Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Greater Chicago Postcard Show - November 5-6 2010

The Greater Chicago Postcard and Paper Show is scheduled for Friday Nov 5 - Sat Nov 6 on Chicago's south side. This show is well-attended by dealers and provides a wide range of offerings for the postcard collector. I always find a treasure or two - or three - for my collection there. Having become a regular attendee in recent years, dealers often have something they've put aside or added to their boxes they think I might be interested in.

Full details here. Click image for larger view:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Windy City Postcard Show - Chicago October 23rd 2010

For those living in the Chicagoland area who find themselves at a loose end this weekend, the Windy City Postcard Show is a perfect opportunity to have some fun pursuing your postcarding passion and adding to your collection.

Details are as follows: Click on image for larger view:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Milwaukee Postcard Show - A Report

I attended the Milwaukee Postcard Club show over the weekend (Sunday, October 17). This show is always well-supported by dealers and all the space available was taken. It's much more pleasant to spend a couple of hours face-to-face with people chatting about postcarding and their latest finds, much better than emailing or looking at web sites. Reflecting the continuing weak economic conditions there were plenty of bargains to be obtained, it's  nice to find a pleasant surprise or two in the dollar boxes after patiently searching away for awhile. Attendance was fairly strong until about noon when numbers suddenly dropped off and I was out the door myself by about 1:30 pm with another stack of cards for the collection.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Curt Teich Publishing Co Marketing Sampler

A Curt Teich Publishing Co marketing sampler for postcards in the form of a postcard folder distributed to the hospitality industry - hotel/motels, restaurtants, bars and the like - to encourage them to stock the company's postcards for sale or as giveaways to guests: (Click on images for full view)

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Holland Tunnel by Automobile, New York City, circa 1920s

The Holland Tunnel already looks to be congested in the 1920s. No wonder they had to take ferries too...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Skating Down at the Empire

It's Saturday night! Let's go skating down at the Empire in Brooklyn New York. Linen postcard dated 1944.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Monon Railroad - The Hoosier Streamliner Leaving Chicago

circa 1940s or 50s linen postcard, Curteich publisher.

The Monon Railroad's "The Hoosier" pulls out of Chicago on its run south to Indiana, the Hoosier state.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wireless Communication, Radio-Style

Listening to a couple of "oldies" talking the other day, I recalled how wireless had a different meaning to people in the first half of the twentieth century, and maybe a few decades beyond that. "Wireless" meant radio. The conversation I was listening to was between "ham" radio operators who used to contact others via short wave radio. The hobby still survives but is much reduced in numbers as what was once a major exercise, but a thrilling one - long distance wireless communication - has since become mundane with the advent of the likes of Skype etc. Short wave operators issued their own postcards to confirm they had made contact with other "hammies" around the world.

The postcard above, of course, is not of ham radio operators but a World War II signal team using radio in the field, reminding us of the importance of the wireless in military operations. Its use extended to civilian industries such as marine shipping, aviation, and commercial radio. The radio set in the home for receiving news and musical entertainment was usually simply referred to as "the wireless"

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mailbox Mystery Solved!

Ever wonder what happens to your mail once you put it in the mailbox?

Yesterday, everything fell into place. It's all in the cards, as the say...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Motor Cycle Sidecar Mounted Machine Gun, circa World War I

With all the unpleasantness on the roads these days, with road rage and the like, sometimes I feel obliged to pack a little extra heat. The "lemon squeezer" hats are real head-turners too. (click image for full view).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bell Line Motor Coach Bus postcard, circa 1920s

Time to hit the road... in a Bell Line Motor Coach providing interstate bus service up & down the West Coast. Just 30 1/2 hours between San Francisco, CA and Portland, OR. Mapquest advises I should be able to drive that trip in 10 hrs 19 mins today. Click image for larger view.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Southern Pacific Railroad Train, Sunset Route, circa 1913

Southern Pacific Railroad Train, Sunset Route, circa 1913
For those who were missing the trains.... This stunning example of postcard art advises in the caption on the reverse of the Southern Pacific Railroad's safety achievements in 1913.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Logging - III

Then rail 'em out for further milling...

 Logging Train in California
 American Lumber Co Mill, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Logging - II

Haul 'em, saw them...

Poor darn horses... surely those two horses weren't expected to haul that load?!

Logging Load on skids - logs rolling across ground - makes it possible for two horses to pull a huge load of logs. Someone suggested these are Morgan horses, that like Clydesdales, are bred to haul heavy loads.

Logging Camp in Kentucky Mountains, with donkey engine for basic milling before transport to lumber mill.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Logging - I

Chop 'em, fell 'em - get outta the way! T-i-m-b-e-r!

 Logging timber in Washington with double handled saws

 Felling a tree in Idaho

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hay Fever

Another band that was coy about having their faces shown (see first post on this blog). This time in the New York - Canada region.

Farming Pastoral Series Published by W G MacFarlane Buffalo New York and Toronto circa 1910.

Make hay while the sun shines!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Roadside America - Gas Station, Wisconsin Dells

A popular collecting niche for Roadside America postcards is gas stations.

Here's a particularly nice one, the Lower Dells Filling Station, Wisconsin Dells, WI linen postcard, sporting a Phillips 66 sign.

The caption on the reverse boasts "superior service with courteous attendants at your command".

I drove past the Dells a few weeks back, but I didn't spot anything approaching this level of service or architectural aesthetic.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Trains, trains, trains...

From streamliner trains, to miniature trains, to train diners, to toy trains... on postcards, we've got 'em all!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Streamliner Train Diner - Roadside America

Trains, Roadside America-style

The Boggs Bros Airway Diner US 101 San Diego CA on a linen postcard

 click image for larger view

Monday, August 23, 2010

Baseball postcard: Looking For A Home Run

circa early 1900s. click image for larger view.

What this little guy lacks in technique, he makes up for with heart. Play ball!

A pity they can't stay this age because I've heard that when they grow up they're real bears!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Little Miss Muffet and postcards

Artist signed Marsh Lambert, postally used 1917 (click image for full view)

Little Miss Muffet,
Sat on her tuffet...

But she got off her tuffet to mail a postcard!

Why don't you mail a postcard?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mr Pineapple Head - Fantasy Postcard

Some of the expressions and humor on vintage postcards are lost to us today as usage & word definitions have changed over time.

While I get the obvious reference and visual association with pineapple in the card below, the meaning of the reference to "Indian" is less obvious until one does some digging around and finds the use of the pineapple by indigenous peoples of the Americas.

The past as they say is a foreign country.

circa 1910

Friday, August 20, 2010

Full Steam Ahead - The New Zealand Railways Gang At Oamaru circa 1905

Then there are rppc trains...

The New Zealand Railways Gang At Oamaru circa 1905. Produced as a Christmas Greeting postcard as was the custom at train stations at the time. 
(click on image for larger view) 
A Q Class locomotive of New Zealand Railways at Oamaru, South Island circa 1905. RPPC was sent as a Christmas greeting to family members from the gang at the Oamaru station. Sender remarks that the loco's lamp is one of the latest electric lamps from a workshop in Chicago.

Many decades later I rode the freight trains at Oamaru with my uncle who was a guard (conductor - yeah, I know no passengers so no tickets to punch; a guard "guarded" the train, not for "security" but "(rail)road" safety). By those times, diesels had taken over. Good times - toasting sandwiches on the pot belly stove in the caboose (guard's van). In the steam era, got to ride up front in the cab, shoveling some coal, blowing the whistle, hand on the throttle or whatever they call it, head out the window, cinders in the eye...

Sadly, kids can't do that anymore thanks to occupational safety and health. Go play a video game, kid. Wouldn't trade those memories for anything (sniff). God bless you Uncle Norman, up there in the big roundhouse in the sky.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Streamliner Trains - Part IV - The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad

Linen postcard examples of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, depicting the Champion and Florida Special trains of the 1940s and 50s. Click on images for larger views.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Streamliner Trains - Part III - Southern Pacific Railroad

For the enthusiasts of steam locomotives, a Southern Pacific streamliner on the Daylight Express run in California:

click on image for larger view. linen postcard, circa 1940s

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Streamliner Trains - Part II - A Medley of Western Railroads Los Angeles

This streamliner line up in Los Angeles in the 1960s consists of the Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, and Santa Fe - all three in a row...

 click on image for larger view. chrome postcard, circa 1960s.

Streamliner Trains - Part I - Santa Fe Railroad

There are streamliner trains - influenced by the art deco period - of the 1930s to 1950s

The linen postcards of streamliner trains are the most impressive. Here are some views of trains of the Santa Fe line:

A full on image of a Santa Fe streamliner
(click on image for larger view)

A Santa Fe streamliner passing through the orange groves of California. linen postcard
(click on image for larger view)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Miniature Railroad Trains

There are miniature trains:

Coney Island Dreamland Amusement Park Miniature Train, circa 1910
(click on image for larger view) 

Miniature Train at Nut Tree Farm, Vacaville, California,  circa 1960s
(click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Postcard World Magazine - A Brief Review

Postcard World Magazine cover, May/June 2010 issue. (click image for larger view)

Many of us were disappointed when the Postcard Collector magazine abruptly ceased publication a couple of years back. It left a huge void in the U.S. for those wanting to keep up with news and information in the postcard collecting world. Now the Postcard World magazine published by Mary Martin Ltd has neatly bridged the gap with its new offering in the market place. Its glossy, color format does full justice to the postcard views found within its covers. Some of the regular columnists in the old Postcard Collector are back too, including Bob Bogdan on real photo cards and Don Preziosi on linen postcards as well as new columns, features, and topics such as modern postcards, postcard club corner, and articles on art nouveau, Coney Island postcards, and National Postcard Week.

Bob Bogdan's column on real personal photo postcards is a personal favorite, including in each column some fascinating images, background on the places, people or pursuits pictured, and something about the photographers. The social history captured on these rppcs is revealing.

More about Postcard World Magazine here.
A recent Bogdan column on real photo postcards (click image for larger view)

Disclosure: I have no financial or other connection with Postcard World Magazine or Mary Martin Ltd. This post is not a paid advertisement.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oil-Free Oysters - Oyster Dredging on Chesapeake Bay, Virginia postcard

Oil-free oysters - from Chesapeake Bay, circa 1905-1910. Of course, bacterial infection could still do you in. Do they suggest Gulf oysters be flambe'd these days? (click image for larger view).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What Are They Looking For?

Czech postcard, postally-used 1938 (Click image for full view)

What are they looking for????

Could they all have dropped a penny on the ground at the same time?

Or are they under starter's orders for the 100m sprint? If so, I predict chaos in about 3 seconds!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Slightly Leaning Tower of New Bern, North Carolina

The Slightly Leaning Tower of New Bern, North Carolina:

First Presbyterian Church New Bern NC linen postcard – sender writes on back “this church steeple leans several degrees toward the street. The Union soldiers invaded this coastal area from the seas, over running New Bern. There are many names of Union soldiers marked & carved in the wood work of the inside of this steeple.” (click image for full view)

 First Presbyterian Church of New Bern, North Carolina

Monday, January 18, 2010

Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

In this Great Recession, as it has been called, many have taken this hen's advice to heart. Mother used to tell her children something she learned from her mother: "Don't put all your eggs in one basket", a lesson we have all learned well. Diversification is a cardinal rule of portfolio management if you are to protect your nest egg. Sadly, many forgot that simple lesson and are now scratching around in business for themselves. May they sell eggs and prosper.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Would-Be Sport

The Would-Be Sport, artist signed, Katharine Gassaway for the Rotograph Co. circa 1906.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Artist

The Artist

The artist starts out with a high hope,
For "the higher ideals" he will grope:
But before very long
He changes his song,
And draws pictures to advertise soap!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Reading Both Sides of the Postcard

Cheer Up, The Worst Is Yet to Come

Reading both sides of a postcard can be an object lesson in putting life - and death - into perspective. The above picture view on this postcard in a rather cute and humorous way tells us to cheer up because the worst is yet to come.

The message on the reverse of the card, brings us back to earth, jarringly:

click on image for larger view

postmarked Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 2, 1916

"Dear Sister,  We all pulled through the fearful heat all right, but it killed hundreds up here. Have had two days of delightfully cool breezes and the survivors are perking up. Hope you all managed to slip through. Last two days of it about knocked the ambition out of me."  Edw.

Subsequent heat waves in Chicago, in 1936 and 1995, resulted in high death tolls, 297 and 525 respectively.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dog Days At the Beach

I once knew a little dog exactly like this one. Funnily enough, he was smarter than his human...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Boyz Will Be Boyz

Strutting his stuff at the Seville Peacock Farm, 15 miles north of St Petersburg, Florida in this 1950s linen postcard. Boys will be boys...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stop Monkeying Around!

Monkeys In Pedal Car Monkey Jungle Florida 1950s postcard

In the 1950s, you could make fun of the backseat driving advice given by the Princess pictured above. No more monkey business! Times have changed for the better. Pedal power is still cheaper than gas.