Monday, April 30, 2012

New Life Cafe - Two Harbors, Minnesota

The New Life Cafe didn't have much to say for itself on this postcard. All it says on the back of the card is that the cafe is in downtown Two Harbors, Minnesota, the iron ore shipping center of Northern Minnesota. The happy chef sign jutting out from the building advertises "meals and lunches."

I was fortunate to uncover some information about the cafe in a newspaper article posted online: Remodeling uncovers history. The interior of the building had eight murals depicting outdoor scenes along the North Shore. The murals were painted by German immigrant Otto Goebl around 1954. They had been covered during a previous remodeling and remained out of view for more than forty years. The photo below showing a glimpse of the murals is from the newspaper article*.

* The article was written by Janna Goerdt of the Duluth News Tribune and appeared online in a December 31, 2005 issue of the Post-Bulletin.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Universal Postal Congress Mail Transportation Stamps

Shown above are four maximum cards with the 25-cent Classic Mail Transportation commemorative stamps issued November 19, 1989. The text from the back of the cards is shown below the corresponding image.

The stamps are from a block of four stamps that was during WORLD STAMP EXPO '89 an international philatelic exhibition sponsored by the US Postal Service. The exhibition took place November 17-20 and November 24-December 3 in conjunction with the 20th Congress of the Universal Postal Union. The stamps feature vehicles that have delivered mail and range from colonial America to the early twentieth century: the stagecoach of 1850s, paddlewheel steamer, biplane, and depot-hack type automobile. (source: 20th UPU Congress Issue)

This is a post for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Old Dover Days Maypole Dancing - Dover, Delaware

The postcard above shows the Old Dover Days Maypole in front of Old Christ Church. The postcard is undated, but I am guessing it is from about 1970. The black and white photo below shows the Maypole dance in front of Old State House in 1950 (source: Delaware Public Archives).

The next photo is a more recent one from the Dover Days Festival website photo gallery. Old Dover Days celebrates the history of Dover, the capital of Delaware. The 2012 festival dates are May 4-6. The festival includes traditional Maypole Dancing on the green Saturday, May 5 between 11AM and noon.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Incline Railroad, Duluth, Minnesota

This postcard shows a view of the Duluth Incline Railroad looking down to the harbor.

Duluth's topography is dominated by a steep hillside that climbs from Lake Superior, somewhat similar to San Francisco's water-to-hilltop topography. The Incline Railroad operated from 1891 to 1939, running uphill from Superior Street at 7th Ave. W. to Skyline Drive. This Incline operated as part of the streetcar system. There were two sets of tracks, and the cars were pulled by a steam engine at the top.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

U. S. Transportation Stamps (1981-1995)

Here I have maximum cards with two of the stamps in the U. S. transportation coil series (1981-1995).

The 25-cent Bread Wagon stamp was issued November 22, 1986 and was intended for use in post office vending machines for mailing parcels and overweight letters. The only use for a solo 25-cent stamp was on foreign postcards to destinations other than Canada and Mexico, but the demand for the 25-cent increased when the letter rate increased to twenty-five cents in 1988.

The 23-cent Lunch Wagon was issued April 12, 1991. This denomination fulfilled the second-ounce first-class rate.

There were a large number of stamps in this series. The stamps had a similar style, but were issued at different times. Many values were needed for various classes of mail and numerous postal rate changes during the life of the series. The following list is from Wikipedia (ordered by denomination, not issue date):
1¢ Omnibus
2¢ Locomotive
3¢ Handcar
3¢ Conestoga
3.4¢ School Bus
4¢ Stagecoach
4¢ Steam Carriage
4.9¢ Buckboard
5¢ Motorcycle
5¢ Milk wagon
5¢ Circus wagon
5¢ Canoe
5.2¢ Sleigh
5.3¢ Elevator
5.5¢ Star Route Truck
5.9¢ Bicycle
6¢ Tricycle
7.1¢ Tractor
7.4¢ Baby Buggy
7.6¢ Carreta
8.3¢ Ambulance
8.4¢ Wheel Chair
8.5¢ Tow Truck
9.3¢ Mail Wagon
10¢ Canal Boat
10¢ Tractor Trailer
10.1¢ Oil Wagon
10.9¢ Hansom Cab
11¢ Caboose
11¢ Stutz Bearcat
12¢ Stanley Steamer
12.5¢ Pushcart
13¢ Patrol Wagon
13.2¢ Coal Car
14¢ Iceboat
15¢ Tugboat
16.7¢ Popcorn Wagon
17¢ Electric Auto
17¢ Dog Sled
17.5¢ Racing Car
18¢ Surrey
20¢ Fire Pumper
20¢ Cable Car
20¢ Cog Railway
20.5¢ Fire Engine
21¢ Railway Mail Car
23¢ Lunch Wagon
24.1¢ Tandem Bike
25¢ Bread Wagon
32¢ Ferry Boat
$1 Sea Plane

Pictures of the various stamp designs and more details can be found here and on the Arago website.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Friday, April 20, 2012

H. W. Buckbee - Rockford Seed Farms

Growing Buckbee's American Beauty Roses

Here are some of the free advertising postcards that Buckbee Seed Farms of Rockford, Illinois was offering customers circa 1910-1912. The company sent out cards illustrating sets of "six beautiful Souvenir Post Cards" that could be obtained free by returning a coupon with an order from their catalog.

Buckbee company history goes back to 1871 when Hiram W. Buckbee began selling cabbage plants as a boy. The business later grew into a huge operation that included a 350,000-square-foot warehouse, greenhouse complex, and trial area, along with a 15,000-acre seed farm. The company mailed out 750,000 catalogs In 1921, the year of Hiram’s death.

Growing Buckbee's "full of Life" Beans

Growing Buckbee's Great Ruby Strawberries

Growing Buckbee's Pedigreed "Full of Life" Onion Seed

An enlargement of the Buckbee's trademark from the back of the postcards is shown below.

The last two images are from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Digital Collection. They show the front and back covers of the 1896 H. W. Buckbee Seed & Plant Guide.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pan American Clippers - Miami Airport

Here are three postcards dating from the mid-1930s that show the Pan-American Airways Terminal and Flying Clipper Ships in Miami, Florida. On the first postcard, a Clipper is said to be arriving from Jamaica. On the second postcard, passengers are boarding the Caribbean Clipper. On the third postcard, a Clipper is shown in the water and is said to be off to West Indies and South America.

The Caribbean Clipper was a Sikorsky S-40. The plane on the last card was a more advanced Sikorsky S-42. The early clippers were flying boats. They were called “clippers” to link them with the maritime heritage of the ocean liners. At the time runways capable of handling large aircraft were scarce, and the flying boats could provide scheduled passenger service to any city with a sheltered harbor.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Minneapolis Public Libraries

The above postcard shows the first Minneapolis Public Library that was built in 1889 at Tenth Street and Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. That library was the main library of the Minneapolis Public Library system until a new library was built in 1961.

The 1961 library is shown in the postcard below. This library is described on the back of the postcard as follows:
The new gold and granite Minneapolis Public Library, headquarters for both Minneapolis and Hennepin County Libraries, is located in the Gateway Development Area, 300 Nicollet Avenue. Vivid colors, light and space combine with glass, Italian marble, teakwood and anodyzed aluminum in this modern library. Smoking lounges and open shelves invite the visitor to browse and wander. A blacklight hall of time and space and a planetarium, where regular shows are given, are unique features of the library.

The next postcard is a view of that library's interior, described as follows:
All callers at the new central building of the Minneapolis Public Library, whether they enter it by telephone or in person, are greeted by trained librarians at the Information Desk. They answer quick reference questions, directing other to the proper subject departments.

The next postcard shows the library's statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, holding a book. This is a seven-foot bronze statue by Jakob Fjelde that stood at the entrance to the Heritage Hall auditorium. Both the statue and the mahogany paneled background were from the old central library building that was demolished in 1961.

By 2000, the 1961 library was considered inadequate. The existing library was closed in 2002 and was demolished. The current central library was built on the same site. I haven't seen any "tourist" postcards of the new library, but I have a couple of postcards that were available at the library bookstore.

The first card shows an artist's view and solicited support for the new Minneapolis Central Library when it being built. This building was designed by architect Cesar Pelli, and was to "be home to an outstanding 2.5 million collection - the largest of any public library in Minnesota and the fourth largest in the nation." The last postcard reproduces a watercolor painting of the library which opened in May 2006. The building is 353,000 sq. ft. and "boasts a collection of over 2 million items, a green roof, and an exterior of 4,000 panes of glass."

The last picture is not a postcard. It is a photo I took at the opening of the new library on May 20, 2006.

After some financial difficulties, the Minneapolis Public Library was merged into the Hennepin County Library in 2008.

This post was written to celebrate National Library Week, April 8-14, 2012.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Greetings from the Chickies

Chicky brings my Easter Greetings.
We eggs-pect you'll have a Happy Easter.

These two Easter postcards were made by Whitney. The back of the first card has a greeting to Marjorie from Aunt Olga: "Wishing you a Happy Easter and hope you will get plenty of eggs."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

United States Capital 1950 Sesquicentennial Stamps

The above postcard of the U. S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D. C. has a stamp on the picture side that has a similar image. The stamp is one of the four 3-cent stamps in the "National Capital Sesquicentennial Issue" of 1950. The stamps were issued to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the capital of the United States.

All four stamps are shown below (source: Arago):
  • The Statue of Freedom on Capitol Dome -Issued April 20
  • The White House Executive Mansion - Issued June 12
  • The Supreme Court Building - Issued August 2
  • The United States Capitol - Issued November 22

This is a post for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

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