Monday, November 30, 2009

White Mountain White

This postcard is a winter view of the top of Mt. Washington, New England's highest peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. From left to right are Mt. Washington Observatory, Famous Old Stone, and Tip Top House. The Cog Railway trestle is in the foreground. Everything is covered with rime, a kind of ice that forms when water droplets freeze on a cold surface.

Mt. Washington has been a popular tourist destination since the 1850s and is famous for its severe weather. Mt. Washington State Park is at the summit and is surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest.

This postcard was sent by my father. It is postmarked Mount Washington, N. H., Aug 29, 1963. My father wrote about the weather. He started out saying the weather had been ideal and ended by saying the worst seemed to be over.

Mount Washington holds the world record for wind speed, 231 MPH, which was recorded in 1934. The Mt. Washington Observatory website gives the current summit conditions. That website also has a photo journal. The Mt. Washington Blog at also has many current and recent photos. The blog entry for August 31, 2009 is about some of the first glaze ice of the season and notes that it is not unusual to have freezing temperatures at that time of the year.

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

6th Edition, December 2009: White

Thursday, November 26, 2009

PFF - The Friday After Thanksgiving

Maybe today is a good day to make a resolution to never eat too much.

Are you full of gratitude or full of pain?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

VTT - Thanksgiving Turkey Wishbones

This Thanksgiving postcard by the artist Ellen Clapsaddle shows one of the traditions associated with Thanksgiving, the wishbone pull. As the verse on the postcard says:

May your Thanksgiving be happy,
And when the dinner is through,
May the biggest part of the wishbone
be the end that's held by you.

I was born on Thanksgiving and have collected many Thanksgiving postcards, mainly those featuring children. When I was young, my birthday was celebrated on Thanksgiving, and I was usually given one end of the wishbone to pull. One time I decided to keep the wishbone instead of pulling and breaking it. This wishbone is at least forty years old.

For lots of interesting turkey facts and figures, including the purpose of the wishbone, see The skinny on snoods, wattles and wishbones.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Thursday, November 19, 2009

PFF - Mary Chilton - Pilgrim and Silver

This postcard advertises Towle Manufacturing Company's sterling silver pattern "Mary Chilton," patented in 1912. The sampler shown behind the spoons is an adaptation of the old samplers made by young women of the colonial period. The 1620 date is the year the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts; the 1913 date is the date of postcard.

Thirteen-year-old Mary Chilton is believed to be the first female passenger of the Mayflower to land on Plymouth Rock. Her parents died while still aboard the ship, and many of the other Pilgrims died during their first year in America. Those who survived celebrated a successful harvest in 1621 at Plymouth. This celebration is what is known as the first Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

VTT - Thanksgiving Gobblers and Shakers

I don't know whether turkeys were ever found in the city of New York, but picturing them with the Statue of Liberty makes for an interesting and unusual Thanksgiving postcard. This scene is actually less fanciful than most scenes of turkeys found on Thanksgiving postcards.

This week I am showing part of my collection of vintage turkey salt and pepper shakers. When I decided to collect turkey shakers (about 15 years ago), I didn't realize how easy it would be to find them. I think I ended up with seven sets within a short time, and I haven't added any since then.

These are the ones I have been leaving on a display year round. Maybe I'll get the others out next year. All of my sets include both a male and female turkey, which I think are more interesting than a pair of identical toms. As you can see, there is quite a variety in the way the turkeys are colored. All of the ones shown here are made in Japan.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Thursday, November 12, 2009

PFF - Strongbow Turkey Farm and Inn

This postcard of the Strongbow Turkey Farm and Inn was sent in 1958. The Strongbow Turkey Farm and Inn was on Highway 30, at Valparaiso, Indiana. According to the information on the back of the card, all turkeys served were from their own flock. They also shipped gift turkeys anywhere in the U.S.

The restaurant is still in business and has a website: Strongbow Inn. In the 1980s, federal regulations forced the closing of most private slaughtering and processing plants, and the farm was sold to Wal-Mart for a shopping center.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

VTT - Cranberries (and How to Cook Them)

This turkey isn't dumb. He knows what cranberries mean. If he escapes to the "tall timbers," he won't be caught and eaten for Thanksgiving.

Cranberries are a native American plant that grow in bogs and marches. They were included in the first Thanksgiving meal by the Pilgrims and are traditionally associated with Thanksgiving. Massachusetts is the largest producer of cranberries, followed by Wisconsin.

This Cranberries and how to cook them booklet is a 1950s promotion for Eatmor brand cranberries. It has 40 pages and has general information about cranberries in addition to many recipes. The recipes are divined into six sections: Sauces and Relishes, Hot Breads, Entrees, Salads, Pies, and Desserts. Shown below are the cover and several of the pages.

The complete Cranberries and how to cook them booklet is shown on the site of the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in the Wetherby Cranberry Library Digital Collections. Many other cranberry publications are shown there also.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Thursday, November 5, 2009

PFF - South Dakota Pheasant Hunting

This postcard was mailed from Canistota, S.D. with a 2¢ Jefferson stamp. The postmark doesn't have a year date, but the postcard can be dated between 1954 (when the stamp was issued) and 1958 (when postcard postage increased to 3¢). The message mentions being in Canistota for treatment at the Ortman Clinic, a somewhat famous and unique chiropractic clinic that is still in business. A sentence added by the writer along the top edge of the back says "I chased this hen to S.D."

The description on the back of the card is as follows:
A HAPPY COMBINATION. South Dakotans are happy that their state is known as "The Pheasant Capital of the World." Good hunting abounds in many parts of the countryside. This comely young woman is shown holding a live pheasant.

The "Greetings from South Dakota" postcard also has pheasant hunting as a theme. It is an example of a name band postcard, a type that was popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and was published by Curteich in 1960.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

VTT - Bountiful Fruits and Vegies

This is one of the plaques in my pyrography (burnt wood) collection. It is made by the Flemish Art Company and is larger than most burnt wood plaques--21" in diameter. When I bought this, it was unfinished. The main design in the center was already burned, but I burned most of the border myself with a modern electric wood burning tool.

The objects made for wood burning had printed designs that the hobbyist could trace over with the wood burning tool. Sometimes they were designed so that the background could be carved for greater relief, and glass "jewels" could be glued on for additional decoration. That is what is shown in the details below--instructions showing the areas to carve and/or add "jewelry." Relatively few pyrographic objects actually have carving or jewels.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

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