Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gardiner Station - Yellowstone Park

The following description is on the back of this postcard:
Northern Pacific is the Direct and Only Line to Gardiner's Gateway, Original and Northern Entrance to Yellowstone Park. Season June 15 to September 15.
Stagecoaches pulled by six horses transported visitors from the train station to the hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs. Four-horse Observation Wagons were used to take visitors on the "Grand Loop" tour through the park. (source: National Park Service)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Greetings From Park Rapids, Minn.

Big fish were a popular subject on comic postcards of the linen era. Postcards were sometimes imprinted with a location name. This one is imprinted with "Greetings From Park Rapids, Minn." It was sent from Park Rapids on July 30, 1947--65 years ago today.

The sender apparently was vacationing in the Park Rapids area, a popular vacation destination and the Gateway to the Mississippi River Headwaters at Itasca State Park. She wrote:
Dear Jeannie,
Well, I finally wrote that card you were nagging me about & will mail it with yours.
Have I ever been having fun. A ten yr. old gal is teaching me how to dive & swim--my aching muscles! Have I ever got a beautiful sunburn. I miss you.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Royal Wedding (1981) Stamps

Above are Guernsey Post Office Stamp-Cards reproducing Guernsey stamps of Charles and Diana. These stamps were issued on July 29, 1981 for the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana that took place on that date. They are part of a set of seven stamps. Today (July 29) is the anniversary of that wedding.

Below is a picture of a mini sheet that included these stamps (source: Stamp Photos).

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pan American World Airways - Mexican Crafts

Pan American World Airways issued this advertising postcard circa 1948. The description is written in three languages: "Skilled silversmiths and expert weavers exhibit their wares in Mexico, on the routes of the Flying Clippers."

A handwritten message on the back says: "Having a wonderful time. Everyone is expecting you down here in July."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Largest Viking in the World - Alexandria, Minnesota

The "Largest Viking in the World" is in Alexandria, Minnesota, "The Birthplace of America." The statue stands 28 feet tall and weighs more than 12,000 pounds. It accompanied the famed Kensington Runestone to the New York World's Fair in 1965 and was then brought to Alexandria. Alexandria calls itself "The Birthplace of America" because it is claimed that the Runestone was brought there by the Vikings in 1362.

On this postcard (published in 1967), the statue is standing at the north end of Main St. and calls attention to the Runestone Museum. The statue was moved to a park nearby in 2002. Over the years, the statue became known as "Big Ole," changed its hair color, and lost its horns. It is now believed that the Vikings did not have helmets with horns.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cornell University Panorama

This is a four panel folding postcard showing a panoramic view of Cornell University as it looked about 100 years ago. This card measures 22-3/8" X 3-1/2" when open. The individual panels of the view are shown below.

Three of the back panels are blank, and one has spaces for the address and postage stamp. That side was for the address only.

The printing in the stamp box gives the postage rates and the name of the publisher, The Albertype Co.

Cornell University is a Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York. It was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White. The university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell's motto, a popular 1865 Ezra Cornell quotation: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study." This motto is included on the cornell University seal. (source: Wikipedia)

source: Wikipedia

There is a website with many vintage images of Cornell University here.

The location of Ithaca, New York is shown on this Google map.

View Larger Map

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chessie Lake Michigan Ferries Badger & Spartan

This postcard shows two Chessie Lake Michigan ferries. The Badger is in the background, and the deck of the Spartan is in the foreground. These ferries were originally built in 1951-53. They were named after the mascots of the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University.

The following information is from the back of the postcard:
Chessie's water-borne links between Ludington, Michigan and the Wisconsin ports of Milwaukee, Manitowoc and Kewaunee move 175,000 passengers, 50,000 autos and 100,000 cars of freight annually across Lake Michigan. Vacationists from many states choose C & O's cross lake short cut as pleasant and restful interludes in a busy schedule. C & O's fleet of seven ships operate round the clock every day throughout the year.
After changing ownership several times, the Badger has survived as a summer only tourist service between Ludington and Maniwotoc carrying only passengers and vehicles. The ship is the only coal-fired steamship operating in North America. Its fate is uncertain because the Environmental Protection Agency wants the steamship to stop dumping tons of coal ash into Lake Michigan.

Learn more on the SS Badger website.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Turtle Races - Longville, Minnesota

This postcard shows the Longville, Minnesota Turtle Races. Longville has had Turtle Races since the mid-60’s. The races take place each Wednesday from early June to late August.

The races are run in heats of ten to fifteen turtles. The turtles are placed in a center circle to start. When the racers release their turtles, most of the turtles instinctively head across the pavement toward an outer circle. The first turtle to cross the outer circle wins. The turtle that ends up closest to the letter “A" in the word “Start” is the heat’s “slow poke.”

This postcard is about 25 years old. I was reminded of it when I saw a news story this morning about turtle racing in Minnesota. The YouTube video has a good view of a race.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

U. S. Flag Stamps & Flag Day

These are two maximum cards showing two different U. S. postage stamps with flags. The first one is the 4¢ stamp issued in 1957, and the second is the 22¢ stamp issued in 1985.

The Arago website has a virtual exhibit Long May It Wave: The Story of the American Flag Through Stamps. The page Formalizing A National Flag Day shows these two stamps. The following description is from that page:
Inspired by three decades of state and local celebrations, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day by a Proclamation of the President on May 30, 1916, nearly thirty years after Cigrand began his campaign. Flag Day would continue to be celebrated in various local communities for years afterward.

Finally, on August 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman would sign an Act of Congress designating June 14 of each year as National Flag Day. Though Cigrand, the “Father” of Flag Day, died in 1932, seventeen years before the act, his legacy remains; to this day, in Waubeka, Wisconsin, his bust graces the National Flag Day Americanism Center.

On July 4, 1957, the Post Office Department issued a 4-cent forty-eight star flag stamp, the first multicolored flag stamp to portray the flag in all its glorious colors of red, white and blue. Controversy rippled through philatelic circles across the country.

Stamp collectors and concerned citizens were aghast. The fact that the stamps had to be cancelled was seen by numerous Americans as disrespectful, and a desecration of the flag. Many angry letter writers cited the American legal code, in which it is prohibited to “reproduce the National Emblem for disloyal or commercial purposes.” This was not the first American flag that had been portrayed on a stamp; it was merely the first multicolored one. Conversely, other stamp collectors were delighted to have such a beautiful stamp commemorating the liberty of the United States. The stamp was meant to serve as a reminder of American’s heritage and hard-won liberty, not as a smear to its most “sacred symbol.”

Controversy continued to surround postage stamps depicting the American flag. On June 14, 1985, the USPS issued the Flag Over Capitol definitive stamp to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Cigrand’s ‘flag birthday.’ The first day of issue ceremony occurred at the Fireman’s Hall in Waubeka. The reaction to the stamp was mixed. While many felt that Waubeka was a very suitable place for the first release, some of its inhabitants disagreed. Many felt that the stamp had nothing to do at all with Flag Day, Waubeka, or Bernard Cigrand. Nevertheless, the stamp was incredibly popular, with some collectors observing that it was the most handsome definitive the USPS had issued in years.

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

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Carriage And A Pair

The most obvious themes in the Sepia Saturday 134 prompt photograph are a baby in a pram, costumes, and richly patterned textiles. I decided to post this Bamforth comic postcard that reflects the themes Alan saw when he viewed the photograph from a male point of view: "sleepless nights, smelly nappies, and endless worry and expense!"

Like many old comic postcards, the humor on this postcard depends on double meanings. The man is worrying about the pair of babies (twins) in a baby carriage, while the caption is alluding to a horse-drawn carriage and a pair of horses.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Mississippi Melodie Showboat - Grand Rapids, Minnesota

This postcard of the Mississippi Melodie Showboat at Grand Rapids, Minnesota has a July 1964 postmark. This year is the 57th year for the Mississippi Melodie Showboat. The 2012 dates are July 12 - Jul 14, July 19 - July 21, and July 26 - July 28 (the last three weekends in July).

The showboat is on the Mississippi River. The performance takes place on the showboat landing while the audience sits in stadium seating on the banks of the river.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Elephants at Brookfield Zoo

The first postcard above shows three elephants at the Brookfield Zoo (Chicago Zoological Park at Brookfield). This postcard was published in 1941. According to the information on the back of the postcard:
Brookfield Zoo includes the largest collection of the large land animals of any zoo in the country. Herds of African and Indian elephants, rhinoceros, and hippopotami are shown in their natural environment.
The next postcard is from the 1950s and shows a baby elephant at the Children's Zoo and Farm where children could mingle with many species of wild and domestic young or baby animals.

LIFE magazine had an article about the new Children's Zoo in the August 31, 1953 issue: Zoo's Babies Get Overdose of Love. There is a picture of the children handling the baby elephant and one of the exhausted baby elephant lying on the ground after a day with the children. The year old elephant was said to be be especially unlucky because he was the most popular of the animals.

The last elephant postcard is from the 1960s. At that time, Brookfield Zoo had three Indian elephants and two African elephants. The postcard shows one African elephant (with large ears) and two Indian elephants.

A short history of Chicago zoo elephants is posted on the circusnospin blog. There are currently no elephants at Chicago zoos. Two Brookfield Zoo elephants died in 2009. An elephant that had been acquired to keep the last one company was sent to another zoo after that elephant died. This left Chicago zoos without any elephants for the first time since 1889.

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to see more vintage images

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lux Memory Doll House

The Lux Memory Doll House was owned and presented by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur E. Lux of White Bear Lake, Saint Paul, Minnesota. The following information is from the back of these postcards which were published in 1948:
  • Most of the items in this house are 100 years old or more, and all of them are either salesmen's samples, children's toys, or personal keepsakes, some of them perhaps from the home of your own grandparents.
  • This collection required thirty-three years to gather to make it ample for an entire house of ten rooms and is the finest and most complete of its kind in the world.
  • The size of the house is 24 feet long by ten feet wide and weighs 1½ tons.
The doll house was built to one-fourth of life size. It was displayed it at the Minnesota State Fair during for six years, from 1947 to 1953, and was also displayed in other states.

The ad below appeared in The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Florida) on Mar 24, 1948 (source: Google News)

The St. Petersburg newpaper also had an article "Lux Memory Doll House Here" about the doll house which gave some additional information.

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