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.