Saturday, December 31, 2011

1965 Russian Stamps on New Year Postcard

This Russian New Year postcard was issued in 1965 for New Year 1966. It has pictures of three stamps issued in 1965

The top stamp shows Lt. Col. Alexei Leonov taking movies in space. On 18 March 1965 he was the first man to conduct a space walk.

The center stamp with the hockey player was first issued in 1963. It was overprinted when the Soviets won the 1965 World Ice Hockey Championships. The overprint is below the hockey stick.

The bottom stamp shows the Kremlin and was issued on November 16, 1965 for New Year 1966. The Moscow Kremlin is a historic fortified complex that includes four palaces, four cathedrals and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers.

Below is an enlargement of the picture of the New Year stamp. Like the postcard, the stamp says "С Новым годом" (Happy New Year).

I am participating in Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year Greetings - Old French Mailbox

Happy New Year, Heureuse année, Bonne année!

I like just about any postcard with a postal theme, and I especially like the old French New Year's photo postcards showing mailboxes (boîtes aux lettres). I have several others that I posted a couple years ago here and here.

The mailbox on this postcard has the words "La levée est faite." These words are on most of the old French mailboxes. (Many photos of old French mailboxes are on the PTT-POSTES' photostream on flickr). Google translates "La levée est faite" as "The lifting is done." At first I was confused by this translation. I think it indicates that the mail has been picked up from the box at a certain time.

Visit Sepia Saturday to see more vintage images

Visit Postcard Friendship Friday to see more postcards

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Children Ringing in the New Year

These two New Year postcards are from the same series, but different printings. The back of the first postcard is marked "Series 56 F" but is not marked "Made in U.S.A." The logo in the bottom left corner on the front is printed in blue and has the initials “J.E.P.” (standing for James E. Pitts) above a small circle with a “C” and a dot inside the circle. The second postcard is marked "Series 56 D" and "Made in U.S.A." on the back. The logo on the front is printed in dark brown with "Stecher Lith. Co. Roch. N.Y." around a circle with a "C" inside.

The first postcard is unused. The second is postmarked Elmwood, Wis. Dec. 30 (19?) and has this message on the back:
This is to wish you all the best for the coming year. Trusting you had a nice Xmas. I am your brother Steve and all.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Merry Xmas Dec. 25th

This is another postcard from 1911. I am posting it on December 25 because Dec 25th is part of the design. On the back, the sender (Mrs. Aberg or Alberg) is wishing Mrs. Sterling a happy Christmas, but she isn't very happy herself. This is what she wrote:
Dec 20, 1911
Wish you a happy happy Christmas & Bright New Year. For my Part I don't see much to be happy for the way we have it and I will write you later and you will see. Well I received your card some time ago. But had no time to answer. hope you can forgive. You asked me what baby's name was. We call her Leona Victoria.

I wonder why she didn't see much to be happy for.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Winter in Maine - U.S. Christmas Stamp 1969

This is a maximum card with the 1969 U. S. Christmas stamp. This stamp reproduced a painting by an unknown artist from the collection of the New York State Historical Association, Winter Sunday in Norway, Maine. The original painting is 21" X 27, " and was painted about 1860-1870.

This 6¢ stamp was first placed on sale at Christmas, Florida, on November 3, 1969.

All of the U. S. nonreligious Christmas holiday celebration series postage stamps from 1962 to 2011 are shown here.

I am participating in Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Phone Call to Santa

Today is December 24, and Santa is very busy today. He probably wouldn't be able to answer your call personally, but you can leave a message for him. You can get Santa's phone number from

Friday, December 23, 2011

1911 Merry Christmas Postcard

This postcard was mailed 100 years ago today on December 23, 1911. It was published by the Sandford Card Co. of Dansville, N. Y.

I wish you the same as the original sender of this postcard: "May this be a bright and very happy Xmas for you and yours."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Love and a Kiss

"If you see Santa, please give him my love."

The big bow in this little girl's hair reminds me of my mother. This style was popular when my mother was a child.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Xmas 1911

I am posting this postcard today because it was originally sent exactly 100 years ago today, on December 21, 1911. It is postmarked Fosston, Minn. The back has a message signed by Mrs. E. Elkjer, Fosston, Minn.

The design on this postcard would be fairly easy to do with Photoshop today, but it wouldn't have been so easy 100 years ago. After examining it, I think it was made as follows. Starting with the three face photos, the background of each was blacked out with ink or paint. Then each face was cut out in the shape of a bell and mounted on the drawing of the bells. Then the collage was photographed and printed on photo postcard stock. Do you have any other ideas of how the card was made?

I decided to Google "Elkjer Fosston Minnesota," not really expecting to find anything. The first thing I found was a photo postcard on flickr of First Street Fosston, Minnesota that was labeled Elkjer Studio. Then I found several photographers named Elkjer on the Minnesota Historical Society website. One of the Elkjer photographers was named Erick. Erick had a wife named Esther. It is likely that the photos on the postcard are of Erick and Esther and their baby. The 1920 census lists their oldest child named Pearl, 8 years old. The postcard was probably made by Erick or one of the other Elkjer photographers.

Visit Sepia Saturday to see more vintage images

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Greetings from Shakespeare

These two postcards are from Gottschalk, Dreyfuss & Davis series 2231. The common elements on the cards are open books, birds, holly, and Shakespeare quotes. The first postcard has the quote "I'll note you in my book of memory" from King Henry VI. The second postcard has the quote "I wish you all the joy that you can wish" from Merchant of Venice.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Minneapolis - The Brightest Christmas City

Here I have three postcards of Christmas time street scenes in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota around 7th Street and Nicollet Avenue. All are labeled "A Merry Christmas from Minneapolis" The Brightest Christmas City. The postcard above has a "7th Street" sign strung across the 7th Street. On the left side of the street is Dayton's department store and the Radisson Hotel. On the right, a Walgreen's drugstore sign is visible.

I thought the traffic signal looked interesting, so I enlarged that detail. It may be manually operated, though I don't see a policeman operating it. I couldn't find a picture of a similar traffic signal. The Minnesota Historical Society website has a picture of a manual traffic signal here that was used in downtown Minneapolis until approximately 1930. The Santa visible behind the car is on the side of Dayton's.

In the late 1920s (and probably 1930s), Minneapolis described itself as "The Brightest Christmas City." A column in the New York Times on Dec 25, 1927 describes a challenge made to ten other cities defying them to dispute Minneapolis's claim to the title of brightest Christmas city in the United States. The cities challenged were Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Buffalo, Kansas City, Davenport, Iowa; Denver, Fargo,N. D.; Duluth and La Crosse, Wisconsin. The challenge read as follows:
Minneapolis is the brightest Christmas city in America. A downtown district with streets under a canopy of evergreen festoons and thousands of tiny lights twinkling from the streamers. Every downtown lamppost a Christmas tree against a lighted background of red. A towering municipal Christmas tree in the loop gateway, its branches glittering with the light of thousands of tiny color lights and its top holding a flashing star of Bethlehem seventy-five feet in the air. Floodlights illuminating the Christmas tree, the arbor and every part of the gateway.

Ten thousand lighted outdoor Christmas trees in the residential sections, each entered in a contest for twelve prizes for the winners in four districts and a sweepstakes prize to the best tree in the city.

Christmas carols broadcast by radio and carried through every street and alley of the city by hundreds of loud- speakers set in windows of Minneapolis homes.

All that in Minneapolis at Christmas time. Minneapolis challenges the world to dispute its claim to the brightest Christmas city in America.
Most of the major U.S. cities were not included in the challenge. Even though Milwaukee wasn't on the 1927 list, that city took up the challenge the following year (The Milwaukee Sentinel - Dec 21, 1928).

The next postcard shows the view north on Nicollet from the same intersection. Part of the Walgreen's sign is visible on the left. Donaldson's department store is in the right foreground. Signs for Standard Clothing company and Powers department store can be seen farther up the street.

The last postcard also shows Donaldson's on the right. The decorations are different so it must be a different (probably later) year. Part of the Andrus Building sign is visible near the top left of the photo.

Visit Sepia Saturday to see more vintage images

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Stamps - Finland 1986

This is a postcard with pictures of the 1986 Finnish Christmas stamps. I found the following information on Stamp Collecting Blog.
In 1986 the Finnish Post issued their first, and so far also the last, se-tenant Christmas postage stamp issue. At the same time Christmas postage stamps returned back to use of two separate face values: discounted rate for early domestic mail and regular rate stamps for normal and international delivery.

I am participating in Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Plum Pudding & Knox Gelatine

The girl on the above postcard is holding aloft a traditional plum Christmas pudding topped by a sprig of holly. She may be holding it up either to show it off or to keep it away from the dog who looks ready to jump at it.

Plum pudding first became associated with Christmas back in medieval England, and the association became stronger in the 19th century. Ingredients and methods of preparation evolved over time. Originally dried fruits were used as a method of preserving meat. When methods of preserving meat improved, the meat content in the mixture diminished as the sweet content increased.

Before the 19th century, the English Christmas pudding was boiled in a pudding cloth, and often was round like a cannonball. Since the Victorian era the usual method of preparation has involved putting the batter into a basin and then steaming it. The pudding is usually made ahead of time and reheated for serving. It may be topped with a sprig of holly and/or flamed with brandy and served with a sauce.

A recipe for steamed Plum Pudding for Christmas can be found here. A microwave version of the recipe is also included there. A refrigerator version of plum pudding was published by Knox Gelatine on the recipe card shown below. This card has a 1930 copyright. The refrigerator recipe looks easy and tasty, but it includes uncooked egg whites. Uncooked eggs are unsafe and should not be eaten nowadays. Maybe egg white substitute would work.

The Plum Pudding recipe also was included (without the picture) in the Your Electric Refrigerator and Knox Sparkling Gelatine recipe booklet (©1929). Knox Gelatine is recommended as a thickener than prevents ice crystals from forming in the refrigerator. It is also recommended as a way to use left-overs.

The most festive looking recipe from the Knox booklet is the one for Asparagus Bavarian Salad.

My mother used to make Jello salads for holiday dinners, and I always enjoy having a molded Jello salad for holiday dinner. That is actually the only time I eat Jello. My mother always added an envelope of Knox Gelatine to the recipe to make the salad firmer, but I don't do that. The idea of colorless unflavored gelatin has always made me a bit squeamish when I think of its source. Gelatin is derived on a commercial scale in the United States today from, (in order of predominance), pigskins, cattle bones, and cattle hides (source).

If you would like to try making a Christmas Plum Pudding, the fastest and most modern way to cook it is in the microwave as shown in this video. (Unfortunately, measuring in grams is not the American way. I never heard of black treacle before. It is supposed to be similar to molasses. )

Visit Sepia Saturday to see more vintage images.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pontiac Art Car

This art car was photographed in Houston, Texas in 1973. It is a '52 Pontiac that featured hand-painted seat covers, lots of chrome, and years of work. The artist wished to remain anonymous. The postcard was published by Foto Folio.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wintertime at Jax Cafe - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Jax Cafe has a long history as a popular restaurant in northeast Minneapolis. This postcard shows Santa and his reindeer in Jax Old World Garden.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Norwegian Stamps 1990 - Norske frimerker

This postcard shows the 1990 Norwegian postage stamps. The title on the back of the postcard refers to the background picture, Sognefjorden mot Nærøyfjorden . The Nærøyfjord is the most spectacular arm of the Sognefjord and the narrowest fjord in the world, at one point only 250 meters wide, with mountains towering more than a thousand meters above its tranquil waters. (source)

These are the stamps shown:
  • row 1: Mute Swan, beaver, Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Skogmarihand), Epipactis atrorubens (Rødflangre)
  • row 2: Winter Cities - Tromsø, 50th anniversary of the German invasion 9 April 1940, Re-Conquest of Narvik 28 May 1940, Peter Wessel Tordenskiold (navy hero 1691-1720), Tordenskiolds coat of arms
  • row 3: Trondheim post office, Longyearbyen post office, Nathan Söderblom (bishop and Nobel laureate 1866-1931) and Nobel Medal
  • row 4: Johan Svendsen (composer, 1840-1911), Detail of the monument of Johan Svendsen, Christmas stamps

I am participating in Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Greetings & Sailor Suits

The choice of the Christmas postcard shown above, with two boys wearing sailor suits, was prompted by the Sepia Saturday 104 photo of Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Bavaria and her young son Prince Luitpold dressed in dark sailor suits.

Sailor suits were especially popular for boys around the turn of the twentieth century. The beginning of this fashion trend has been attributed to the young Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII). He was shown dressed in a sailor suit in an 1846 painting commissioned by Queen Victoria. The painting, which is shown below, is from the Royal Collection.

The next two photos are from the Bain Collection and also show royalty. The first is of the Russian Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich (1904 – 1918) of the House of Romanov. The second photo is of the Crown Prince of Spain Alfonso, Prince of Asturias (1907 - 1938). Both boys suffered from the disease of hemophilia. The Tsarevich was murdered with his family during the Russian Civil War by order of the Bolshevik government. Alfonso died from internal bleeding following a traffic accident.

The last photo is of future U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. The photo shows him wearing a sailor suit at age seven in 1889. This is one of several 1889 photos of Roosevelt in a sailor suit in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum collection.

For more vintage photos, visit Sepia Saturday

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...