Saturday, April 26, 2014

Children's Stamp 1956

The 3-cent Children's Stamp was issued on December 15, 1956, in Washington, DC. It was issued to promote friendship among the children of the world. The design features a group of children "looking toward the right in the pleasurable prospect of attaining the radiant Key of Friendship with which to unlock the doors to peace." (source: Arago)

This is a Velvetone Maximum card produced and distributed by Edwin P. Haworth. Note the instructions at the bottom of the back: Even if bearing a stamp on other side, this card  MUST NOT be mailed unless bearing two cents postage on this side." 

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

Friday, April 25, 2014

Grow Your Own California Redwood

Today is National Arbor Day in the United States. National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates according to their best tree-planting times. Other countries that celebrate Arbor Day also do so on different dates.

The American Arbor Day originated in Nebraska in 1872. (Read about its history here). One of the traditional ways to celebrate Arbor Day is to plant a tree. This postcard is a "SEEDCARD" ©1966 with a packet of Genuine California Redwood Seeds. The card folds up for mailing. Inside the card there are planting instructions and information about redwoods.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Renfro Valley Barn Dance & Old Joe Clark

The square dancing on the postcard above is at the Renfro Valley Barn Dance which was broadcast on radio throughout the U. S. on Saturday nights. This postcard is from the late 1950s.

Renfro Valley Barn Dance was an American country music stage and radio show originally carried by WLW-AM in Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday nights. It debuted on October 9, 1937 from the Cincinnati Music Hall and moved to the Memorial Auditorium in Dayton, Ohio. . . . The show later moved to larger quarters near Mt. Vernon, Kentucky in November 1939 and was carried by WHAS-AM in Louisville, the NBC Radio Network and WCKY-AM in Cincinnati. The program is no longer broadcast, but a live show bearing its name takes place on Saturday nights at the Renfro Valley Entertainment Center in Renfro Valley, Kentucky. A sister program, the Renfro Valley Gatherin' (established in 1943), continues to air. (source: Wikipedia).  

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2014. You can read more about its history here, and you can listen to some of the Renfro Valley Gatherin Radio Shows here.

The next two postcards are probably from the 1960s. The man with the white beard is Old Joe Clark. "Old Joe Clark" is the name of a popular song and was the stage name of Manuel Clark (1922-1998) who performed from the 1940s into the 1990s on the Barn Dance as a singer, banjo player, and comedian. He is described as "A Living Legend" on the back of the postcards and "star of film and T. V., artist of the nationally famous Renfro Valley Barn Dance each Saturday night."

Play this Renfro Valley 1965 Movie Clip video to see see some good old time square dancing and hear some good old time country music.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Garden Tools

The postcard above is one of a series of twelve postcards with 1912 monthly calendars and timely advertising of hardware products. The main illustration shows a person from the Colonial era engaged in an activity with a tool. A small image of a contemporary tool adjoins a written advertising message. This March postcard is about gardening tools and features a wheelbarrow.
The Colonial gentleman's garden was his recreation, his health, and his pride, as it is with good people everywhere today. Half the pleasure is in having the right tools – special hoes, forks, hooks, spades and trowels for different uses – post-hole diggers, garden plows, steel wheelbarrows, every modern tool and implement essential to a blooming garden or a well-kept lawn, including grass flower and vegetable seeds. Spring is here – the garden calls – come and get your tools! We'll make the price right.

The postcard below is one that was sent to my father about 50 years later (and 50 years ago now) from a local Nursery & Garden Center. A variety of garden tools are pictured. The tools look much like the garden tools still in use, but the design of the bagged products has a definite vintage look.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Commemorating the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Illinois, and Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party candidate. The main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery. The debates were held in seven different Illinois: Ottawa on August 21, Freeport on August 27, Jonesboro on September 15, Charleston on September 18, Galesburg on October 7, Quincy on October 13, and Alton on October 15.

Above is a maximum card with a stamp commemorating the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. The stamp was issued on August 27, 1958 in Freeport, the centennial of the debate held in Freeport. The postcard commemorates the 1959 sesquicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

The postcard below commemorates the October 7 debate in Galesburg.

The back of the above postcard has a cancellation on October 7, 1958, the centennial of the Galesburg debate at Knox College.

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Century of Progress Exposition -- Chicago World's Fair -- Four Major Buildings

The postcard above shows four of the major buildings of the Century of Progress International Exposition that was held in Chicago in 1933 and 1934. These buildings were all temporary structures with plane surfaces and without windows--less architecture than stage setting.

In 1933, a palette of 25 bold colors was used to to tie the buildings together and serve as backgrounds. The postcards below give an idea of how the buildings were painted in 1933. In 1934, the second year of the fair, the color palette was more subdued, with much more white.

Beautiful, colorful, immense in its ground area. The Hall of Science at A Century of Progress, Chicago's 1933 World's Fair, probably houses the most fascinating exhibits on the grounds of the Exposition.

A water view of the Electrical Group at A Century of Progress, Chicago. Within these flaming walls the marvels of this electrical age are presented in fascinating exhibits that dramatize progress since Pascal, Morse, Edison and Marconi.

The Travel and Transport Building Some is 125 feet high and 200 feet across, without a single arch, pillar, beam or other support to break its expanse. It is said to be the largest unobstructed area to be enclosed beneath a single roof.

The Federal Building is 620 feet long by 300 feet wide, with a rotunda 70 feet in diameter surmounted by a 75-foot dome around which the three fluted towers are grouped. The Federal Building adjoins the Hall of the States.

I have a large collection of Century of Progress postcards. I originally became interested in collecting them because my parents had worked at the fair. Below is a photo of my father who worked in the lagoon patrol. The Federal Government Building is in the background.

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lilies of the Valley

This is a recent Russian postcard with a creative view of a 1973 Soviet Lily of the Valley stamp. The title on the back of the postcard is "Lily of the Valley in May." Lilies of the Valley bloom in the Spring, and I am more than ready for Spring. I love their smell and wish they would bloom for a longer time.

The words at the top of the stamp "лекарственные растения" mean "medicinal plant," and this stamp is part of a series of medicinal plant stamps (large scans of the stamps are shown here). I never knew that Lilies of the Valley were medicinal plants. You can read about their medicinal use here. Lilies of the Valley are also poisonous. The flowers, fruit, and leaves of the lily of the valley plant are poisonous when eaten. There is a long list of symptoms here.

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

Friday, April 4, 2014

April 1 Fish

This is an old French postcard for April 1. The words at the bottom "Ils diront celle qui vous aime" translate as "They say one who loves you."

Fish are featured on many early 20th-century French April Fools' Day postcards. In France and some other countries, the April Fool's Day tradition is known as "April fish" (poisson d'avril in French). This involves attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim's back without being noticed. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Postcards from the Edge

One of North Carolina's principal scenic attractions along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

In the Porcupine Mountains, highest section of Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.

Beautiful scenic views are found throughout the colorful and rustic Ozark Mountains.

A lake will fill approx. 450 feet of this 1,700 deep canyon when the Upper Colorado River dam project is completed (ca. 1957)

Children feeding the chipmunk at this famous and beautiful National Park.

Looking southeast, Spokane, Washington

In general, I consider most postcards of scenic views extremely boring and uncollectible. However, I do like the views that include people. I think that the inclusion of people really makes the view more interesting and alive. I also enjoy seeing the people dressed in what is now vintage clothing.

One category that I look for are those that I call "vicarious views." These are ones that include a human observer of the view in the foreground and enable me to view the scene vicariously. The postcards in this post all have the observer on the edge of something, so I am calling them Postcards from the Edge.

The videos below have nothing, other than the title, in common with my Postcards from the Edge or the famous Postcards from the Edge book and movie. The videos document the 16th annual Postcards from the Edge exhibition, a benefit for the Visual AIDS organization, whose mission is utilizing art "to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over." The exhibition consists of original, postcard-sized works on paper by established and emerging artists. The art is sold to benefit the organization's mission.

Watch the videos and get a vicarious view of the exhibition.

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