Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Prayer of the Woods Sign

According to the description on the back of this postcard, this Prayer of the Woods sign dedicated to our forests was (is?) located in Silver Gate, Montana at the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

The author of this prayer is unknown, but it is "from the Portuguese." The words on this sign appear to have an error. It probably should say "timber that builds your boat," not "timber that holds your boat."


am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights, the friendly shade screening you from the summer sun, and my fruits are refreshing draughts quenching your thirst as you journey on.
I am the beam that holds your house, the board of your table, the bed on which you lie, and the timber that builds your boat.
I am the handle of your hoe, the door of your homestead, the wood of your cradle, and the shell of your coffin.
I am the bread of kindness and the flower of beauty. Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer: Harm me not.

I'm participating in Signs, Signs

Monday, June 27, 2011

Minneapolis 1911 Civic Celebration - Lake Harriet Pavilion

This postcard promoting the 1911 Minneapolis Civic Celebration was mailed 100 years ago today, on June 27, 1911. It is one of a series of postcards promoting the city of Minneapolis. This one has a picture of the Lake Harriet Pavilion, "where the bands of the world give free concerts every summer." The front of the card has an invitation to the Minneapolis Civic Celebration held July 2 to 8 with "Seven Great Days of Pageants and Spectacles.'

All of the cards in this series have a reason "WHY MINNEAPOLIS CELEBRATES week of July 2 to 8" on the back. This one is Reason No. 2:
Because it has more manufacturing, giving steady employment in proportion to population than other cities, there beeing over 1,000 manufacturing concerns in 137 lines of industry, with 20,000 skilled laborers on payrolls that aggregate $15,000,000 annually; capital, $80,000,000.

A June 12, 1911 article in the Minneapolis Tribune, "Greatness of Minneapolis Told in a Series of Pretty Post Cards" about these postcards gave a list of 22 reasons why Minneapolis was celebrating. The article reported that
Pictorial postcards, giving Minneapolis scenes are being mailed by the thousands. Many business firms, the real estate board and individuals have ordered the cards in large numbers. The Civic celebration committee also offers to provide them to those who will make application at headquarters 214 Plymouth building. This post card advertising has been found effective in other cities that have tried it. The Civic celebration post cards are arranged in a follow-up series and each card specifically mentions some particular reason why Minneapolis celebrates.
Some of the postcards also had advertising imprinted on the back. This one has a picture of the L. S. Donaldson Co., Glass Block Store. Dolly wrote on the front of this card, "Mother I am at Donaldsons.

Although there are 22 reasons, there are fewer cards in this series. I have ten and have heard there are fourteen. You can see the other Minneapolis 1911 Civic Celebration postcards I have here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

United States 1984 Summer Olympics Stamps

The United States Postal Service issued five series of four stamps intended to draw attention to the 1984 Summer Olympic Games that were held in Los Angeles. Above is a postcard showing one of the sets of four stamps issued. The postcard was issued by Marigold Enterprises, a licensee of the U. S. Postal Service.

Below is one of the 1984 Summer Olympics maximum cards that were issued by the U. S. Postal Service. Maximum cards were issued for each of the twenty stamps.

These were the stamps issued for the 1984 Summer Olympics:
  • 40-cent international airmail
    ssued on April 8, 1983. The designs featured a shotputter, a male gymnast, a swimmer, and a weightlifter.
  • 28-cent airmail
    Stamps issued on June 17, 1983. The designs featured a female gymnast, a hurdler, a basketball player, and a soccer player.
  • 13-cent postcard rate
    Stamps issued on July 28, 1983. The designs featured a discus thrower, a high jumper, an archer, and two boxers.
  • 35-cent airmail
    Stamps issued on November 4, 1983. The designs featured a fencer, a bicyclist, volleyball players, and a pole vaulter.
  • 20-cent letter rate
    Stamps were issued on May 4, 1984. The designs featured a diver, a long jumper, wrestlers, and a kayaker.

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Women Workers & World War II Aircraft Production

These two WWII era linen postcards are as close as I can come with postcards to the theme of the Sepia Saturday 80 image from the Library of Congress Photo collection. That photo's description says "Women are trained as engine mechanics in thorough Douglas training methods, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif." Its topics are listed as follows:
* Douglas Aircraft Company
* airplane industry
* Women--Employment
* World War, 1939-1945
* engines
* Assembly-line methods
* United States--California--Long Beach
My first postcard says to "Keep 'em Flying" and shows a variety of airplanes. Many of the workers employed in aircraft production during WWII were women. The second postcard is "A Busy Worker's Correspondence Card." Women are prominent among the workers pictured on the card. The idea behind this type of postcard was that a busy person could just check the appropriate message, saving the time and trouble of writing. The message options with particular relevance to wartime workers are those in the second (blue) group. These include spaces to fill in the hours worked, and choices of "buying war bonds" and "finding scrap."

The two photos below are also from the Library of Congress and show women involved in airplane production. I chose these because I like their graphic quality. Both of these photos show woman workers at the Long Beach, California, plant of Douglas Aircraft Company. In the second photo the women are installing fixtures and assemblies to a tail fuselage section of a B-17F Bomber.

I found the number of airplanes produced in the early 1940s mind boggling. Here are some figures from an article on The American Aerospace Industry During World War II:
During 1939-1945, the industry became the largest single industry in the world and rose from 41st place to first among industries in the United States. From 1939, when fewer than 6,000 planes a year were being produced, the industry doubled production in 1940 and doubled it again in 1941 and 1942. In the first half of 1941, it produced 7,433 aircraft, more than had been produced in all of 1940. From January 1, 1940, until V-J Day on August 14, 1945, more than 300,000 military aircraft were produced for the U.S. military and the Allies.

This table on United States aircraft production during World War II is from Wikipedia:

For a humorous look at WWII Aircraft Production, see Production Line's Gettin' Too Fast on my Postcard Funnies blog.

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Sequoia National Park Entrance Sign

Sequoia National Park is located in the southern Sierra Nevada in California. It was established in 1890 and is famous for its giant sequoia trees. The park's General Sherman tree is the largest tree on Earth.

The Ash Mountain Entrance Sign pictured on this vintage postcard was constructed in 1935 by Civilian Conservation Corps craftsmen. It features a Native American face carved from blocks of sequoia wood.

I'm participating in Signs, Signs

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dreamland Dancing Pavilion, Minneapolis

Dreamland Dancing Pavilion was located across Fifth Street from the Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. An article in the Minneapolis Morning Tribune on November 30, 1914 reported that, after nearly five years, Dreamland had voiced its swan song the previous night. The hall was to be converted to roller skating and rechristened "New Arcadia."

The end of Dreamland was blamed on new dance fads, which the manager called "freak dances." According to the manager, the average man danced for relaxation and did not care to spend time in training his feet in new fads.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

John Sloan, American Artist Stamp

This is a maximum card with the 8-cent John Sloan postage stamp issued at Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, on August 2, 1971. This was the tenth stamp in the American Painting Series that began in 1961.

The stamp honors American painter John Sloan (1871-1951) and reproduces his painting "The Wake of the Ferry II." The painting is in the Phillips Gallery in Washington, DC. Sloan was a leading figure in the Ashcan School of realist artists and was known for his urban genre paintings of New York City.

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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lake Calhoun Bathing Beach, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Lake Calhoun Public Bathing Beach in Minneapolis, Minnesota is shown on the above postcard. The Minnesota Historical Society has a black and white photo dated circa 1911 that is obviously the source of the image on the postcard. It is interesting to compare the colorized postcard to the black and white photo. There are actually very few differences between the two. The most obvious differences are that the plain dark umbrellas have been given colorful patterns on the postcard, a post has been removed, and a some sailboats have been added. The postcard sky could have used a bit more work. It is an odd solid peach color with no clouds visible.

Source: Minnesota Historical Society Visual Resource Database, ca. 1911

The last two photos are also from the same source and approximately the same time period. They show some closer views of people enjoying themselves at Lake Calhoun.

Source: Minnesota Historical Society Visual Resource Database, ca. 1908

Source: Minnesota Historical Society Visual Resource Database, ca. 1920

This last picture has nothing to do with the rest of this post. It is from a totally different time and place. It is me at the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan. You can probably guess the age.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yonder Lies Cripple Creek Sign

This Cripple Creek sign was at the Junction of U. S. 24 and Colorado 67 at Divide, Colorado. Both Divide and Cripple Creek are in Teller County, Colorado.

Cripple Creek is a former gold mining camp located 44 miles (71 km) southwest of Colorado Springs near the base of Pikes Peak. With many empty storefronts and picturesque homes, Cripple Creek once attracted tourists as a ghost town. Cripple Creek established legalized gambling in 1991 and is now more of a gambling and tourist town than a ghost town.

Divide received its name because water run-offs divide to the north, south, east and west of its location.

This sign was originally based on a 1950 photo of Rufus L. Porter in a miner's costume with a donkey named Easu. There is a copy of the photo here. Rufus L Porter (1897 - 1979) was a miner, poet, and writer. He was known as the "Hard Rock Poet" and wrote three books about the Cripple Creek area. One of his poems, "A Miner's Thanksgiving," is reproduced here.

This post was written for Signs, Signs

Monday, June 13, 2011

Victory View, Minneapolis & Robbinsdale, Minnesota

Victory Memorial Drive runs north to south from the bottom left corner of this postcard. Victory Memorial Drive is a landscaped boulevard in north Minneapolis commemorating fallen World War I soldiers from Hennepin County, Minnesota. It was originally dedicated on June 11, 1921. A rededication of Victory Memorial Drive took place on June 11, 2011.

The postcard shows the Victory View subdivision, an area in Robbinsdale just west of the drive and Minneapolis. The area shown with street name labels is between 40th and 43rd Avenues North. The card was mailed December 30, 1924. The back of the postcard has an ad for Victory View by the D. C. Bell Investment Co. (realtors for more than 44 years):
Minneapolis' new and beautiful lake district residential sub-division on the famous Victory Memorial Drive and beautiful Crystal Lake at 40th Ave. No. Free inspection by auto may be arranged by phoning our sub-division department. You are earnestly invited to inspect Victory View today.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Norwegian Olympic Stamps

This postcard shows the ten stamps issued by the Norwegian Postal Service to mark the 1994 Winter Olympic Games held in Lillehammer, Norway. The stamps were designed to show that there is more to the Olympic Games than sport alone. The Olympics are also a place for cultural exchange where nations gather and celebrate their togetherness.

The first two stamps (top left) in the series were issued on October 9, 1992. Their theme is Lillehammer and Norway. The host city was profiled by silhouette sketches of its leading
cultural attractions.

The next stamps (top right) were issued at the beginning of the torch relay on November 27, 1993. The torch relay criss-crossed Norway for 75 days on a 8000 kilometre journey. The national flame was timed to arrive at the opening ceremony in Lillehammer on February 12, 1994 and be united with the Olympic flame from ancient Olympia.

February 12, 1994 was the opening day of the XVII Winter Olympic Games. It was also the day-of-issue for the last two special sets. The first set (center) consisted of four stamps with the theme of nations coming together to compete in Lillehammer, Norway in 1994. The second set of two stamps (bottom left and right) honors the competitors and visitors of nations which have NOCs recognized by the IOC. One portrays a parade of the national flags of Europe, and the other portrays flags from elsewhere in the world.

Norways Olympic Stamps tells about these stamps and also some other sports theme stamps issued by Norway.

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

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chrysler Building - Tall Building & Tall Postcard

This postcard of the Chrysler building in New York is as tall (long) as three regular size postcards. This card was designed to be folded to the size of a regular postcard for mailing.

Below is a scan of the text portion of the card's back. (click to enlarge)

The black and white photo shows the Chrysler with its surroundings ca. 1930. This photo is from a Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative in the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.

The following information is from Wikipedia.
The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco skyscraper in New York City, located on the east side of Manhattan in the Turtle Bay area at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Standing at 319 meters (1,047 ft),it was the world's tallest building for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. After the destruction of the World Trade Center, it was again the second-tallest building in New York City until December 2007, when the spire was raised on the 365.8-meter (1,200 ft) Bank of America Tower, pushing the Chrysler Building into third position. In addition, The New York Times Building, which opened in 2007, is exactly level with the Chrysler Building in height.

The Chrysler Building is a classic example of Art Deco architecture and considered by many contemporary architects to be one of the finest buildings in New York City. In 2007, it was ranked ninth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects. It was the headquarters of the Chrysler Corporation from 1930 until the mid-1950s, but, although the building was built and designed specifically for the car manufacturer, the corporation did not pay for the construction of it and never owned it, as Walter P. Chrysler decided to pay for it himself, so that his children could inherit it.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jacksonville Zoo Sign

This postcard shows a sign pointing to the entrance of the Jacksonville, Florida Zoo. I don't know the age of this card, but I doubt that this sign is still there. The zoo began a major redevelopment in 1992, and the first phase included a new front entry gate and parking lot. The name of the zoo was officially changed from the Jacksonville Zoo to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in 2003.

I'm participating in Signs, Signs

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Century of Progress Stamps & Postcards

A Century of Progress Exposition was a World's Fair held in Chicago in 1933 and 1934 to celebrate Chicago's centennial. The theme of the fair was science and technological innovation.

Several U. S. stamps were issued to commemorate Chicago Century of Progress. Here I have two postcards with the 1-cent Fort Dearborn stamp and First Day of Issue cancellations on May 25, 1933. The one above with the pictorial cachet gives the opening as June 1, but the fair actually opened a week earlier. That card is blank on the other side.

The second postcard has a picture of the Fort Dearborn replica on one side, and a regular postcard back with a cachet that appears to be rubber-stamped.

The two commemorative stamps below are from my old stamp album:
  • 1-cent Restoration of Fort Dearborn. The 1-cent green stamp shows Fort Dearborn, the pioneer fort that had been located at the mouth of the Chicago River.
  • 3-cent Federal Building. The 3-cent violet stamp shows the three massive towers of the Federal Building on the exposition grounds.

You can see the design better on the pair below which is from a souvenir sheet.

There was also a 50-cent century of Progress Graf Zeppelin airmail stamp issued. The price included 42½ cents used to help offset the Zeppelin Company's expenses in flying the airship from Germany to Chicago. This stamp is now worth $55.00. The picture is from the Arago website.

The video is one I recently made with some of my Century of Progress postcards.

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

Friday, June 3, 2011

William Crooks - First Locomotive in Minnesota

The postcard above shows the William Crooks locomotive when it was on display in the St. Paul Union Depot. The locomotive was on display there from 1954 until the depot closed in 1971. Since 1975 the the William Crooks has been in Duluth, Minnesota's Historic Union Depot in the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.

The photo below is from the Minnesota Historical Society Visual Resources Database. It shows The William Crooks alongside Great Northern Railway locomotive 2030, circa 1925.

The William Crooks was the first steam locomotive to run in Minnesota and is one of the few Civil War era locomotives still in existence. The locomotive was constructed in 1861 and eventually became part of the Great Northern Railway. It was named for William Crooks, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Great Northern's predecessor line), and Colonel of the Sixth Regiment, MN Volunteers, in the Civil War. The engine arrived in St. Paul by Mississippi riverboat in 1861. On June 28, 1862, it made its maiden run over the first ten miles of Minnesota railroad, from St. Paul to St. Anthony (now Minneapolis).

Here is some information from the Lake Superior Railroad Museum website. More information can be found here.
Most of the early steam locomotives had cowcatchers on the front of them. This is because there were open ranges at the time, and cows and other animals wandered all over. If an animal got on the tracks and refused to move after bells were rung and whistles blown, the locomotive would use the cowcatcher to push the animal off the tracks. It might get hurt or even killed, but the cowcatcher prevented the animal from getting underneath the wheels of the train and derailing it. The headlight is a kerosene lantern, and the dome marked #1 is a sand dome. If the rails were slippery, the engineer pulled a lever and sand went down the tube and was dropped off in front of the drive wheel, providing better traction for the locomotive. A screen covers the top of the smokestack to curtail the sparks created from burning wood. These sparks might otherwise start fires along the tracks. The boiler is the long green part and was filled with water. A hot fire was built in the firebox of the locomotive cab. It heated all of the water in the boiler and turned it into steam. The steam went into the pistons and made the side rods go back and forth, which made the wheels go around. This is basically how a steam engine works. All of the extra water and fuel (in this case, wood) were kept in the tender until needed.
The William Crooks was retired from active service around the turn of the century. Its last trip under steam was to the Chicago Railroad Fair in 1948. The video shows it as "The Pioneer Train" en route to the New York World's Fair in 1939.

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