Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

A couple of different Christmas themed postcards. The "Hollywood Christmas Snow" is an advertising card from the 50's while the Macy's Santa card (40's photo?) is a Fotofolio postcard published the 80's. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Denver Zephyrs

The Denver Zephyrs of 1936 boasted a 12-car length and were pulled by a twin-unit shovel-nose power car. They featured mahogany paneling in the lounge, hall, and dining areas, and technical innovations included a blue "night light" setting for sleeping car reading lamps and 110 volt outlets for electric shavers in the dressing-rooms. I love these trains!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

This Is The Place for Me

Postmarked 1913, the card has a trademark TB in a circle. Could be an early Tichnor Brothers who began publishing  in 1912. Seven years later, the 18th Amendment was ratified, no doubt because of folks like this!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"We Bathe The World"

"A Part of what goes on within the Famous Hot Springs Bath Houses"...I'm not really sure what IS going on here, but I think this is one strange postcard. Makes me think more of an asylum that a spa. The backs has the saying, "We Bathe The World"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Monkey" Business

Two linens showing Chimpanzees performing at there respective zoos. 
The 2 at the piano remind me of an old photo of the Gershwins!

On a more "serious" note, the chimp below gets his nails done.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Air Liner is Flying City

From the 1933 exposition in Chicago, "A Century of Progress" comes two postcards of a Boeing Wasp-Powered airplane for United Airlines. I love the cut-away graphics of the plane in this card.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

House of David Band

My first exposure to the House of David was a card that I saw on Postcard Roundup. I decided to go through my collection (a.k.a. "stack of shoe-boxes") and lo and behold, I found one!

They're sure are proud of their hair!
Here is a link to an interesting site about the House of David Band:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Edison Mazda Lighting

Not particularly "pretty" cards, but I do like the vintage GE logo on the back. The Hotel Potter card shows that it was made by the Detroit Publishing Co. The bottom card looks like it is from the same, but bears no markings.

The Hotel Potter was completed in 1903 and immediately became a landmark on the Santa Barbara coastline. Sadly it burned to the ground only 18 years later. The Hotel Del Monte was opened in 1880 by Charles Crocker (one of the Big Four that developed the Southern Pacific Railroad). The Del Monte was a favorite of the rich and famous. A young William Randolph Hearst practically lived at the Del Monte.

Mazda was a trademarked name registered by General Electric in 1909 (Thomas Edison formed GE in 1892) for incandescent light bulbs.

Anyone know if the light bulbs in the "Lovelight" series were Edison Mazda bulbs??

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wright and Lieutenant Humphreys in Flight, Oct. 19, 1909

We all know about Wilbur Wright, but what of Lieutenant Humphreys?...Born Frederick Erastus Humphreys, October 1883 in Summit, New Jersey. He attended Pennsylvania Military College and then West Point from which he graduated in1906.

Humphreys volunteered for assignment to the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps and was chosen by the Wright brothers to participate. On October 26, 1909, after three hours of instruction by Wilbur Wright, he became the first Army aviator to solo in a heavier-than-air craft, and thus the first pilot of what was to eventually become the United States Air Force.

Lieutenant Humphreys was inducted into the First Flight Society's shrine in 2009.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rike's Department Store 1853-1953

A very 50's looking postcard for the 100 anniversary of Rike's in Dayton, Ohio. By the late 1980's sections of the store were rented to other businesses and some floors formerly used for retail sales were totally abandoned. The store was closed in 1992 and stood more or less empty until the entire half-city block complex was demolished by implosion in 1999. You can watch that implosion here ! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Tunnel Vision"

In spite of the Turnpike Commission dubbing the new road "The World's Greatest Highway", the Turnpike was popularly known as the "Tunnel Highway". Many souvenirs promoted the original stretch's seven tunnels through Pennsylvania's Appalachian Mountains. These tunnels, from east to west, bored through Blue Mountain, Kittatinny Mountain, Tuscarora Mountain, Sideling Hill, Ray's Hill, Allegheny Mountain, and Laurel Hill.

Above: The Bankhead Tunnel runs underneath the Mobile River in Alabama. The tunnel was built in sections and floated to the proper positions, then sunk. Each section was sunk next to the previous section and joined underwater. Only passenger cars and pickup trucks are still allowed to travel through the tunnel, as it is very narrow.

Construction of the Liberty Tunnels began in 1919. The boring of the 5889 foot tubes was completed in 1922. When the Liberty Tunnels were opened to traffic in 1924, they were considered an engineering marvel. The nearly two-mile span was the longest tunnel in the country at that time.

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's Wonderful at the Whitcomb!

This card makes me feel good! I don’t know if it’s the bright colors, the cartoonish figures or seeing all of the fun that one could have there, but it makes me smile!

The Whitcomb opened its doors to an elite and admiring crowd on May 3, 1928 when the "roaring twenties" were still roaring, and Americans, many of them rich, albeit only on paper, were enjoying unprecedented prosperity. 

 Not surprisingly, the Whitcomb became a gathering place for an A-list of celebrities, among them Joe DiMaggio, Eleanor Roosevelt among others.

 Unfortunately, a combination of factors, including the Depression, WWII and the end of steamship passenger service in the latter part of the 1940s, caused the hotel to hit a downward spiral from which it never fully recovered.

 Beset by hard times, the Whitcomb closed its doors as a hotel for good in November, 1966. The Whitcomb was reopened after extensive renovations as a retirement residence on March 15, 1973. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fourche River Lumber Company, Arkansas, 1906

The saw mill was built in 1900 on the banks of the Fourche and in 1902 the Fourche River Lumber Company was in operation. Residents emboldened by the power of the mills petitioned to change the name from Esau to Bigelow (N.P. Bigelow was the president of Fourche Lumber) in 1914.

The mills heyday ended with the closure of the Fourche River Lumber Company in 1921.  Hundreds of families were suddenly left with no source of income and were forced to move to new lumber camps. Today, Bigelow has few commercial businesses and a much smaller population (pop.329) than that of the turn of the century.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sloppy Joe's, Havana, Cuba

I love the design on this card. The ships sailing to Habana (Habana on the front and Havana on the back) from all points N. S, E and W!

Sloppy Joe's was a Havana bar in the 30's. The bar got this name because the place in principle was a mess and the sandwich served there was made of "ropa vieja", Spanish for old clothes (shredded flank steak in a tomato based sauce). The sandwich was known as a Sloppy Joe and it was also served in many variants, in several parts of the world. 

One of the frequent patrons was Ernest Hemingway. The tourists that visited Havana during that time, mostly North Americans, preferred two places: Sloppy Joe's Bar, and the beautiful race horse track of Havana controlled by Meyer Lansky's mafia.

In 1959, after the Cuban revolution, the mythical Sloppy Joe' s Bar was closed and abandoned.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Pipe of Peace

This card was in a postcard album I purchased many years ago. The album belonged to the family of U.S. Ambassador to Austria-Hungary, Richard C. Kerens. I'm not sure what the reference to "The Judge" is. It's handwritten on the card and perhaps is an inside joke between the two parties. Kerens served from 1909 to 1913 under President Taft. The card is postmarked in 1908, the year that Austria-Hungry annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, a move that led to much unrest and eventually the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand in 1914. World War I started 4 months later.

Interesting side note: There was a short-lived (1992-1993) TV series produced by George Lucas, "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles". In one episode called "Vienna, November 1908" an actor portrays Ambassador Kerens.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

SS Catalina

Continuing with  the nautical theme...

The S.S. Catalina was built in 1924, and for 51 years served passengers crossing the San Pedro Channel between Los Angeles Harbor and Avalon, California. During that time, she carried 25 million people, reportedly more than any other ocean-going ship in history. During World War II, as a troop transport in San Francisco Bay, she broke records by ferrying 820,199 men, more than any other U.S. Army Transport.

On September 14, 1975 the S.S. Catalina completed her 9,807th crossing, and it would be her last. At 7:30 pm, she tied up to her San Pedro berth and the Captain rang down "Finished with Engines" for the final time.

Sadly, after many attempts to save her, the S.S. Catalina Steamship Fund became inactive and she sat for years in the harbor at Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. In 1997, water began seeping in through the propeller shaft. The ship began to sink slowly by the stern (photo below). Finally in 2009, what was left of the S.S. Catalina was cut up for way to treat a lady :\

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

U.S.S. Nautilus and General Dynamics

In July 1951 the United States Congress authorized the construction of a nuclear-powered submarine for the U.S. Navy. In December 1951 the U.S. Department of the Navy announced that the submarine would be called Nautilus. Nautilus's keel was laid at General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division by President Harry S. Truman, on June 14, 1952. She was christened on January 21, 1954. She was decommissioned in 1980 and has been preserved as a museum of submarine history in Groton, Connecticut.

This continental sized postcard is from a set of posters designed by Erik Nitsche. You can see my set of these cards here: General Dynamics

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

I didn't initially notice the unusual viewpoint of Mount Rushmore in this RPPC. Talk about light at the end of a tunnel! I've blown-up the "end-of-the-tunnel" below.

Here's something about Mount Rushmore that I had never heard, the Hall of Records...Located along the small canyon behind the Mountain Sculpture, the Hall of Records is an unfinished chamber which was intended a repository of the American Story. Construction of the hall took place between July 1938 and July 1939, when a 70-foot tunnel was blasted into the mountain. Work halted in 1939 when Congress directed that construction should be executed only on the faces. With sculptor Borglum’s death in 1941 and American involvement in World War II, all work on the memorial came to a close on October 31, 1941.

This chamber was to hold the documents and artifacts most central to American democratic history. The proposed room was intended to be very large, up to 80 by 100 feet was to be drilled into the north wall of the canyon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hotel George Washington

Owned by the same folks who brought us the The New Hotel Mayflower...and I thought the ship floating outside that hotel was weird!

The hotel was closed in 1971 and torn down in 1973. Currently, the site is occupied by the new federal court building in downtown Jacksonville.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Canal Street, New Orleans

A colorful birds-eye view of Canal Street in New Orleans. I found some interesting items on this card, starting with the photographers credit to Ray Cresson, followed by two theaters, the Saenger and Lowes.

He first began dabbling in photography in 1938. Interrupted by World War II, his career would include more than 50 years as manager of the K&B Camera Center on Canal St. The store was a favorite of budding photographers. John Raymond "Ray" Cresson Jr. passed away on January 7, 2011 at the age of 92

Opened on February 4, 1927. The 4,000-seat theatre took three years to build and cost $2.5 million. The top ticket price was 65 cents, and the bill for each performance included a silent movie and stage play, and music from the Saenger Grand Orchestra. In 1977 the Saenger was designated a historic landmark by both the New Orleans Landmark Commission and the National Register of Historic Places. (Yea!)

Opened in 1927, it was run by Loew's until the 1960s. It then became an indie-run theater until 1980. The 2,300-seat theater has been sealed off for years, but now an arts group has the OK to move forward with their plan for a cultural arts center. (Yea!)

The back of the card reads:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Ship Cafe, Venice, California

Venice California holds a special place in my collection and in my heart. I grew up in  West Los Angeles and graduated from Venice High School. As an adult, I lived in Ocean Park (beach town between Santa Monica and Venice) for over 20 years. I still have friends and family in the neighborhood. While I never got to see the Cabrillo (or many other Venice treasures from the past), these postcards make me feel like I have.

The Ship Cafe, built in 1905 alongside the Abbot Kinney pier, was the "in" spot to find some of this "action." Named the "Cabrillo," the combination hotel-restaurant was fashioned after a Spanish galleon and served up high-priced cuisine in the main dining room, or in private salons on the second deck. The staff were uniformed like sixteenth-century naval officers

The Ship was available for private functions, which many of Hollywood's rising stars preferred, and the mayhem that attended New Year's Eve made for headline copy. It was at the Ship that Valentino had his heels cooled by movie queen Nazimova, who called him a "pimp" and a "gigolo" at a private party she was throwing for coworkers at Metro Goldwyn Mayer. And it was Buster Keaton who, pestered by autograph hounds, jumped out of one of the restaurant's portholes in a faked escape attempt, only to find twice as many fans when he returned.

On the Sunday night of January 11, 1920, before Prohibition took effect, an estimated 100,000 revelers jammed the seaside resort of Venice, closing off all available avenues into the town. Tables at the Ship Cafe went for $300, and doors were closed at 10 p.m. after capacity had long since been reached.

But the Cabrillo's heyday was before the Depression, and it slipped into obscurity, eventually to be razed in October 1946. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

By the M. K. & T.

Another transportation card!
I'm not sure which I like the most!...the front or the back!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Royal Blue Line Motor Tours - Boston

"We should be pleased to have satisfied patrons recommend our service to their friends at home"

I love transportation cards! Trains, planes, cars, ships, you name it! This card is one of my fav's not only because of it's topic, but because I think it's a beautiful card!...and after all, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Steamship Eastland and Chicago River

I've run across another Eastland Steamer postcard that I've added to my collection. The Eastland was a steamer that has quite a history. This card was printed in Germany by the Hugh C. Leighton Co. (1906-1909)  of Portland, Maine. If you haven't seen my Eastland page, here's the link"