Thursday, February 27, 2014

Swiss Choclolate & Anthem

This postcard advertises Cacao Suchard Soluble. It was sent from brother Adolf in Spiez, Switzerland to Eduard at St. Croix in 1903.

Philippe Suchard (9 October 1797 – 14 January 1884) was a Swiss chocolatier and industrialist. By the end of the 19th century, Suchard had become the largest chocolate producer (source: Wikipedia). According to a website on Swiss Chocolate History:
The years between 1890 and 1920 saw a real blossoming of the Swiss chocolate industry, coinciding with the golden age of Swiss tourism. Members of the top echelons of society throughout the world who spent their holidays in Switzerland came to know and appreciate Swiss chocolate, and took its reputation home with them. The initiative of Swiss chocolate producers conquered the world chocolate market between 1900 and 1918. Up to three quarters of Swiss chocolate was exported. Thus "little Switzerland" became a world power in chocolate. Of course, "Swiss chocolate" owed its global reputation not just to the quantities exported, but above all to its quality, which made it stand out above the great amount of chocolate produced in other countries.

The postcard has the words and music for Dem Vaterland. This was the former national anthem of Switzerland. It had semi-official status as the national anthem from the 1850s to 1961, when it was replaced by the Swiss Psalm. Its text was written in 1811 by Bernese philosophy professor Johann Rudolf Wyss. The tune of the anthem was the same as in God Save the King (1745), a tune which became widely adopted in Europe, first as the hymn of Denmark (1790), later also as that of Switzerland, and as that of the United States as My Country, 'Tis of Thee (1831) (source: Wikipedia).

These are the words in German and English:
Rufst du, mein Vaterland
Sieh uns mit Herz und Hand,
All dir geweiht
Heil dir, Helvetia!
Hast noch der Söhne ja,
Wie sie Sankt Jakob sah,
Freudvoll zum Streit!

When you call, my Fatherland,
see us, with hand and heart
all dedicated to you.
Hail unto you, Helvetia!
Who still hast such sons
as Saint Jacob saw them,
going to battle joyously!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Suits, Hats, and Poodles

Above is a postcard advertising "Palm Beach" suits. This is probably from the late 1950s. I like the fashion picture on this card, and I especially like the black standard poodle. My family had a black standard poodle that we got as a tiny puppy in early 1957, and that is still my favorite kind of dog.

Here is the advertising from the back of the postcard:

Palm Beach was both a style and a lightweight fabric woven by Goodall-Sanford, Inc. that was described on this postcard as "mohair, rayon, acetate and 5% nylon, in most styles." The men are wearing straw hats that were popular in warm weather.

Below is a photo of my mother with our poodle Beau. I think this was probably taken in spring 1958. My mother is wearing a corsage which she sometimes wore on Easter and/or Mother's Day.

The next photo is of me in spring 1957. This was taken when Beau was still a puppy and had not had his first poodle style haircut.

Here is a drawing of Beau just before his first haircut. The drawing was made by the owner of Beau's father, who also gave Beau his haircut.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Say Fadeaway

What would you Say
If I were to Say
What I want to Say

The illustration on this postcard is done in the fadeaway style. The white clothes on the figures are not outlined or shaded. The clothing fades into the white of the background, and it is the viewer's eyes that fill in the shapes of the figures.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hobble Skirt Cars on Broadway

This postcard shows a procession of hobble skirt cars on Broadway in New York City. the following information is from the back of the postcard:
The new surface cars now so numerous on Broadway were first introduced in 1914. The central portion of the cars is built close to the ground and the doors are in the center of the car, the steps being only about 6 inches from the ground.
This postcard was mailed in 1916. It has a picture that was used by more than one postcard publisher.  The picture can be dated 1914 from the sign advertising "Too Many Cooks" on the Kaiser Hof Bar/Cafe building on the right. "Too Many Cooks" was a comedy that opened Feb 24, 1914 and closed in September 1914.  Below is a review dated February 26, 1914.

Another sign on the building advertises the Shapiro Bernstein Co., an American music publishing company established in 1900 and still in existence.     

The hobble skirt cars would have made it easier for women wearing hobble skirts to enter, though by 1914 the hobble skirts had lost their popularity. Hobble skirts, that were narrow around the ankle and made movement difficult, were most popular around 1910-1913. The drawings below are from a 1910 New York Times article that called them "the latest freak in woman's fashions."

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Warm Fireside Greetings

This writing reminder postcard is part of a fireside series by an unidentified publisher: "No. 621--Fireside--11 Des."

I get a nice warm feeling just looking at this picture. It sure would be nice to have a cozy fireside corner like this on a cold day like today. Luckily I have an electric heater to help me stay warm when the heating system can't quite keep the temperature warm enough for me.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Evolution of the Piano

The Evolution of the Piano postcard above is circa 1910/1911. It advertises R. K. Maynard Piano Company of Chicago pianos and player pianos with "Quality High" and "Price Low." To me, the message is "Buy one of our pianos and your home will look as cultured and elegant as the one in this picture." There appears to be quite a bit of artistic license involved. Why would the woman (whether mother or teacher) be wearing a dress with a train? What time of the day is it? I would expect a child's lesson to be in the afternoon, when the "father" in the background would be at work making money to support this lifestyle. I wondered, also, whether the picture above the piano was meant to represent a specific type of instrument and/or famous composer.

Chicago became a major player in piano manufacturing during the 19th century. Little is known now about the Maynard Piano Company. It appears on a list of Piano Manufacturers in Illinois with a date of 1905. A 1910 ad from the The Music Trade Review gives locations for both offices and factory. From what I could find on the internet, however, it was not clear whether Maynard was actually a manufacturer. One source said that "Popular pianos bearing this name are from the factory of the Werner Piano Co., Chicago, Ill." Another source said that "The hugely successful M. Schulz Piano Company manufactured and sold pianos under the names of Walworth, Bradford, Irving, and Maynard in addition to their premier line of M. Schulz brand pianos." 

The real photo postcard below shows a woman sitting at a piano in a more modest looking environment. There is no information available on this postcard. The piano top was a popular place to display pictures. I enlarged the area with the pictures to show their details and variety..

The video on the Evolution of the Piano shows some of the early instruments that preceded the modern acoustic piano and ends with Kurzweil digital pianos.

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