This is an unusual fillling station, one half mile south of 50, on U.S. Highway 65, Sedalia, Mo. It is owned and operated by the State Fair Floral Company whose greenhouses adjoin. This makes a very pleasing combination. Our aim is the best service humanly possible. Hot water too.
Dr. J. E. Cannaday

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday - Fast Mail

This is a romatic comic postcard with some clever word play. "Mail" refers both to postal mail and the male in the picture. Fast doesn't just refer to speed--the word has a special meaning when applied to a male (promiscuous or flouting conventional sexual standards).

To really understand this card, you need to know some things about railroad trains. "Fast mail" refers to a fast mail train which would have had Railway Post Office (RPO) cars for sorting mail in transit. Trains could be flagged down (signaled to stop) to give instructions to the engineer or to pick up passengers. Apparently sometimes the fast mail trains were used exsclusively for mail, but at other times there were trains named "fast mail" that also carried passenger cars.

The National Postal Museum has an online exhibit with information on railway mail service and models of the trains and equipment used.

Postcard Friendship Friday

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - Minneapples

"The Minneapple" was a popular nickname for the city of Minneapolis in the 1980s, in contrast to the "The Big Apple" (New York City). This postcard shows a Minneapolitan's distorted view of the world.

This is a display of some of my "minneapples" that I have above my kitchen sink. My favorites are the ones with the faces. My apple collection started with a vintage cookie jar. I realized that I didn't have space for a cookie jar collection, so I started collecting apple salt and pepper shakers and other thingies of a similar size. Most of my apples are kitchen related, but I have other types of apple thingies also.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 14 is Flag Day

This postcard depicts the birth of our nation's flag from an 1892 painting by Charles H. Weisgerber. This painting was first exhibited at the Columbian Exposition of 1893.

The description on the back of the postcard states:

"The First American Flag accepted by Committee and adopted by Resolution of Congress, June 14, 1777 as the National Standard, was made by Betsy Ross in 1776 at 239 Arch Street, Philadelphia, in the room represented in this picture."

The four figures depicted are (left to right): General Washington, Hon. George Ross, Robert Morris, and Betsy Ross. Although Betsy Ross is commonly cited as the maker of the first flag, there is actually no proof that she made it.

This painting by Weisgerber has been frequently reproduced, including on a 1952 U. S. postage stamp commemorating the 200th birthday of Betsy Ross.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Original Main Street, Sauk Centre, Minnesota

Sauk Centre, Minnesota was the birthplace of Sinclair Lewis (Feb. 7, 1885). His novel "Main Street" was published in 1920. The accepted opinion is that the book was written about his hometown Sauk Centre, Minnesota, which is located approximately 100 miles northwest of Minneapolis. Lewis received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1930.

Lewis's fictional city was named Gopher Prairie. Its Main Street was said to be "the continuation of Main Streets everywhere."

This postcard view is circa 1975.

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

2nd Edition, June 2009: Main Street

St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Photograph: Jay Blumenfeld © InnoVisions*

The Main Street area of Minneapolis was originally part of the town of St. Anthony before it merged with Minneapolis. Redevelopment of this area has preserved a number of the historic buildings.

Shown here is a 5" x 7" postcard from the heydays (1980s) of the St. Anthony Main shopping complex on Main Street in Minneapolis. On the back is the description "The Salisbury Mattress factory used in 1879 on the Mississippi, now houses a fabulous collection of shops and restaurants called St. Anthony Main."

The buildings at St. Anthony Main now house restaurants and offices, and the shops are gone. Since Main Street is right on the Mississippi Riverfront, there is still a fair amount of activity there in the summer.

I used to live near St. Anthony Main and enjoyed going there on weekends. My favorite place there was the shop selling postcards.

More information:

Building on the Past: Architecture and the Minneapolis Riverfront (pdf brochure)
St. Anthony Main History
Early St. Anthony and Minneapolis
Riverfront Revival
Jay Blumenfeld & InnoVisions

*Jay Blumenfeld was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. After receiving an associate’s degree in photography, he engaged in freelance photography and took hundreds of photographs of female impersonators. When he failed to find a publisher for a proposed book of his photos, he started InnoVisions in 1980 to incorporate his photos into a line of alternative greeting cards. In 1997, the company name was changed to "Smart Alex" to communicate a new fresher image.

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

2nd Edition, June 2009: Main Street

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday - Die-cut New York Subway Postcard

This is a die-cut heavy cardboard postcard of the New York Subway, circa 1962. Overcrowding still tops the list of The Ten Plagues of the New York Subway.

The size of this postcard is 10-3/16" x 3-11/16". It was published by Herbco Card Co., a company that also published regular view postcards. An interesting touch is the inclusion of their company name on the newspapers lying on the platform and showing inside one of the windows (see enlarged details below).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - His & Hers Panties Potholders

This week I am showing vintage panties potholders. Panties were one of the most common of the unusually shaped (not a common geometric shape like a square or circle) potholders. There are so many of these still around that I suspect many were given for wedding showers, which is why I included the newlywed postcard (after all, this is a postcard blog). Does anyone know if there actually was a wedding connection?

Many are still in pairs of "his and hers" styles, some labeled and some not. Most are a double thinkness with an opening at the bottom. Some are open at the top also. The third pair is a single thickness of somewhat thicker thread. The last pair shown is a pair of identical design; the picture shows front and back.

vintage crochet potholder panties

vintage crochet potholder panties

vintage crochet potholder panties

vintage crochet potholder panties

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Legend of Gussie Lee

This is an oversize (8-5/16" x 3-1/2") postcard advertising the Old San Francisco Steak House. Four locations in Texas are listed on the back: Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. The San Antonio location changed ownership in 2008 and appears to still be open (http://theoldsanfranciscosteakhouse.blogspot.com/). Other locations appear to have closed.

Here is the Legend of Gussie Lee as printed on the card:

Captain Tony Taylor of the Texas Rangers was sent to San Francisco to apprehend the fugitive, Sam Adams. In a dramatic gun duel, Capt. Taylor killed Sam Adams in a dance hall on the famous Barbary Coast.
While in San Francisco, Capt. Taylor fell in love with Gussie Lee, the toast of San Francisco. After a whirlwind romance, the two lovers agreed to meet in Texas. Capt. Taylor arrived first in San Antonio determined to build the San Francisco Steak House dedicated to Gussie Lee. But the lovers never saw each other again.
The stagecoach on which Gussie Lee was traveling was attacked by marauding Indians, and she was killed. Upon hearing the news, Captain Tony rode off into the night never to be heard again.
To those lovers, and all other lovers, we offer the hospitality of Capt. Tony Taylor's dream.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

PFF & Postcard Scavenger Hunt #4 – Handicrafts

I have combined the Postcard Scavenger Hunt posting with my Postcard Friendship Friday post partly so more people will see it and partly so I won't have to squeeze a post in between Vintage Thingies Thursday and Postcard Friendship Friday. I have also increased the size of the PSH logo in the upper left of my blog and given it a caption with the current month's theme. I am hoping this increased visibility will encourage greater participation. Clicking the big PSH logo at the top of the left column links to the original announcement post with instructions.

I thought some people might be interested in the source of the PSH logo. I made it by modifying a postcard that I already had used on my blog Let George Do It.

The theme of my monthly Postcard Scavenger Hunt for June is HANDICRAFTS. If you are interested in participating, please read about how it works on my Announcing the Postcard Scavenger Hunt posting. There are some revisions in the instructions, the main one being to put your link in the comments due to the unavailability of Mr. Linky.
June 13: Mr. Linky is now available.

NOTE: You don't have to post today. The deadline is really at the end of the month so there is plenty of time to post. You also can put the permalink to an older post in the comments.

Here are some HANDICRAFTS postcards from my collection to inspire you.

The University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures at San Antonio. Texas women quilted with scraps of old clothing and sacks, and used corn shucks, cotton or wool for batting. Members of the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild produce beautiful quilts while sharing the history and techniques of their art with visitors. This is a Texas Folklife Festival quilt. (The 2009 Texas Folklife Festival is June 12-14.)

Natives doing their handicraft in San Antonio, Aguas Calientes, Guatemala, C.A. This postcard was mailed in 1975.

Handicraft of Fes (Morocco) - Potter. Fez and Morocco Handicraft.

Dalarna, Sweden. Gudmunds Slöjd (crafts), Sjurberg, Rättvik. Handycraft products of wood. These are Dala horses.

Navajo rug weaver. Navajo rugs are worked on in the Navajo Hogans in winter and outside under a tree in the summer. Wool is sheared from the sheep, sorted amd washed, carded to make fibers line in one direction and worked into a cord which is then dyed to color and then used for weaving. These rugs are made completely of wool and are famed for their beauty and durability.

Participants in Postcard Scavenger Hunt #4:

1. Ana 2. Judy 3. Lara 4. Chris 5. Sheila 6. A Canadian Family 7. All Things Quebec 8. Marie@ happy postcards 9. Vicky, Malaysia

Postcard Friendship Friday

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - 1943 Cookbook & Kitchen of Tomorrow

This week I am showing two things from 1943: The Joy of Cooking (1943 edition) and a postcard of the "Kitchen of Tomorrow."

My cookbook has the blue plaid cover like the one my mother had. I don't know whether my mother had the 1943 or 1946 edition. Both the 1943 and 1946 editions have blue covers. The two editions are apparently very similar except for the material at the end. My 1943 edition is the wartime edition and has sections on "Sugarless and Sugar-saving Recipes for Cakes, Cookies and Desserts" and "Meat Stretching. Meat Substitutes and Supplementary Dishes."

The "Kitchen of Tomorrow" shown on this postcard was designed by Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company "to demonstrate how glass can add to the convenience and livability of homes of the future." The postcard doesn't really show how very unusual this kitchen really is. I looked at some old magazine articles in the library to find more information and pictures (Life, August 9, 1943; Better Homes & Gardens, July, 1943).

Everything is built-in under or behind glass. The refrigerator is in the divider between the kitchen and dining area and can be opened from either side. The sink has no faucet handles, which the designer considered a hazard to dishes. The water was controlled by foot pedals. A built-in vegetable drawer rolls food forward when opened.

The picture below is from the Better Homes and Gardens article and is described as follows:

Today's hodgepodge of equipment gives way to continuous counter with everything built in, handier to use and quick to wipe clean. At extreme left is the oven; next, opened up, the cooking unit; next, closed into the counter so you don't see it, the mixer and juicer; then storage bins, pretty girl at sink, and more storage bins rounding the corner to the refrigerator with china cabinet above.

click picture to enlarge it

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

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