Posts Tagged ‘vintage postcard’

Washington Park and Sloane House Hotel – Sandusky, Ohio

June 24, 2012

Washington Park and Sloane House, Sandusky, O.

Rectangular, approximately 3 1/2″ X 5 1/2″ (~86mm X 136mm) (standard postcard size)

The Illustrated Postal Card Co., New York & Leipzig

47-2 (lower left corner of back)

Undivided back



A glimpse of the center of Sandusky, Ohio as it existed over a century ago.  This post card is undated, but was likely printed between 1900 and 1906, before the beginning of the divided-back postcard era in early 1907.  Although not postally used, there is an ink inscription along the vertical white strip on the right side of the front.  One can deduce that this postcard was enclosed in a letter with other postcards, since the inscription reads, “In the P. C. ‘Washington Row,’, notice the Sloane House with porch & balconie [sic].”  Indeed, there was a postcard titled “Washington Row, Sandusky, O.”, that was printed in the same time-frame as this postcard, but I do not have that postcard.  The inscriptions on some postcards are self-referential, such as “I visited this place today.”, but this is an interesting example of a postcard inscription that refers to a different postcard!  Although the printed postcard title identifies the major structure as the “Sloane House”, I call it the Sloane House Hotel, in order to distinguish the hotel, which was built in 1880 and razed in 1957, from the still-standing Sloane House, which was the personal residence of Rush R. Sloane, and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The original photograph for this printed postcard was taken from the vantage point of one of the upper floors of the Erie County Courthouse, which is located on Columbus Avenue on the other side of Washington Park.  That explains the flower bed in the postcard image that has the flowering plants arranged to spell the word “COURTHOUSE.”  One of the more well-known guests of the Sloane House Hotel was Katherine Hepburn.  She and another actor, Ann Harding, were touring in the autumn of 1940 to promote the film “The Philadelphia Story”, and stayed a night in the Sloane House Hotel.  Apparently, Ann Harding was a descendent of Rush Sloane.

Sandusky, Ohio is the County Seat of Erie County, and is located on Lake Erie at the mouth of the Sandusky River.  Visitors from all over the world come to Sandusky to go to nearby Cedar Point amusement park.Sloan House Hotel Sloan Hotel


2D and 3D Angels – Easter Greeting postcard and April angel ceramic figurine

April 12, 2012

Presented here are two representations of angels – one in two dimensions and the other in three dimensions.  First, a vintage postcard, postmarked in 1910:

Easter Greeting - International Series No. 1142 - obverse

Easter Greeting - International Series No. 1142 - obverse

The front of the Easter Greeting postcard shows a sprig of lilies of the valley flowers, with a rectangular inset in which is depicted a beautiful angel with a silver halo.  She holds a scroll in her left hand.  The back of the postcard shows that the card was published by the International Art Publishing Company, and that this postcard is in the Series number 1142.

Easter Greeting - International Series No. 1142 - reverse

Easter Greeting - International Series No. 1142 - reverse

The three dimensional angel is a porcelain figurine of an angel.   The APRIL emblazoned on her purple sash indicates that this angel is meant to represent the qualities of April, the first full month of Spring.  She holds a wicker basket of Easter eggs in her right hand, and cradles a white bunny rabbit in her left.

April - Porcelain angel figurine holding a bunny rabbit and a basket of Easter eggs - Japan

April - Porcelain angel figurine holding a bunny rabbit and a basket of Easter eggs - Japan

Angel of God, my guardian dear,

To whom God’s love commits me here,

Ever this day, be at my side

To light and guard, to rule and guide.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt – Died on April 12, 1945

April 12, 2011

It was an ordinary Spring day in 1945 when my mother took the car to pick up her father from the barber shop, where he was getting a haircut.  She expected that he would be ready, or nearly so, but as she stopped the car in front of the barber shop and looked through the big plate-glass window, what she saw astonished and perplexed her.  There was her father in the barber’s chair, but the barber had scissors held motionless in mid-air!  In fact, there was no movement at all of the barber, her father or any of the customers.  And they all were staring fixedly at the wall!  It was as though she were gazing into a wax museum!  The traffic was building up behind her automobile, so she drove around the block.  When she returned to the shop, her father was ready to be picked up.  She inquired, “Whatever was happening in the barber shop, that everyone was frozen?”  Her father replied, “We were all intently listening to the radio.  You see, the radio announcer was broadcasting the news that our president, Franklin Roosevelt, has died.”  The date was April 12, 1945.  President Roosevelt died at 3:35 PM, and the news quickly spread across the nation.  Commercial broadcast television was less than four years old, and the few commercial television stations that did exist at the time were off the air during World War II, so the news flash about president Roosevelt’s death was transmitted mostly through the radio medium.  According to the Wikipedia entry for John Charles Daly, Mr Daly, who was a reported for CBS radio, was “…the first to relay the wire service report of the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, interrupting “Wilderness Road” to deliver the news.”  the other primary means of disseminating information at that time was the print media, and, at that time, the print medium that was able to deliver news to the citizenry the fastest was the daily newspaper.  President Roosevelt died in “the little White House” in Warm Springs, Georgia, and the Augusta Chronicle published two newspaper articles about the unexpected death of the president in its issue of April 13, 1945.  But it was the radio announcement that had the most impact on the people who heard it.  My mother, and I’m sure her father, too, remembered for the rest of their lives exactly where they were when they heard the news that president Roosevelt had died.  On his blogsite Moments with Clyde, Clyde McDonnell tells the story of the exact circumstances when he heard the news of FDR’s death, thus:

“I was 12 years old when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died. It was on Thursday, April 12, 1945. I heard the news on the radio of one of my customers on my newspaper route. I sat down on the street curb and cried. I felt as if God had died.”

If you have a story about where you or a relative were when hearing of the death of President Roosevelt, please add a comment at the bottom of  this post, and I will consider including it.

Lake Taneycomo from Point Lookout - School of the Ozarks - obverse

Lake Taneycomo from Point Lookout - School of the Ozarks - obverse

Lake Taneycomo from Point Lookout - School of the Ozarks - reverse

Lake Taneycomo from Point Lookout - School of the Ozarks - reverse

Very soon after the president’s death, The Post Office Department announced a series of four commemorative postage stamps: The design of the stamps all show the portrait of FDR in an oval on the left side of the stamp, with “Roosevelt” centered under the oval, and “1882” and “1945” bracketing the lower area of the oval.  The three cent stamp was issued first (in 1945, three cents was the first-class postage rate to mail a letter that weighed less than one ounce), with a first day of issue of June 74, 1945.  The one cent commemorative stamp was issued next (one cent was the rate to send a post card in 1945), on July 26, 1945.  The two cent stamp followed on August 24, 1945, and a five cent stamp rounded out the commemorative series, with a first day of issue of January 30, 1946.

So, the one cent stamp on this postcard had been available for a little under two months when Jennie applied it to the postcard that she sent to Clifford Daniels on September 14, 1945.  The postcard is postmarked with a machine cancel from Princeton, Illinois (the county seat of Bureau County).  The stamp was taken from the upper edge of the sheet of stamps, as indicated by the selvedge still attached to the top of the stamp.

The view on the obverse (front) of this linen-era postcard is:



The reverse (back) of the postcard has a short description of the origin of the word “Ozarks”:

“The origin of the name ‘Ozarks’ has been traced to a term used by early French-Canadian Trappers–‘Aux Arcs,’ meaning ‘with bows’–to designate Indian tribes native to this region.”

Bluebird of Happiness — Happiness of Bluebirds

March 13, 2011
Solid glass bluebird made by Fenton Glass

Solid glass bluebird made by Fenton Glass

For my birthday anniversary several years ago, my sister Susan (contributor to This Old Paper and Ditalini Press), presented me with a beautiful Fenton Glass bluebird. I have it on the fireplace mantle, where I can admire the cobalt-blue glass bird from my work desk.

In thanks for the pleasure derived from this solid-glass bluebird of happiness, I am mailing to Susan the original of the vintage postcard featuring bluebirds illustrated here:

Bluebirds postcard by Stecher (623 D) - obverse

Bluebirds postcard by Stecher (623 D) – obverse

Bluebirds postcard by Stecher (623 D) - reverse

Bluebirds postcard by Stecher (623 D) – reverse

The printed inscription on the front of the postcard is, “The Bluebirds bring to you my Greetings”. In the foreground, a pair of bluebirds are depicted perched on a rustic, wooden roost, while two more bluebirds can be seen soaring in the puffy-clouded sky in the background. A woman walks up the path toward the front door of a log cabin that features a red brick chimney. The grass is a verdant green, and two stout trees in full foliage round out this picturesque rural scene. in addition to black ink, the other colors of ink used to create this postcard appear to be brown, blue, red, and two shades of green. The entire perimeter is slightly embossed, as are the following features: The foreground bluebirds, the rustic wooden roost and the tufts of grass around the base of the roost, both trees, and the woman. The design is not artist signed.

This card is published and copyright by Stecher Lithographic Company, located in Rochester, New York. The small, circular Stecher logo is located in the lower left corner of the front of the post card. It reads: STECHER LITH. CO. ROCH. N. Y. around the circumference of a circle with a C in the middle of it:

Stecher Lithographic Company (623 D) - Detail of logo

Stecher Lithographic Company (623 D) – Detail of logo

A short company history of the Stecher Lithographic Company is found in volume XXXV (1982) of the University of Rochester LIbrary Bulletin, in an article entitled “Nineteenth Century Rochester Fruit and Flower Plates” by Karl Sanford Kabelac. The article is available online at the University of Rochester‘s River Campus Libraries website, posted by the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation. Scroll nearly halfway down the webpage for the section about The Stecher Lithographic Company. Although the focus of the article pertains to printers in the Rochester, New York area who made plates (prints) of fruits and flowers to illustrate the catalogues of the botanical offerings of local nurseries, the Stecher Lithographic Company also printed numerous postcards during the golden age of postcards. Wikipedia mentions that Frances Brundage illustrated for the Stecher Lithographic Company, although the entry does not specifically state that she illustrated postcards for Stecher, which also printed illutrated books.

On the reverse of this bluebirds greetings postcard, we find out that this is Stecher’s postcard Series 623 D (lower left corner). The ‘D’ indicates that this postcard is the fourth design in series 623. In addition to being sold individually, postcards often were sold in packets, and the postcards in a thematic packet would bear the same series number, but each unique postcard design within the packet would have its own letter designation. For example, if a packet contained twelve postcards, each with a unique design, then the postcards typically would have letter designations from ‘A’ through ‘L’ following the series number.

The back of this postcard has the phrase “MADE IN U. S. A.” located about a third of the way from the top of the message side. The phrases “FOR CORRESPONDENCE” and “FOR ADDRESS ONLY” (each underlined) are symmetrically located at the top of the vertical divider line, on the left side and the right side, respectively. The stamp box in the upper right corner of the reverse is defined by two, nested thin lines, and is nearly square, being only slightly higher than wide. Inside the stampbox are three lines of text:




The words “POST CARD” are centrally featured across the top of the back of the postcard. The letters have slight serifs, and the serifs at the ends of the horizontal bar of the “T” both point out (away from the central, vertical bar of the “T”).. The “C” of CARD has lots of curvilinear flourishes emanating from it.

The card is postally unused, but there is a name written in pencil, toward the top of the address side of the postcard. The name is crudely scrawled, and written over an erasure, but appears to be “Mr. A. Teribery”. Having never passed through the United States Post Office, there is no postmark date to use as a temporal guide. However, since the postcard has a vertical divider line, allowing for a message to be placed on the back of the card, then the card must have been printed after March 1, 1907, which is the date that the U. S. Post Office allowed a message to be written on the side of the postcard that had previously been reserved for the address only.  Based on the physical characteristics of the card, as well as the postmarks of other Stecher Lithographic Company postcards in my collection, a reasonable estimate of publication date for this particular postcard is in the range of 1907 to around 1925.

“For your Happiness”, here is another Stecher postcard featuring bluebirds:

For your Happiness - Stecher Series 683 D - obverse

For your Happiness – Stecher Series 683 D – obverse

For your Happiness - Stecher Series 683 D - reverse

For your Happiness – Stecher Series 683 D – reverse

The above postcard is in the Stecher Series 683, and also just happens to be the ‘D’ design of the series. The front of the postcard features a four-line verse in the upper-right quadrant:

I’m sending these Bluebirds

As a merry sign

Of the Joy I’m wishing

A friend of mine.

The font of the verse is an italic, sans-serif font, printed in black ink. Underneath the verse are two large bluebirds in flight, with wings intersecting, as well as a smaller bluebird in flight near the bottom of the postcard. The other major design element of the postcard front is a vignette of a rural farm scene, with a stylized birch tree in the foreground, just to the left of a winding dirt path that leads to a farm house and barn in the background. There is a flag flying on a flagpole to the right of the barn, and a tall, conical structure behind the farm house, which might be meant to represent a silo. The left side of the design is bordered with eight daisy-like flowers, on green stems of varying lengths. Underneath the farm vignette is printed in black ink: FOR YOUR HAPPINESS, with flourishes on the ‘F’, ‘R’, ‘H’ and “N’. The entire edge of the postcard is bordered in light blue, and the Stecher Lithographic Company logo (identical to the Stecher logo in the first postcard) is printed in black ink in the lower-left corner. The bluebirds and the daisies (stems included) are lightly embossed. As with many, if not the majority, of the postcards that feature a small vignette as the primary design element, this postcard is not artist signed.

The printing on the “For your Happiness” postcard back is identical to the printing on the reverse of the first Stecher postcard. This postcard, however, bears a stamp, although it is not postally used. The inscription, is written in black ink with a fountain pen:

“Many happy returns of the Day, is the wish of your friend”

is signed by Alwine Buth, and addressed to:

Miss Tena Memken.

1459 Bates Ave.


Using only online search engine queries (without recourse to databases available through special library-only access), I was able to determine that the “City” is Springfield, Illinois. Please comment below if you figure out what search terms were used in the online search to identify the name of the city. Arriving at a credible estimate of the date that the postcard was printed or used is a bit more challenging, since the postcard, although stamped, was probably hand-delivered by Alwine Buth to Tena Memken, or was included in a letter written by Alwine Buth to Tena Memken, and thus was never postmarked by the U. S. Post Office.* However, the stamp itself reveals at least an earliest date that the postcard could have existed. This one cent, green stamp bearing the likeness of George Washington is similar to the style of postage stamp that was affixed to untold thousands of vintage postcards. Stamps that all look pretty much identical to the postage stamp on this postcard were issued for nearly eleven years, from February 12, 1912 tthrough January 16, 1923. Without close examination, these one cent stamps all look the same. However, there are subtle differences in the stamp as it was released and rereleased by the Post Office Department. This particular stamp happens to be “Perf 11”, both horizontally and vertically, meaning that there are eleven perforations per each two millimeter length. The perf 11 version of this one-cent was issued on March 23, 1917, so this postcard was produced by Stecher (and then used by Alwine Buth) sometime after that date. Since (according to Alwine Buth was born in 1900, and Tena Memken was born in or about that same year, that would make Alwine seventeen years old or older at the time of penning this happy thought, and would explain why Tena was still a “Miss”, being in her late teens or early twenties.

*I favor the theory that, after wrting the postcard and placing a postage stamp on it, Alwine decided to write a longer message in the form of a letter to Tena, and thus included the postcard inside of the envelope that contained the letter, even though she had already put a postage stamp on the postcard. I base this theory on the evidence of two small (about one-qurter inch deep) tears in the top edge of the postcard, separated by approximately one and three-eigths of an inch, with semi-circular stress marks between the tears. I surmise that these might have developed when the postcard was (accidentally) mishandled while being removed from the envelope, the recipient not expecting there to be an enclosure other than the letter.

Let us now examine a non-Stecher vintage postcard featuring bluebirds:

The Bluebirds for Happiness - Obverse

The Bluebirds for Happiness – Obverse

The Bluebirds for Happiness - Reverse

The Bluebirds for Happiness – Reverse

This postcard features a four-line poem, entitled “The Bluebird for Happiness”

This merry little feathered friend,

So cheery, bright and blue,

Because he brings true happiness,

I’m sending him to you.

The postcard has been mailed, with a postmark cancellation from Swanton, Vermont, postmarked February 27, 1920. The postcard has been used as a birthday greeting, with this undated inscription, written in black ink using a fountain pen:

“Hello Dad, Many Happy Returns for your Birthday. You’ll soon be as old as I. Also wishing you many more Birthdays. Dorothy.”

The card is addressed to a Mr. B. E. Stearns, Swanton, Vermont, #5. 24. (Probably meaning Rural Route 5, Box 24.). The actual date of Mr. Stearn’s birthday anniversary is not stated. I wonder if it might have been February 29th, since 1920 was a leap year? Aha!! His birthdate WAS most likely February 29th!! I had been puzzled about the inscription of his daughter, but it is quite clear now! Talk about a conundrum! I couldn’t figure out why Dorothy would write: “You’ll soon be as old as I.” The only way that a father can credibly be said to be younger than his daughter is if the father has only one birthday anniversary every four years! Since Dorothy’s handwriting appears to be well developed, she was probably older than elementary-school age. This would mean that on February 29, 1920, her father would have been one of these ages (actual age/leap-year age): 52/13; 56/14; 60/15. My guess is that Dorothy was born when her father was 44 years old. If that were the case, then, when Dorothy was sixteen years old, her father would be celebrating his fifteenth leap-year birthday (actual age: sixty years old), and the postcard would make the most sense. That was fun! If I get an opportunity, I will try to research archival records to determine if my theory is borne out (Apologies for the intentional pun). Update: Research using Library Edition tells a different story. The Vermont death certificate for Burton E. Stearns gives a date of birth of February 19, 1857. Since 1857 is not a leap year, my solution to the puzzling birthday greeting message is disproven. By the way, Dorothy may have been named for her grandmother on her father’s side, since Burton E. Stearns was the son of Eldad A. Stearns and Dorothy Stearns (per the 1880 Federal Census), AKA Dolly Stearns (per the 1860 Federal Census).

Along the left edge of the reverse (back side of the postcard) is printed: Series 727, Messages — 24 Designs. Indeed, there is a very faint 727 in the lower left area of the obverse. I have not yet determined the printer or the publisher of this postcard, but the words “POST CARD” are distinctive, in that the angled descender of the letter R is a gentle arc that connects to the middle of the bottom of the letter D. Another distinguishing feature of POST CARD is the presence of a small dot in the center of the letter C. If anyone reading this post can shed light on the publisher, please comment below. The card is not embossed, but the front has what I term a pigskin surface, composed of fine, irregular indentations, probably to allow the ink to form a stronger bond with the surface of the card stock. Also of note is the white border around the front image, which indicates that this postcard was most likely printed in the United States rather than in Germany, probably sometime between 1914 and early 1920.

For some stunning photos of bluebirds in North Carolina, have a look at this post by Sweetbay, titled “Bluebirds in the Snow“.


Simmery Summery Day – Simmery Summery Birthday

February 18, 2011


Birthday Greetings - obverse
Birthday Greetings – obverse

Birthday Greetings


It is your birthday, and I wish you happiness.

You are passing another milestone;

May the miles that lie ahead of you go through

Plains of peace and over hills of joy.


Birthday Greetings - reverse

Birthday Greetings - reverse


On A Simmery Summery Day

On A Simmery Summery Day


To You Sweetheart, Aloha

To You Sweetheart, Aloha


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