Saturday, March 31, 2012

United Nations Stamps - Philately the International Hobby

This is a maximum card with United Nations stamps issued to commemorate Philately - The International Hobby. Along the bottom are stamps in three languages and denominations corresponding to the three countries where the United Nations offices are located: New York City, USA; Vienna, Austria; and Geneva, Switzerland. The stamps on the left and right have a design of a stamp being viewed through a magnifier. The stamp in the center has a design of stamps spread out on a table, ready to be put into an album. The stamps all have appropriate first day cancellations dated May 22, 1986. The stamp at the top left of the card has a Chicago, Illinois cancellation. Chicago was the site of the AMERIPEX 86 International Stamp Show, May 22-June 1, 1986.

These stamps were engraved by Slania. This U. N. series also included another design of Czeslaw Slania depicting himself engraving a stamp..

(image source: Slania Stamps)

The following information was copied from the Wikipedia article on the United Nations Postal Administration:
The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) is the postal agency of the United Nations. It issues postage stamps and postal stationery, denominated in United States dollars for the United Nations offices in New York, in Swiss francs for the offices in Geneva and in euros (formerly schillings) for the offices in Vienna. Postage rates charged are identical to those of the host nation.

Only United Nations stamps in the appropriate currency may be used at a given United Nations office. In practice, however, most UN agencies use meters, and the stamps are most often used by tourists and collectors. Since the stamps may not be used outside the UN offices, they may be purchased in bulk on the secondary market as discount postage at well below face value.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Unloading Bananas - New Orleans, Louisiana

These two postcards show workers unloading bananas in New Orleans, Louisiana. The following information is from the back of the cards:
New Orleans is the world's greatest banana port. More than 700 ships arrive each year loaded with 25,000 to 50,000 bunches of bananas. Each individual bunch is carried from the hold of the ship to the door of the refrigerator on mechanical conveyors.
In the mid-twentieth century, New Orleans was the largest banana port in the United States. Twenty to twenty-five per cent of all the bananas imported into the United States were unloaded at the New Orleans docks. The banana docks provided hundreds of jobs in New Orleans and were also a tourist attraction.

By the late 1960s New Orleans was no longer the largest banana port in the the United States. Wilmington, Delaware and Gulfport, Mississippi are now the leading banana ports in the U. S.

For more vintage images
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Conestoga Wagon of the B & O Railroad

This postcard of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's "Conestoga" covered wagon has a long educational description printed on the back:
The "Conestoga Wagon":--1813. From the famous historical collection of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The "Conestoga Wagon" represents a link in the chain of horse-drawn vehicles leading up to the era of the railroad. It is a solid-looking wagon with large back wheels and smaller front ones. Arched picturesquely over the top is a big canvas canopy slanting far forward in front and backward in the rear, making a spacious roomy vehicle. The "Conestoga Wagon" first came into use in the United States for transportation of freight and passengers during the latter part of the eighteenth century in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, at a time when there were only 2,000 miles of miscellaneous post-roads in the whole country.
The average Conestoga wagon was 18 feet long, 11 feet high, and 4 feet in width and could carry up to 12,000 pounds of cargo. Conestoga wagons were freight wagons, not designed for carrying passengers. The Conestoga wagon is a specific type of covered wagon. Most of the wagons used in the westward expansion of the United States were not Conestoga wagons, but lighter farm wagons fitted with canvas covers.

Conestoga wagons had some other distinctive features in addition to the ones mentioned in the postcard description. The floors curved upward to prevent the contents from tipping and shifting. There was not a front seat for the driver or seats for passengers. The driver could ride one of the horses. Travelers walked beside the wagon. The side of the wagon had a brake handle and a small pullout plank seat designed to provide a brief rest from walking.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Barry's Telegraph Institure - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Barry's Telegraph Institute was located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. The back of the postcard states that it was "The largest and best equipped school in the Northwest."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Danish Flower Stamps

This postcard shows two stamps issued by Denmark in 1973 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Jutland Horticultural Society. The flowers are Rhododendron impreditum and Rosa Dronningen af Danmark.

These stamps were engraved by Czeslaw Slania (1921 - 2005) who was an expert and prolific engraver of postage stamps and banknotes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, he was the most prolific of all stamp engravers, having engraved more than 1000 stamps. Some collectors specialize in stamps engraved by Slania. There is a website showing Slania's stamps and other engravings here.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Friday, March 23, 2012

Easter Greetings & Advertising

These chicks bring you Easter Greetings and an ad from Universal Tailoring Co. reminding you that Easter is a traditional time for new spring clothes.
Fair Easter hints of many things
As lovely as the rose—
Kind thoughts and gifts and lilies white
And folks in brand new clothes.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Famous Green Benches - St. Petersburg, Florida

These vintage postcards show the famous green benches that lined the sidewalks of business streets in St. Petersburg, Florida. The green benches were an ideal place for hanging out. They were considered a prime tourist attraction and a symbol of the city's hospitality. The second and third postcards are from different publishers but have the same text on the back promoting the pleasant experiences provided by the benches:
The Green Benches, St. Petersburg's own, are known all over the country. Here on these benches tourists from all parts of the globe congregate and many, many wonderful hours are spent by the visitors. On the Green Benches daily throughout the winter season, on pleasant days, you will find an acquaintance or friend and may while away many pleasant moments, with memories of the past.

The first of St. Petersburg's sidewalk benches were painted with advertisements for a real estate dealer and placed near his business. In 1916 a city ordinance was passed making all the benches green and of a standard size. Eventually there were more than seven thousand benches providing seating for both residents and tourists. St. Petersburg was known both as the "Sunshine City" and the "City of Green Benches."

By the 1960s St. Petersburg had acquired a reputation as a place for retirees, and the city council wanted a more youthful image. First the benches were painted in pastel colors which were thought to be more youthful. Then an ordinance was passed in 1967 to remove the benches. The last of the benches were removed in 1969. In the last twenty years, however, some benches have returned.

GreenBenches & More sells replicas of the famous green benches that can be shipped ready-to-assemble, anywhere in the world.

For more Vintage Images
Visit Sepia Saturday

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Champion Streamliner - Atlantic Coast Line Railroad

The Champion streamliner was a passenger train operated by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. It began operating on a 1,314-mile (2,115 km) route between New York City and Florida in 1939. It was inherited by Amtrak in 1971 and was discontinued in 1979.

Southbound trains originated in New York's Pennsylvania Station. They traveled south through Philadelphia, Washington, Richmond, Charleston, and Savannah to Jacksonville, Florida. The trains split in Jacksonville. West Coast trains traveled south then west through DeLand and Sanford to the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg area, while East Coast trains traveled south and southeast along the east coast of Florida to Miami.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Perfection Manufacturing Co. - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Above is a postcard advertising the Perfection Milker made by the Perfection Manufacturing Co. of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company had its factory and main offices at 2125 East Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.

The picture below is from a Perfection Milker ad that appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune on October 8, 1922. The company had an exhibit at the National Dairy Show, Minnesota State Fair Grounds, October 7th to 14th. The ad said to be sure to visit the exhibit "whether you are in the market this year or not." The milker was said to save time and increase profits:
If you milk eight or more cows, the Perfection Milker will give you extra hours and extra profit. And why should you or anyone drudge along milking the slow, old-fashioned way, when at the cost of a few cents a day you can milk the Perfection way? It is more pleasant, more sanitary and more profitable. For nine years the Perfection has been in satisfactory service on thousands of the best dairy farms in the country.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Beautification of America Stamp & Washington Cherry Blossoms

Above is a maximum card with the 5-cent Beautification of America commemorative postage stamp that was issued on October 5, 1966. This stamp was issued to publicize President Lyndon Johnson's "Plant for a more beautiful America" campaign.

Both the stamp and the postcard have a view of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. framed by blooming cherry trees. The Jefferson Memorial was dedicated on April 13, 1943 on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson.

This year is the 100th anniversary of Washington's Japanese cherry trees. The trees were a 1912 gift from Japan given in an effort to enhance the friendship between the United States and Japan. The 2012 National Cherry Blossom Festival is being celebrated from March 20 – April 27. The average peak bloom date is April 4. Due to warmer than usual weather this year, the peak bloom date is estimated to be March 20-23.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vintage Girl Scout Uniform Fashions

The postcard above is a Girl Scout Camp Post Card that was mailed in 1947. A new uniform style was introduced in 1948 and was used until the early 1960s. That was the one that was in style when I was a Girl Scout.

The official Girl Scout website has a featured exhibit of Girl Scout Uniforms from 1912 to today. The exhibit covers the main styles, but the pictures are rather small and don't include all the variations. The type of uniform I had is shown in the next two pictures that are from my Girl Scout Handbook (© 1953). My uniform was secondhand and had long sleeves. Short sleeved uniforms must have been more common by that time--most of the other girls in my troop had uniforms with short sleeves. The following description is from the exhibit on the Girl Scout website:
Designed by the renowned Mainbocher, the Intermediate Scout uniform was a button-down-the-front dress well suited to Girl Scout needs. The bright green covert dress had an action back, button-down lapel tabs, deep armholes, a dark green web belt, and a six-gored skirt with pockets. The green beret was the official hat.

The next picture shows me (in the center) with my sisters. We were dressed in our uniforms to go to the 1960 father-daughter banquet. I was a Senior Scout then and was wearing the same dark green skirt and white blouse that I wore in junior high, but with a different cap and tie. I think this was considered an alternate uniform. Later I had a newer two piece green Senior Scout uniform that was introduced in 1960.

The next picture is a newspaper clipping I saved. This picture was taken before the father-daughter banquet and shows some of the girls from my Senior Scout troop modeling some of the vintage uniforms that were later worn in a fashion show at the banquet.

I was in the fashion show, but not in the newspaper photo. I once had some photos of the banquet, but I didn't save them. I did find a negative of the fashion show that has me in the picture. I am the girl on the far right in the picture below.

The video below, A salute to Girl Scout style (©1994), shows a more recent Girl Scout fashion show with old vintage uniforms and then current uniforms.

For More Vintage Images
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Queen Elizabeth Stamps - Machin & Wilding Portraits

The card shown above is a maximum card from the National Postal Museum in London. The stamp featured on this card is the 17p stamp with the Machin portrait of Queen Elizabeth. The first day of issue was March 30, 1983. The cancellation says "Philatelic Bureau Edinburgh."

The Machin series of postage stamps features a sculptured head by Arnold Machin. The series is the main definitive stamp series in the United Kingdom. The Machin portrait has been used since 1967 when it replaced the Wilding series which had been used since 1952. For more information about the Machin stamps, see Machins for beginners.

The stamps below all feature the Dorothy Wilding portrait of Queen Elizabeth. These stamps are from my old 1950s stamp collection. If you look closely, you can see four (possibly five) different designs.

An article on the website of the Collectors Club of Great Britain lists the denominations and colors of stamps by five designers, but I didn't see the first stamp of my second row listed. Below is another I have that wasn't listed there. I would probably have more luck identifying the stamps if I had a stamp catalog.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day & Hen Night

Above is a Russian postcard for International Women's Day which is today, March 8. This postcard is dated 1970. I like the design of the Russian women and foliage arranged in a figure "8."

By coincidence I received the card below today from a Russian member of Postcrossing. Although different in style, I think this card is similar in spirit to the Women's Day card. This one is promoting the Holidays in Russia exhibit at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. The picture is a detail from a painting by Aleksei Korzukhin called "Hen Night" or "Hen Party" (1889) Hen night is the female equivalent of stag night. Aleksei Korzukhin (1835–1894) was a Russian realist painter. The full painting is shown on the museum exhibit page.

Shaving & Barbering

The postcard shown above is about Prof. J. H. Buckley, Manager at Victor Barber College of Minneapolis, Minnesota, winning the worlds record for fast shaving. The official time shaving three men was 2 minutes and 51 seconds. The text on the card names five witnesses but does not give the date of this record or any official body that might have been keeping records.

Victor Barber College advertised in the Minneapolis Tribune from 1908 to 1916. The first address was at 36 Washington Avenue South. In June 1909 the ad listed new modern quarters at 251 1st Ave. South. Still later, the address was on Hennepin Ave. The Moler Barber College advertised in the same classified ad columns as Victor. Moler's history goes back to 1893, and the college is still in business in Minneapolis as Moler Barber School.

J. H. Buckley's name appeared in a 1904 newspaper article when he was accused (and acquitted) of operating on Sunday. At that time the Barber's union had undertaken a crusade against violators of the Sunday closing law.

When searching for information about fast shaving records, I found a copy of the 1901/02 The Barbers' Journal online in Google Books. This journal was published by the Journeymen Barbers' International Union of America. Of course, most of the content related to current issues and events concerning American barbers, but there were some interesting international and historical items too.

Here are some examples from The Barbers' Journal:
A Liverpool barber claims the record for fast shaving, claiming to have removed the hair, and I don't know how much cuticle from five faces in 57-1/2 seconds, the time for each one being 11, 11, 11, 9-1/2 and 11 seconds respectively.


In ancient Greece when one citizen wanted to tell another that this or that friend shaved himself they said that he practiced pogonotomy. Today in making the same reference we simply say that he "scrapes" himself.


It is said that the fierce mustache of Emperor William of Germany, about which so much has been said in the papers of this and other countries, is nothing more nor less than a disguise. When at home it bristles in all its fury, but occasionally it droops, as was the case a short time ago when he paid a visit, incognito, to Paris, where he apparently went to study the strength of Germany's arch enemy, France.

If you are curious about pogonotomy, there is actually a website about it that promotes "real shaving" (using a traditional double edged razor and a lather generated with a brush) .

If you wanted a fierce mustache for yourself, you could get a German Mustache Trainer that was advertised in the journal.

Some interesting images of shaving throughout history were contributed by Colgate & Co., makers of Colgate's Shaving Soap. Here are a few.

A Barber Shop in Ancient Greece

An Open Air Chinese Barber Shop

An Old English Barber Shop

One of the articles I noticed was "An Interesting Letter From England" (page 52). This pointed out differences between English and American barber shops, which created problems for unionization in England. It was said that in America there appeared to be a clear division of the barbering trade into two sections--"Bosses" and Journeymen. In England, however the barbering business was divided and subdivided along class lines into many sections.

This Is a Post for Sepia Saturday 116

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