Thursday, July 30, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday - Mickey Mouse Mailbox

This is a lenticular postcard made in Japan by Wonder Co. This type of printing is also called "3D." There are two images. Tilting the postcard changes the view from the first image to the second.


I haven't decided whether I will have a Postcard Scavenger Hunt for August. If I have one, it will be posted next Thursday or Friday. I have thought of several topics, but haven't chosen one. If you have any suggestions for topics, please leave a comment on this post or the main Postcard Scavenger Hunt announcement post.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - Apollo 11

This week is the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, the first moon landing. Above are a few postcards made from official NASA film showing the Apollo astronauts and the moon. (See below for the descriptions from the backs of the postcards).

The first moon landing was a really impressive event. It was shown on TV and featured in newspapers and magazines. I had several magazines that I used as reference material in making this acrylic painting. The style of my painting was influenced by pop art which was popular at the time. Earlier this week I was afraid that I had thrown this painting away when I moved, but I finally found it hidden behind something else in the back of a closet.

I no longer have my Apollo 11 magazines, but I still have my December 29, 1969 Newsweek with a cover featuring many memorable images from the 1960s. It seems like there were so many more memorable events and images from the last few years of the 1960s than there have been from more recent decades.

Descriptions of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, July 20, 1969 from the backs of the postcards:

1. Apollo 11 Astronauts, History's Three Greatest Heroes. Astronaut portrait: Left to right, Neil A. Armstrong, Commander; Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot; Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Lunar Module Pilot. On July 24, 1969, at 12:50 PM (EDT) Apollo 11 bearing the three astronauts zoomed out of the sky into the blue Pacific. They had conquered the moon on a 750, 000 mile journey of 8 days, 3 hours and 18 minutes. Armstrong and Aldrin etched their names alongside history's great explorers when they landed on the moon and were the first men to walk on the lunar surface. To complete this historic space triumph, Armstrong & Aldrin blasted the LM, Eagle off the moon and rejoined Collins orbiting in the Command ship, Columbia.

2. Descending The LM Ladder. Astronaut going down ladder prior to walking on the lunar surface. Neil A. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon was followed by Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. Their lunar boot print, 13 inches long, 6 inches wide, 10 ribbed treads in each print were stomped in the moon dust. Both Armstrong's and Aldrin's moon walk lasted for 2 hours before they returned to the LM, Eagle.

3. Man's First Walk On The Moon. Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., LM pilot, walking on the moon. The knees of his pressure suit are smudged with moon dirt. Reflected in his golden-faced visor are the white outlines of Neil A. Armstrong, Commander, the landing craft, Eagle, the American Flag and one of the scientific experiments they set up. Their footprints are visible in the foreground.

4. "We Came In Peace For All Mankind." Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., LM pilot, posed next to the U.S. flag on the moon for Commander Neil A. Armstrong. Old Glory seems to be waving, but with no wind on the moon, the effect was obtained by the use of wire on the 3x5 foot American Flag. Note astronaut's footprints.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Spotted Horse Store & Service

click picture to enlarge it

At the time this postcard was made (probably early 1960s), The Spotted Horse Store & Service had a complete general store and post office that had served "True Wyoming Ranch Country" for 50 years. It was named after Cheyenne Indian Chief, "Spotted Horse." The building is now a bar and there is a different Spotted Horse in front. The post office was discontinued in 1964, and the address is now listed as Arvada, Wyoming.

The Post Office sign is to the right of the Spotted Horse name. There is a small red and blue mailbox to the right of the door. In addition to the large Standard Oil sign, many smaller advertising signs are visible. There are two beer signs--Falstaff on the left and Schlitz on the right. The right side of the building has two Coca Cola signs--a round red one and a bottle-shaped one. There is a Kool cigarette sign on the bench. To the right of the bench is a small 7up sign. The small signs next to the door appear to be more cigarette advertising for L&M and Viceroy cigarettes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - Smiley Faces

This postcard has an undivided back and was published by The Metropolitan News Co., Boston. The hearts may indicate that it is a Valentine, though I had it filed with my general comics.

vintage potholder faces

These potholders are ones I found online a few weeks ago. They represent a new direction for my potholder collection. I like thingies with faces, and I also want to collect some potholders with appliques or pieces of vintage print material. I was lucky to get three at a time, all of which are in like new condition.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Recaption This - Marie or Anyone

This morning I read Marie's Beef-a-roni post and the Little Red Mailbox blog about altered postcards. I decided to look through my stash of duplicate postcards and see what I had that might be altered.

This postcard is a © MCMLXXXIII American Greetings Corp. I have a bunch of this postcard because it was sold in a pad of twelve postcards, and there is plenty of space to add stuff. Somehow, it made me think of Marie flying to the U. S., and this is the result. Originally, I was going to hand letter it, but I ended up just altering it digitally with Photoshop.

The character on this postcard is Strawberry Shortcake. Strawberry Shortcake and her cat Custard were originally designed in 1977 for American Greetings. In the 1980s, Strawberry Shortcake was a big fad in the United States.

I am including the unaltered postcard so you can play with it. If you feel like making your own altered postcard from this and sharing it, please put it on your blog and post a comment with your link.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Old Post Office in Chandler, Minnesota

I bought this real photo postcard of a post office many years ago, before the Internet and before I had a computer. I have found that the computer is useful both for examining photos and researching the subject matter of postcards. This photo is quite faded looking and I didn’t pay much attention to it until recently. I started looking at it in detail and researching it because of my current interest in vintage mail and post office photos.

You probably know that photos can be improved and restored with Photoshop or similar photo editing software. I knew this, but I was still surprised at how much detail I could see when I scanned the postcard at high resolution and made a few simple adjustments. All it took was a click on Photoshop’s “Auto Color” to get rid of the faded look. The original color has a nice vintage look, but the edited version shows the details better. I also did a little sharpening and burning.

click this photo to enlage it and see details

This postcard has a 1909 postmark from Chandler, Minnesota. Chandler is a small town in Murray County in the southwestern corner of Minnesota, with a current population of about 300. According to the Murray County website:

"By the turn of the century, Chandler was called "The Little Queen of the Hills" and was said to have a bright future. Chandler was incorporated in 1902 and the year was also considered a boom year for the town. The bank and a two room schoolhouse were built. A post office was established and construction of a new hotel was begun."

It wasn’t until fairly recently that I started paying attention to messages on my postcards. I couldn’t make out all the words in the message on the back of this postcard, but I could tell that it didn’t mention Chandler. Although I thought that the photo was probably of Chandler, I wasn’t sure until I contacted the Murray County Museum via email. From the museum I received the following additional information:

"This picture is indeed from Chandler. The man in front is J.M. Johnson, the postmaster. The two men with the mail bags are his mail carriers and their carts. One of them is a Sankey, the other is unknown to us."

Studying the details on a postcard can lead to all sorts of fascinating information, and it seems like one thing always leads to another on the internet.

Some of the signs in the photo are readable with the naked eye. On the left there is the Post Office sign and J. M. Johnson’s name. The window signs on the right advertise Meals at all Hours, Hot coffee, Lunch, and Fresh Bread.

Other signs became readable after I scanned and edited the photo. The advertising signs in the left window are for Northwest Thresher Engines and Separators, and Aermotor. Northwest Thresher of Stillwater, Minnesota was acquired by another company in 1912. Aermotor is now the only manufacturer of windmills in the U. S. (at one time there were over 1000 manufacturers) and even has a video on YouTube. On the right side of the building there is a small Telephone Station sign attached to the building and a fragment of what looks like a signboard.

When I searched for information and photos of postal wagons. I discovered that the Smithsonian has a photostream on flickr and there is a set of People and the Post that has pictures of old postal wagons.

I found a photo on another website that looked like the left Chandler wagon. It was a restored antique wagon and was hitched to a mule. It was only then that I realized that there were mules in the Chandler photo, which led me to search for information about mules. I learned that mules are stronger and usually eat less than horses of a similar size and also are considered more intelligent than horses.

The blanket on one of the mules appears to have advertising for some flour. I quickly gave up on trying to identify the name. Minnesota was the top flour producing state in the country, and in 1901 there were 400 flour and grist mills in Minnesota.

I only have a few real photo postcards. The most interesting real photo postcards usually are quite expensive, especially if the photo can be identified. If you would like to see some interesting real photo postcards, there are several books with excellent examples. A recent book that I have and recommend is As we Were: American Photographic Postcards, 1905-1930 by Rosamund B. Vaule. That book has sections on real photo postcard history and many examples of postcards showing a variety of subjects.

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

3rd Edition, July 2009: Signs

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - Time Rolls On

It's time for the Tour de France and time for some more vintage crocheted postholders. So this week I have an old postcard of a bicycle with clocks for wheels and potholders in the shape of clocks.

vintage crochet clock potholders

I have a potholder pattern book that has a crochet clock pattern that is similar to my clock potholders. This book is No. 243 ©1948, The Spool Cotton company.

I am including a copy of the instructions from this book. This potholder pattern would probably be easier than most crochet patterns because the clock potholder is basically a circle with embroidered numerals and hands.
vintage crochet clock potholder pattern

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence

I received the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence from Evelyn Yvonne Theriault who has a genealogy/family history/postcard blog at A Canadian Family. I am in turn awarding the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence to Chris Overstreet for his Wild Postcards blog.

Chris describes his blog as ramblings and remembrances about his collection of postcards. His postcard collection was started by his great-grandfather and continued by his aunt before being passed on to him. Chris has added to the collection through travel, purchases, and trades with other collectors. He is also helping his grandsons get started in postcard collecting.

Chris has the right idea about what to do with an old family postcard collection, especially when many of the cards have messages that can shed light on family history. It seems that most people who deal with a family member's postcard collection can't wait to get rid of it, whether by throwing it away or trying to sell it. When people have asked me what to do with a relative's collection, I have told them that the best thing would be to find another family member that is interested in keeping it.

A description of the origin of the
Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence can be found at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Las Vegas Fabulous Strip - Signs

Signs as Seen on the Fabulous Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada

This postcard is a circa 1966 time capsule of thirteen major hotel and casino signs on the Las Vegas Strip. The hotels and casinos, along with their dates of operation, are clockwise from the upper left:

  • Sands 1952-1996

  • Stardust 1958-2006

  • Thunderbird 1948-1976

  • Dunes 1955-1993

  • Castaways 1963-1987

  • Sahara 1952-

  • Silver Slipper 1950-1988

  • Flamingo 1946-

  • Aladdin 1966-1997, 2000-2007

  • Desert Inn 1950-2000

  • Riviera 1955-

  • Tropicana 1957-

  • Hacienda 1956-1996

Here are some websites with more information about Las Vegas history and signs:

Early Las Vegas
Historical Las Vegas Casino Map
Las Vegas Strip Historical Site
Neon Survey

To view more of my blog posts about signs postcards, click the signs label at the bottom of the post.

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

3rd Edition, July 2009: Signs

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Alaska Highway Signs

Entering Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada

The Alaska Highway was constructed during World War II to connect the lower 48 U. S. states to Alaska. Officially the Alaska Highway begins in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada and ends at Milepost 1422 in Delta Junction, Alaska. Mile 1523 at Fairbanks is actually the northern end of the historic Richardson Highway, which runs from Valdez north through Delta Junction and on to Fairbanks. Most travelers, however, consider the Alaska Highway to be 1523 miles long, ending in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Milepost 1523 in Fairbanks, Alaska

To view more of my blog posts about signs on postcards, click the signs label at the bottom of the post.

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

3rd Edition, July 2009: Signs

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Napa Valley Welcome Sign

Napa Valley is a wine growing region in California that is considered one of the top wine regions in the United States. The climate, geography, and geology of the region make it conducive to growing quality wine grapes.

The valley’s first commercial winery was established in 1861. The Phylloxera root louse, Prohibition, and the Great Depression all slowed the growth of the wine industry there and elsewhere. In the late 1930s new techniques and procedures were introduced. After World War II, the wine industry began to thrive again.

Today there are more than 700 wineries in Napa Valley, and it is second in popularity only to Disneyland as a California tourist destination.

The Robert Louis Stevenson quote on the sign "... and the wine is bottled poetry…” is from The Silverado Squatters, Stevenson’s account of living in the wine country of the Wild West.

To view more of my blog posts about signs postcards, click the signs label at the bottom of the post.

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

3rd Edition, July 2009: Signs

Thursday, July 2, 2009

PFF & Postcard Scavenger Hunt #5 – Night/Lights

This is my monthly Postcard Scavenger Hunt for July. If you are interested in participating, please read about how it works on my Announcing the Postcard Scavenger Hunt posting.

NOTE: You don't have to post today. The deadline is really at the end of the month so there is plenty of time to post. You also can put the permalink to an older post on the theme into Mister Linky.

The theme for this month is Night/Lights. This month I am trying something a little different. Instead of using vintage cards from various places, I am using only recent cards from my city, Minneapolis. I suggest that you use recent cards from your hometown or someplace you have visited recently. I am interested in seeing what the cards from your area are like, and I think other people will be interested too. Include the description on the card, and as much other information as you want. (I found that a couple of my cards didn't have enough description printed on the card, so I had to do some research.)
Pyrotechnics light up the downtown and surrounding areas during one of the many festivals that take place every year. Photo © Jay R. West

Downtown Minneapolis. The three tall buildings are, left to right: IDS Center, Wells Fargo Center, and AT&T Tower. Photo © Ken Thommes

Minneapolis, Minnesota. Looking north at downtown, the city's skyline shines like a jewel at dusk. Photo © Ken Thommes

Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minnesota's largest city has more bridges over the Mississippi River than any other municipality. The Hennepin Avenue Bridge (foreground) is the fourth bridge at this location. This 1,037 ft. suspension bridge opened for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic in 1990. the 3rd Avenue Bridge is in the background. Photo © Ken Thommes

St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam on the Mississippi River. Downtown Minneapolis skyline is in the backround. Photo © Ken Thommes
Postcard Scavenger Hunt #5 Participants

1. debby

2. Lay Hoon ( Malaysia)

3. Marie Reed

4. Judy

5. Wild Postcards

6. Sheila

7. Lara L

8. Evelyn Yvonne Theriau

9. All Things Quebec

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - Dressed in Red, White, and Blue

This postcard was postmarked 100 years years ago on July 2, 1909. Although it doesn't say anything about the 4th of July holiday, I would still consider it a 4th of July postcard because of the date it was mailed. This little girl is dressed as Miss Columbia. Although this card does not label her, I have seen a postcard with an identical picture that has "Miss Columbia" printed on the front of the card.

It is somewhat of a custom in the U. S. to dress in red, white, and blue on the 4th of July. I remember wearing red and white striped T-shirts and blue shorts when I was a child. More recently, T-shirts with patriotic symbols have been popular for all ages.

My vintage thingies this week are red, white, and blue potholder dresses. Potholder dresses seem to be the most common of the potholders shaped as things. I quit buying the potholder dresses some time ago because I thought I was getting too many. I didn't realize how many I had until I got them out to photograph for my blog. I have other colors of potholder dresses too, but red is definitely the most common.

vintage crochet potholder dresses

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

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