Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Greetings - 1910

This New Years card has the unusual feature of a 12-month calendar stitched to it.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Blessings Bright

Postmarked 1907, this Tucks "Yuletide Series" postcard features a short poem from H.M. Burnside who wrote many children's books and poems in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A Happy Christmas

This embossed Christmas postcard was printed in Germany and is postmarked 1907.

Santa Claus 1927

This contemporary postcard (published by Fotofolio-1980's) is of a 1927 photo of Santa Claus with mailbags of children's letters. The photo was taken in Louisville, Kentucky (photographer unknown)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Oconto, Wisconsin

The above embossed postcard seems to be a generic "Souvenir from" type that lets you fill-in-the-blank. The "Oconto, Wis." on the card is hand written.

This card of the "famous" Goodrich & Martineau Co. in Oconto, Wisconsin says on the front that the card was published by Ed Richer, Pub. I wasn't able to find any info on him. The back however says it was published by the H.G Zimmerman & Co. of Chicago. The publishers guide (http://www.metropostcard.com/metropcpublishers.html) on the Metropolitan Postcard Club of NYC website describes H.G.Z. & Co. as: 

"A publisher of poorly tinted halftone line block view-cards depicting scenes from New England to mid-West America"...Ouch!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bible Institute of Los Angeles

The Bible Institute of Los Angeles (now Biola University) was founded in 1908 by Lyman Stewart, president of the Union Oil Company. The building shown was demolished in 1989.

The back of the card is printed with an invitation to a lecture by Dr. A.C. Dixon. Dr. Dixon was a noted Baptist pastor, Bible expositor and evangelist popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Tacoma Avenue Auction House - Washington State

The back of the card identifies the auctioneer as Fred Hofstettler who I found was the President and owner of Tacoma Ave. Auction House. The stamp box puts the date anywhere from 1924-1949.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Greetings - 1910

This Thanksgiving card is from M.W. Taggert publishers in New York. They were a large publisher if greeting and holiday cards from 1905-1910. This card as was many of their others is embossed....I love the  knife and fork in the top left corner. Perhaps there just in case there was any doubt as to this birds future!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mittino's Shangri-La - circa 1940

Located at 6600 Watson Road at Chippewa, St Louis Missouri

Ed Wynn: The Fire Chief Radio Show

Fire Chief ran from 1932 to 1935 and was a variety show that featured comedy and music that featured The Fire Chief Quartet, The Fire Chief Band and Ed Wynn. The roots of Texaco Star Theater were in a 1930s radio hit, Ed Wynn, the Fire Chief, featuring the manic "Perfect Fool" in a half hour of vaudevillian routines interspersed with music.

Bernstein's Fish Grotto - San Francisco, California

Opened by Maurice Bernstein in 1907, Bernstein's Fish Grotto was known worldwide for its unique entrance, a ship's bow jutting into the sidewalk. The ship was a faithful reproduction of Christopher Columbus's Nina. Inside the restaurant, the marine theme continued. Bernstein's had seven colorful dining rooms: the Fisherman's Cave, the Pilot Room, the Sun Deck, the Main Salon, the Cabin Nooks, the Upper Deck, and the Porthole Counter.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Surf Auto Hotel - Santa Monica, California

The "awesome" Surf Auto Hotel is no longer there being replaced by the high-end Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel...Catalina Island however is still there!

Observatory - Wilson's Peak, California - 1915

The observatory was conceived and founded by George Ellery Hale. The Mount Wilson Observatory was first funded by the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1904, leasing the land from the owners of the Mount Wilson Hotel in 1904. This version of the Observatory is from 1907-1909

Los Angeles Trust and Saving Bank

A particularity well designed and attractive postcard showing the interior and exterior of the Los Angeles Trust and Savings Bank circa 1920. LAT&SB was built in 1911 and still stands today as high-priced condos.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Camp Strongheart - Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Postmarked July 1942,  Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

Couldn't find out much about Camp Strongheart except that they were a boys camp featured in Life Magazine in 1956...and that they owned a nice 1940 Ford Woody!

Bekins Van and Storage - 1911

Bekins Van Lines was founded in 1891 in Sioux City, Iowa, by two young Dutch immigrant brothers, Martin and John Bekins. Martin moved west four years later, first to Omaha, Neb., and then Los Angeles.

In its heyday the Bekins Co. owned more than 100 storage buildings in 14 states. In an attempt to streamline its operations in the face of stiff competition, Bekins began selling off its real estate in the early 1980s. By 1983, when purchased by Minstar Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn., Bekins' stock of warehouses had been reduced to 55.

Auditorium - Largest Concrete Building in the World - Los Angeles, California

After doing a little research I discovered that the building was just known as the "Auditorium" until the Los Angeles Philharmonic moved there in the early 1920's. As it pertained to buildings, the title of "World's Largest" or "World's Tallest" was a moving target through the early part of the century. In typical Los Angeles style, there is a parking lot now in the Auditoriums former location.

If you're interested in the history of concrete, and who isn't?  👀  You can go here:

Dining in Manhattan (circa1948)

A couple of linen postcards touting their establishments (and owner's faces) in NYC.

 On the back: 
"Your visit to New York is not complete until you dine at the beautiful Toffenetti Restaurant.

Dempsey's was located on Broadway between 49th and 50th Streets.
On the back
"May I Play Host and Say "Hello" To You in My Restaurant Where Food and Friendliness are Knockouts". 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

RPPCs with A Musical Theme

All 3 of the cards shown below were 
published in the 50's by the Los Angeles Photo Post Card Company.

Toenniges Instrument Repair was established in 1953 by instrument maker Paul Toenniges. The shop, now called Benning Violin, houses the talents of three recognized master violin makers: Toenniges' daughter, Nancy Benning, her husband Hans Benning and Eric Benning, a preeminent third-generation violinmaker and luthier who has become widely known for his antiqued reproductions of famous Italian-made master violins from the 16th century.

Founded in 1946 by Lowell C. Kiesel, as the L. C. Kiesel Company (now the Carvin Musical Instrument Co.).  He started by manufacturing aftermarket pickups for steel guitars, then began making a few models of basic lap steel guitars.  In 1949, the name was changed to Carvin (from his two eldest sons, Carson and Gavin; coincidentally, Carson Kiesel was born June 4, 1946 - the same year the Kiesel Company was founded).  Therefore, any instrument or amplifier with a Kiesel badge on it can be dated from 1946-1949; unfortunately, more specific dating is nearly impossible, although there are some clues based on the logos.

Here is a link to the Carvin Museum which houses some of Kiesel's works of art:

The Pennino Music Co. was founded by Jeanette Pennino Banoczi and husband Jack Banoczi in Los Angeles some time after the end of WWII; It later moved to Westminster California. The were primarily a distributor but they did register their own brands and distribute them. On the back of this card is "special" on Circus Band Harmonicas...10 cents each! I'll take a dollars worth!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Italian Swiss Colony - Asti, California - 1950's

In 1880, California viticulture was rising in prominence. For Andrea Sbarboro, an Italian-American businessman, a winery seemed a natural fit for his Italian countrymen who were looking for work. He formed a new association chartered to fund an agricultural investment. Membership would be limited to Italians, but given the closeness of the Ticinesi both culturally and linguistically, Swiss were also allowed to join. He would name his venture the Italian-Swiss Agricultural Colony.

Sbarboro was an Italian immigrant who had arrived in San Francisco in 1850 at the age of 13. He started in the grocery business but later shifted his activities to local loan associations. He would famously found the Italian-American Bank, which merged in 1927 with A. P. Giannini’s Bank of Italy to become the Bank of America.

This card is from a black & white photo that has been tinted. You can tell since some things in the photo are still "shades-of-gray". Weird!...nobody's tasting wine!


When Asti was founded more than 125 years ago as Italian Swiss Colony, the goal was to create a thriving community that revolved around wine. For a while, that plan worked – at one point in the 1960s, the winery was the No. 2 tourist attraction in the state, second only to Disneyland.

Amid an evolving wine business and a string of ownership changes, the Asti Winery shut its doors to the public in the late 1980s and essentially became an industrial wine factory. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Riviera Restaurant - San Francisco

A colorful 1930's linen of the "Distinctively Continental" Rivera Restaurant
in San Francisco.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Niagara Wall Paper Company

I couldn't find any info on the Niagara Wall Paper Company, but I'm pretty sure they were in Niagara Falls, N.Y and they made wallpaper...guaranteed!

Gulf Oil - Vacation Postcard

This card looks to be from the 40's or 50's, but I was unable to determine the age.

Gulf Oil was a major global oil company from the 1900s to the 1980s. The eighth-largest American manufacturing company in 1941 and the ninth-largest in 1979, Gulf Oil was one of the so-called Seven Sisters oil companies. Gulf Oil Corporation (GOC) ceased to exist as an independent company in 1985, when it merged with Standard Oil of California.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pouring Copper

A "Phostint" card from Detroit Publishing Co. The DPC was the only American company to license the Swiss photochrom process, which they would eventually register in 1907 under the name Phostint. Based on the number of this card (10037), it was published between 1906-1907 but is postally unused.

Although the photo doesn't convey it, I'm sure that copper pouring was not only a strenuous job but a hot one too.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Los Angeles City Hall - circa 1928

A RPPC of an artists rendering of the "New Los Angeles City Hall". The card is not postally marked, but the building was completed in 1928, so this card predates that. The description below is from the back of the card.

The RPPC card below shows how the building "towered" over the City of Angels. The building was in fact the tallest building in Los Angeles from 1928 until 1964.  A little bit of trivia...the Los Angeles City Hall's concrete structure used sand collected from California's 21 historic Missions.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Tap'er Light!"

What does "tap'er light" mean? It literally means, "take it easy," or "be careful and have a good day." It comes from the practice of setting explosives in the mines; they had to pack in certain types of explosive charges by carefully tapping them in with a hammer. Hit the charge too hard, or miss and strike a spark off of rock, and ka-BOOM!  This cards is postmarked 1945

Monday, March 11, 2013

1950's RPPC of Tourist

The stamp boxes (SELLO-Papel Kodak) on these real photo "tarjeta postales" identify them to be of Mexican origin, circa 1950...as if the sunglasses weren't proof enough of the date! The interesting part to me, are the ornate iron doors she's looking through. With a little research, I found that they happen to be the entrance doors to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. The card below gives me the impression that they may have visited the iconic L.A. landmark when it was closed. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Old Ox Cart Ale - Standard Brewing Co.

The Standard Brewing Company was founded in 1889 as an ale brewery.  It was originally located at 10 Cataract Street in Rochester, New York.  By the time of prohibition, the brewery's capacity was 30,000 barrels per year.

After repeal, Standard reopened at 436 Lake Avenue, the previous location of the Flower City Brewery.

In 1956, as a result of competitive pressures, Standard Brewing entered into a merger with its local rival, Rochester Brewing Company.  The consolidated firm was renamed the Standard-Rochester Brewing Company and continued in operation at Rochester's plant at 770 Emerson Street until the brewery ceased operation in 1970.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cape Cod and the Pilgrimland

A couple of 1930 vintage postcards of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard...with maps! I'm always a sucker for a postcard with a pretty map!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Southern Pacific 4449

In 1983, train enthusiasts voted the SP 4449 the most popular locomotive in the nation. Southern Pacific 4449 is the only surviving example of the SP GS-4 class of steam locomotive. The GS stands for Golden State since operated in regular service in California. It was built by Lima Locomotive Works (Lima, Ohio) in May of 1941 and received the red and orange "Daylight" paint scheme for the passenger trains of the same name which it hauled until it was retired from service in 1956 and put into storage.

SP 4449 was restored in Portland Oregon and returned to operation April 21, 1975 wearing a special paint scheme of red, white and blue to celebrate the American Bicentennial (card below). As part of the American Freedom Train, it pulled a display train around the United States. After nearly 2 years on the road, 4449 was returned to Portland. The "Daylight" colors have been restored and the train has made several appearances throughout the country since then.

Sing Fat Company, Los Angeles

The main store for Sing Fat Co. was in San Francisco's Chinatown. 
This branch was located in downtown Los Angeles. 

The logo above is from the back of the card.