Saturday, August 31, 2013

Centenary of the Russian Postage Stamp

This is a recent postcard picturing one of two 1958 Soviet miniature sheets issued to commemorate the Centenary of the Russian postage stamp. История почты is Postal history. Here the two sheets are shown together:


Here are some larger images of the two 10 kopeks stamps (Source:,_1958). The first one is a Prince's scribe (15th century); the second is a messenger (16th century).

I found a nice Russian Postal Shop in English ( that has many postcards available for sale, including the one I have. The minimum order is 20 euros. The site seems to be oriented toward Postcrossing members--it has a page About Postcrossing,

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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Barnes & Reineke Industrial Designers

This is a 1938 postcard advertising the Barnes & Reinecke Industrial Designers of Chicago. The picture on the front shows some of the designers. The back of the card has a list of clients, many of which are still well known today.

The following information about Barnes & Reineke is from an IDSA page about Jean Otis Reinecke (1909-1987):
Jean Reinecke was born in Bourbon County, Kansas and started his own sign painting shop at age 17. He attended Kansas State Teachers College, then moved to St. Louis and attended Washington University’s Art School. He began his career as a display artist at General Display Studios in St. Louis, designer of automated convention and World’s Fair displays, and soon became a partner and art director there. Reinecke opened an office in Chicago in 1930 to work on the Chicago Century of Progress (1933-1934) for General Display. In 1934 he established the industrial design and engineering firm of Barnes & Reinecke in partnership with James Barnes. Reinecke provided the design talent and Barnes was in charge of sales.

By 1938 Barnes & Reinecke had a staff including David Painter (1913-2003), vice-president in charge of design, James Teague, Fred Priess and George Mendenhall. Reinecke also served as a part-time instructor at the New Bauhaus in Chicago, which later evolved into Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).

The McGraw Electric Company introduced the Toastmaster model 1B9 in 1939, designed by Reinecke and his staff at Barnes & Reinecke. It was the first to exploit the curvature of chrome-plated shells on toasters, increased sales dramatically, was widely imitated, and served as the typeform for toasters well into the 1960s. One of Reinecke's designers, Fred Priess, designed the linear decoration that became the company's symbol.

In 1939, James F. Barnes and Jean O. Reinecke patented an updated version of Hamilton Beach's classic soda fountain Drinkmaster.

3M in 1940 introduced a heavy cast metal desk-top tape dispenser in gray by Reinecke, which replaced his first design for 3M in 1938, and which he re-designed again in 1953. Reinecke also re-designed a disposable plastic Scotch tape dispenser design that became one of the most successful and enduring examples of 20th century design. It is an ingenious refinement of one he designed in 1939 of stamped sheet metal. Both were still in production in 1998.

In 1940 Reinecke was included in a feature article, Today's Young Men, that interviewed 70 men who achieved notable success while still in their twenties and thirties.

By 1948 Barnes & Reinecke had a staff of 375 and a shop of 50 machinists who produced special purpose equipment for automation. Reinecke sold his interest in the partnership and established his own office, J.O. Reinecke & Associates, specializing in industrial design and product planning, with offices on Ohio Street in Chicago, IL. He took with him designers Jon Hauser, Harold Hart, Don B. Lowe, and CPA Jack Knight, his cousin. Their clients included Caterpillar Tractor Co., Emerson Electric, IT & T, Johnson & Johnson, Maytag, 3M Co., McGraw-Edison, Union Oil, Westinghouse and Zenith.

I was able to identify the three men at the head of the table in the postcard picture from pictures on the internet. The man bending over is Jean Reinecke; the one in the jacket with a pocket handkerchief is James Barnes; and the man between them is David Painter.

David Painter (ca. 1952)

A 1946 article Designs for Better Living from Modern Mechanix has information about the leading role Barnes and Reineke played in reconversion of factories to peacetime products after WWII. For example Barnes & Reineke developed a plan to convert a small plant that had manufactured aluminum parts for bombers to a plant making a streamlined, step-on-a-pedal garbage pail from leftover bomber segments.

I think I have had the Barnes & Reineke postcard longer than I have had a computer. I never thought of researching it until I decided to use it for Sepia Saturday. This is one of the instances when I have been surprised that I have been able to find relevant information. Although I couldn't find very many pictures of the designers or products, I did find a cool video of the 1946 Ami Model A Jukebox designed by Jean Reineke.

For More Vintage Images

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Minnesota State Fair 2013 -- Postcard Exhibits

I entered some Post Card Frames in the Minnesota State Fair for the first time this year. I entered a frame of Twin City Lines postcards by V. O. Hammon in the Minnesota category (above) and a frame of Smokey Bear postcards in the chrome category (below).

The rules allow from 6 to 24 postcards on boards. There are 10 categories, and all except linens and chromes must be pre-1920. (Technically, the rules do not allow for cards of the 1920s. This doesn't seem right to me, since there are not always definitive clues to the age of white border and real photo postcards. I think it would make more sense to specify pre-1930).

The categories are:
  • Mixed era: trace one subject using cards from more than one era
  • Artist signed or greeting
  • Minnesota post cards
  • Views, place or buildings, etc. scenic nature (non-Minnesota)
  • People: famous, occupational, etc
  • Novelty cards
  • Transportation cards.
  • Topic: historical event, dogs, cats, mining, fishing, etc
  • Linen era post cards
  • Chrome (slick finish) modern post cards 
The frames are scored as follows:
  • Quality of Material — 30%
  • Design and general appearance —30%
  • Condition — 20%
  • Value in point of interest — 20%
The postcard frames are displayed in glass cases in the Creative Activities Building. I photographed the displays like I did in 2012 (see Minnesota State Fair - Postcard Exhibits). The photos are poor quality due to low light and reflections, but I think they interesting nevertheless in that they show the variety of topics and display designs. I wish they would show the category along with the board. Some could fit in more than one category; some don't seem to quite fit any of the categories; some could be from the "Creative Collections" division. Below are the postcard displays that received first and second place ribbons.(Click the images to enlarge them for a better view. Depending on your browser and/or operating system, you may then be able to enlarge more by right-clicking and choosing the "View Image" option. The original images posted are 1067px x 1600px).

Sweepstakes Winner — Little Bears Set by Tuck

St. Paul Winter Sports Carnival

Christmas Greetings from Santa Claus

Leap Year

Halloween Sets by Nash

Minnesota's Coast — North Shore of Lake Superior

Early Antique Postcards with Undivided Backs

Dark Haired Girl (left); Leather Postcards (right)

Swiss Guards — Guardians of the Pope

Early American Motorcycles

Snowbirds Vacation Circa 1935 (left); Why Not Collect Postcards? (right)

Niagara Cave

World War II Pre-Printed Postcards

World's Only Corn Palace

Marshall Field & Company


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Swedish Brown Bear

This postcard shows a Swedish stamp with a picture of a Swedish brown bear (Ursus arctos). The stamp was issued 11 April, 1978.

This is one of my favorite Swedish stamp postcards. I have been waiting for an appropriate theme to post it on Sunday Stamps.

You can get a closeup view of some real Swedish bears in this video:

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

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sunbonnet Girl Postcards

Here is a real photo postcard of a real girl in a sunbonnet that is obviously based on the fictional Sunbonnet Girls that were popular in the early twentieth century. Bertha L. Corbett is the artist credited with creating the original Sunbonnet Girls. Her drawings were first used on postcards in 1904. They earlier had appeared in books in 1900. Corbett first drew the Sunbonnet Girls to prove that it was not necessary to show the face in order to make a figure expressive.

This photo does show the girl's face peeking out of the bottom front of the bonnet. There appear to be some curls hanging out the back too.

The website has a reprint of a 1907 article about the origins of Corbett's Sunbonnets: The "Mother" of the Sun-Bonnet Babies. Other artists also drew Sunbonnets that were published on postcards. Below is a postcard with a Sunbonnet Girl in a pose similar to the photo. This is by the artist Bernhardt Wall. It was published by Bergman and dated 1913. According to the book "Picture Postcards in the United States 1893-1918 by George and Dorothy Miller: "After the height of the postcard craze, Wall redesigned a group of Sunbonnets against white backgrounds for the Bergman Company in an effort to recapture the popularity of the earlier cards, but the later designs never caught the public imagination."

Coincidentally, this leather postcard featuring a Sunbonnet with "Just a line" is from Minneapolis where Corbett originally created the Sunbonnet characters. I have seen leather postcards with other designs of fishing Sunbonnet Girls with a "line" from other locations or names added. Some are completely handmade like this one. Others have lettering (and possibly designs) that are machine printed.


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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pacific Coast Rain Forest Stamps

The Nature of America Series of self adhesive stamp sheets were released annually by the United States Postal Service from 1999 until 2010. The series of twelve sheets started with the Sonoran Desert sheet. The Pacific Coast Rain Forest sheet issued in 2000 was the second sheet in the series. 

All 12 stamp sheet issues in the Nature of America Series are shown at Beyond The Perf along with design sketches.  

Here I have some of the postcards from a set of Seventeen Jumbo (5" X 7") Stamp Image Postcards of the Pacific Coast Rain Forest stamps. The set consists of two copies of the complete sheet of ten stamps, four different cards showing details of the sheet, and ten cards showing the individual stamps.

Sheet Detail

Cutthroat Trout

Douglas' Squirrel

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

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Uninvited Picnic Guests

These two postcards show bears in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone Park has abundant wildlife, and many visitors find the bears most interesting. The bears are playful and comparatively fearless. They are often seen and photographed along the highways in the Park and occasionally they raid the campgrounds.

Visit Sepia Saturday
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Friday, August 9, 2013

"New" Model Dictaphone

Expositions have traditionally featured the latest contraptions. This is a souvenir card from the Dictaphone exhibit at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. The souvenir is printed on both sides of a card that folds in the middle. One half has a detachable postcard that you could "mail to your friends as a souvenir of your visit to A Century of Progress."

According to the information on the card, the exhibit featured "the new Model 12, the new Dictaphone Cabinet, the original Tainter model, and practical demonstrations of office efficiency and economy." (Tainter was an inventor involved with others, including Alexander Graham Bell,  in developing the first Dictaphone.) The Model 12 was said to be "compact"in 1933, but it looks monstrous by today's standards.

The Dictaphone's earliest development occurred at the Volta Laboratory established by Alexander Graham Bell in Washington, D.C. in 1881 (Wikipedia). Dictaphones used wax cylinders for voice recording until after WWII. Needless to say, there have many advances in voice recording and transcription in the 80 years since A Century of Progress. There is even an app for that.

To See More Vintage Images

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Words For Peace

This maximum card is from the Soviet Union and has a first day cancellation dated 08-05-1984. The theme is peace. Below is an enlargement of the stamps and cancellation.

I was able to translate the words in the Google translator, though some of them are a bit ambiguous. Here is what I came up with.

top left:
Policy of Soviet Union  - Policy of peace

left globe:
A total ban on weapons of mass destruction

Soviet Union, Following Lenin's policy of peace and international cooperation, did all it could for hanging on to prevent war

top right:
Protecting peace - Everyone and all

right globe:
Peace initiatives of the Soviet Union - wide support!

On the cancellation:
Moscow GPO

First Day

The banners between the globes and people have the words for peace in various languages:

МИР  - Russian
Peace - English
Paix  - French
Frieden  - German
Mir (МИР) - Russian et al.
Paz - Spanish
Pokój  - Polish
Béke -  Hungarian
Rauha -  Finnish
Fred - Swedish
Vrede - Dutch
For even more words for peace, see Say PEACE in all Languages.


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

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