Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pennsylvania Railroad's Trail Blazer

This postcard has an illustration of the Oservation-Buffet-Lounge car of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Trail Blazer. The back of the card has the Trylon and Perisphere symbol of the New York World's Fair (1939-1940) and advertises service "direct to World's Fair."

The Pennsylvania Railroad's Trail Blazer was a deluxe all-coach passenger train operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad that provided 17-hour service between Chicago and New York. Service began on July 28, 1939.

Monday, January 30, 2012

St. Paul Winter Carnival - 1992 Ice Palace

©1991 Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Here are three postcards of the 1992 St. Paul Winter Winter Carnival Ice Palace--or Castle or Structure. Each of these three postcards used a different name, but the preferred name is Palace. According to a "Fun Fact" on the St. Paul Winter Carnival website: "Since a Palace is looked upon as a home to royalty, we have always used the word Palace vs. Castle as many people associate the word castle as a negative, like Dracula's Castle."

The second postcard has this information on the back (the actual numbers vary depending on the source):
This magnificent ice structure reaches a height of 166½ feet and weighs an estimated 15 million pounds. This is the largest ice structure in the world and was constructed from 18,000 giant blocks of ice. It is located on Harriet Island which is across the Mississippi River from downtown Saint Paul.

Photo by Sky View Photos of America. Pub & © NMN Inc .

At night the Ice Palace was illuminated by a light show designed and executed by Frattalone and Associates:
On cold January evenings, a spectacular ten minute animated light and sound show with a specially produced soundtrack followed by 20 minutes of slowly changing colors illuminated the 1992 St. Paul Winter Carnival, leaving a lasting impression for years to come.

Photo ©Kevin McDaniels

Unfortunately the weather during the 1992 Winter Carnival (January 22 - February 2) was much warmer than usual. It wasn't cold enough to prevent premature melting of the ice and the early removal of the lights. The video below shows TV news coverage of the Ice Palace and the weather at the time.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Year of the Monkey - 1992

This is a maximum card from the People's Republic of China for the 1992 Year of the Monkey. The design also features the "auspicious peach' which is a symbol for good luck and longevity. The stamp was designed by the means of Chinese folk paper-cut.

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Metropolitan Theater, Minneapolis & Alberta Gallatin

The postcard above shows the Metropolitan Theater of Minneapolis. This theater was located at 320 First Ave South. It was built in 1894 and demolished in 1937. The name "Alberta Gallatin" is shown prominently on the sign above the door of the theater.

Alberta Gallatin (1861 - 1948) appeared at this Minneapolis theater twice in 1906. In May 1906 she appeared in "Cousin Kate," a comedy of English home life in the peaceful environment of the Surrey Hills near London.

Minneapolis Tribune, May 25, 1906

In October 1906, Gallatin appeared in "Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall," based on a popular 1902 historical novel following the life and romances of Dorothy Vernon in Elizabethan England.

Minneapolis Tribune, October 26, 1906

The photo below of Alberta Gallatin is from the University of Louisville. Alberta Gallatin appeared in Louisville at Macauley's Theatre in the same two plays as in Minneapolis: in "Cousin Kate" (October 1905) and "Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall" (February 1907), the performance during which she inscribed this portrait.

The last two images are from the Library of Congress.

© 1906 by The U.S. Lithograph Co.

© 1903 by The U.S. Lithograph Co.

Visit Sepia Saturday for More Vintage Images

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dutch Room and Pipe Organ, National Hotel, Minneapolis

These two postcards show the Dutch Room and Pipe Organ at the National Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This hotel was located at 205 Washington Ave South. The first postcard is circa 1908-1909, and the second appears to be a bit later. An interesting feature of the first postcard is the union label and message imprinted on the right side: "The only Union Hotel in Minneapolis. Thoroughly Organized in all Departments." The union message may have been added to appeal to visitors attending a union convention in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune of Feb 20, 1909 had an article about the Famous Dutch Room of the National Hotel that has the same basic text as the 1909 ad in The Bridgemen's Magazine (Google ebook page here), although the newspaper article seems to be directed to visitors to the auto show instead of "the convention." That Bridgeman's Magazine page also included a black and white version of the photo reproduced on the first postcard. The Bridgemen's Magazine was union related, and that issue was a convention issue.

The ad/article described the Dutch Room in glowing terms and boasted of unique attractions for music lovers:
In no other restaurant in the United States can be found such an attraction for music lovers as the Oxette, or pipe organ, which has been pronounced by music masters the sweetest toned instrument of its kind in the world. In connection with this magnificent instrument one of the costliest Auxetophones in the world adds to the charm of an evening spent in the Dutch room by reproducing in perfect tone the exquisite voices of Carmen, Caruso, Melba and others...

The ad shown below is from Feb 14, 1909 and also emphasizes the musical attractions of the "Famous Dutch Room."

The auxetaphone was an early amplified phonograph. It used compressed air supplied by an electric motor to amplify sound. Auxetaphones were so loud that they were mainly used outdoors, in very large restaurants, or auditoriums. In the enlarged detail from the second postcard, it appears that an auxetaphone was placed to the left of the organ.

The video below demonstrates an auxetaphone.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Some U.S. Definitive Postage Stamps

The image above shows a page from my old 1950s vintage stamp album. I really like this Presidential Series of stamps. This series was issued in 1938 and was in use until the mid-1950s. There was a contest in 1937 to design the first stamp in the series. The first stamp was a 1-cent stamp with a profile of the first president, George Washington, that was based on a bust by the sculptor Jean Antoine Houdin. The rest of the series was designed in a similar style with each stamp including a bust profile of a president and the dates of his term(s) as president. The twenty-nine presidents who had died before 1938 were depicted on the stamps. In addition to the presidents, the series included Benjamin Franklin on a half-cent stamp; Martha Washington on a 1.5-cent stamp; and the White House on a 4.5-cent stamp. From the 1-cent stamp through 22-cent stamp, each stamp's denomination corresponded to the presidential sequence. (source)

A newer series of definitive stamps, now known as the Liberty Series (1954-1968), was begun in the mid-1950s. The maximum card below shows the 3-cent Statue of Liberty stamp that was issued on June 24, 1954. This paid the domestic first-class rate until July 31, 1958. The Statue of Liberty also appeared on the 8-cent and 10-cent stamps. The stamps in this series were issued over a period of years and did not follow a common design. The designs also included some presidents, other famous people, and buildings.

The first day cover below shows the half-cent Franklin stamp issued October 20, 1955. At that time the series was called "Regular Postage Series of 1954-56." The series ended up including more stamps than were originally planned and was in general use from 1954 through 1973. Some stamps in the series remained on sale through the 1980s. (source)

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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rag Dolls

First I have a postcard of a pair of rag dolls made and painted in 1932 by Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses) for her granddaughters, Zoeanna and Frances Moses. The postcard is from the Bennington Museum Collection, Bennington, Vermont which has he largest public collection of Moses' paintings in the country. Grandma Moses (1860 - 1961) was a popular American folk artist who began painting in her seventies and by the time of her death had created over 1500 works of art.

Next I have a photo of myself with a rag doll. I think this doll looks really cute, but I don't remember it at all. I do vaguely remember a very large rag doll I had. That one was named after me because it was about the same size as me.

Fast forward to the 1980s when I was into country stuff. The pair of rag dolls below are ones I made in 1986. I made three of these--one for myself and two for Christmas presents. This photo was taken at Christmas and shows the dolls in an antique rocking chair.

I made these dolls from a Kentucky Rag Doll pattern that was in a Better Homes and Gardens Christmas 1982 magazine. I still have this magazine. The cover shows the Kentucky Rag Doll in the basket with other Christmas items. I also made the cross-stitch stocking that is pictured in the lower left corner of the magazine cover.

A few years later I started a collection of rag and other folk dolls. After collecting them for several years, I had to stop collecting them due to a lack of display and storage space.

Visit Sepia Saturday for More Vintage Images


This postcard shows a lettuce field in Salinas, California, known as "salad bowl of the nation." The back of the postcard has this description:
Over sixty per cent of the lettuce eaten in the nation comes from the Salinas Valley where they call it "green gold." With the longest growing season in the world, heavy shipments are made from April to December and lesser shipments during the other months.
The Salinas Valley is south of San Francisco, California. The word "salina" is Spanish for salt marsh, salt lake or salt pan. The economy of the region is dominated by agriculture. The main crops produced include lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, and spinach. The climate and length of the growing season are ideal for growing these and other crops.

PROD-uce or pro-DUCE?
Produce production deduced,
Deduction produced.

The Theme Thursday Theme for January 19, 2012 is

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interior of Northwest Orient Airlines DC-6B's

This postcard of the interior of Northwest Orient Airlines DC-6B shows what air travel was like in the 1950s. These well-dressed folks look like they are really enjoying themselves.

The description on the back is as follows:
Northwest Orient airlines is proud of its fleet of DC-6B's. They represent the finest in aviation engineering. Four giant engines with a total of 12,000 horsepower glide you along at over 300 miles per hour. Cabins are pressurized and soundproofed for your comfort.

Monday, January 16, 2012

"New" Steel Ski Slide - Minneapolis, Minnesota

This postcard shows ski jumping at the "New Steel Slide of the Twin City Ski Club, Minneapolis, Minn." As far as I can determine, this is a 1909 view of the ski jump that was built at Keegan's Lake and held its first tournaments in January 1909.

The following description is from Minneapolis Park History:
Plans were announced December 6, 1908 to build the highest slide in Minnesota two blocks west of Keegan’s Lake in Golden Valley. The slide was planned to be 90-feet tall and cost about $1,000. …The new slide was being built by a new organization, the Twin City Ski Club. What the new club may not have anticipated was that the slide was soon to be on public property — in a Minneapolis park.

On December 27, 1908 the Tribune announced that the club would hold its first competition on January 1 at “Glenwood Park.” The park board was putting the finishing touches on the biggest land acquisition in the history of Minneapolis parks by adding nearly 500 acres, most of it in Golden Valley, to the existing Glenwood Park. The new park included Keegan’s (Wirth) Lake and the Twin City Ski Club’s slide.
Another ski jump was built about a year later at Mount Pilgrim by the Minneapolis Ski Club. This was farther north in Golden Valley and according to the Minneapolis Park History was even bigger than the Keagan's Lake slide. That slide apparently was only in use in 1910 and 1911.

Forest and Stream, Volume 76, February 4, 1911 (Google eBook) had an article on Ski Jumping which described the Keegan's Lake ski jump as follows:
To get an idea of the fascination for which this class of sport is known, I visited one of the tournaments held by the Twin City Ski Club in Minneapolis. This club has erected the Glenwood Hill steel scaffold and cable slide, near Keegan's Lake, in the outskirts of the city. In a country where there are no suitable hills for the slide and jumps to be made, it becomes necessary to erect a scaffold from which skiers slide preparatory to the broad jump. The Glenwood Hill scaffold and slide is the highest in the world, and to behold a skier slide the narrow slippery trail, make the famous jump and then land on the steep incline, make a spectacle worth going miles to see. The scaffold consists of a steel tower eighty feet high. From the top leads the slide 130 feet long and pitched at an angle of sixty-five degrees. On top of the scaffold is a platform where the men adjust their skis. The slide and tower are supported by four steel cables and several guy ropes which make the entire structure rigid and free from a swaying motion while the skier makes his descent. The slide is seven feet four inches wide. The cross sections on which snow is placed are composed of hardwood and planks six and eight inches wide and of two thicknesses to prevent the snow from sliding off the structure. The lower end of the slide with a slightly upward turn rests about four feet above the apex of a steep hill, down which the jump is to be made. The incline of the hill is about 150 feet with a pitch equal to that of the steel slide. At the foot of the hill is the "dead man's curve," the lowest point in the valley, and from which the ground takes an upward turn, forming the side of another hill.
It is not clear how long the Keegan's Lake slide was used.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pure Food and Drug Laws Stamp

This stamp features a portrait of Harvey W. Wiley who was a chemist instrumental in the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and was the first commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration. The stamp was issued on June 27, 1956 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Pure Food and Drug Laws.

The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 prohibited the interstate transport of food which had been "adulterated", with that term referring to the addition of fillers of reduced "quality or strength", coloring to conceal "damage or inferiority," formulation with additives "injurious to health," or the use of "filthy, decomposed, or putrid" substances. The act also prohibited the interstate marketing of "adulterated" drugs and banned "misbranding" of food and drugs. (source: History of the Food and Drug Administration)

Food doesn't seem to be a very common subject on stamps, especially prepared food. Searching online, I found a blog featuring a series called La France Comme J’aime which honors “les saveurs de nos regions”, or “the tastes of our regions.” Another blog I found showed some Traditional Indonesian Foods, also another post here. Malaysia issued some stamps of Traditional Festive Food that are shown on the Philately News website.

The only stamp I have with a picture of food is a Finnish blueberry stamp:

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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vintage Millinery Modes

The postcard above shows a millinery room at Bullock's in Los Angeles. The postcard is from about 1915. The next group of images is from Home Craft: The American Woman's Handibook published by The Magazine Circulation Co, Inc., Publishers of Woman's Weekly ©1920.

The first image is one of several full page color images in the book. It is captioned "Fitting the Hat to the Season." The small image in the upper left corner shows a Winter hat. The images at the bottom are for (left to right) Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

Next are two images of historical American hat styles.

The next image shows "Five Distinctive Types of Headress worn by Women in American History." In the center is a photo of a 1921 Model Hat.

The book has ten pages on "Millinery Modes and Making" which include information on style selection, making hats, caring for hats, and children's hats and bonnets.

The following advice is offered on selecting a hat style:
Just as a frame may enhance or mar the effect of a picture, so a hat serves a woman's face, for the hat if properly chosen to conform with the shape of the face and head and with the fashion of hairdressing makes a most excellent background.

In choosing a hat we must bear in mind not only becomingness to the wearer but also the occasions on which it is to be worn, the season of the year and the style tendencies of the time.

The basic hat shapes are described as follows:
The toque, or brimless cap shape and the medium brimmed sailor are the two main forms from which all shapes are developed, and these two are almost universally becoming when modified to fit individual needs…The two other usual hat shapes are variations of the toque and sailor, for the turban is a toque with close turned brim, while the broad brimmed hat has both top and brim in exaggerated sailor form.
The next images illustrate the basic shapes of 1921 hats.

And suitable hats for children:

Finally, I have a more modern, but now quite old, photo of myself. I am wondering what Alan is going to pull out of the hat next.

Visit Sepia Saturday for more vintage images.

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt is from the movie
The New York Hat (1912)
Click the link above to watch the movie on YouTube

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Erie Railroad 100th Anniversary 1951

This postcard commemorates the Erie Railroad 100th Anniversary in 1951. The back of the card has the following description:
It was a great day on May 15, 1851 when the New York and Erie Railroad, now the ERIE RAILROAD, completed its first run from Piermont, N. Y., on the Hudson River to Dunkirk, N. Y. on Lake Erie. It was the longest railroad in the United States — 446 miles long — and an important milestone in American history.

This was the anniversary of completing the route from the "Great Lakes to the Sea." Construction of the railroad began in 1836, and it opened from Piermont to Goshen in1841.

In 1960, the Erie Railroad merged with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad to form the Erie Lackawanna Railroad. It became part of Conrail in 1976. In 1983, remnants of the line became part of New Jersey Transit rail operations, and today most of the former Erie Railroad routes are operated by Norfolk Southern. (source: Wikipedia)

The video below is from the Erie Railroad 100th anniversary in 1951.

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