Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Greyhound Bus Cartoons by Wally Falk

Wally Falk (d. 1962) was a former bus driver and syndicated cartoonist based in Minneapolis. He drew the newspaper comics Family Car and Country Parson. He also had bus comics published in a small book Bus Busters Cartoons (1954) and Greyhound company publications such as Rearview Mirror.

These postcards are copyright 1955, Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Herald-Review.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gluek Brewing Company - Minneapolis

German immigrant Gottlieb Gluek started the Mississippi Brewing Company in 1855. The brewery was located on the bank of the Mississippi River in what would become Minneapolis. The name was soon changed to the Gluek Brewing Company. The original brewery burned in 1880 and was rebuilt.

G. Heileman bought the brewery in 1964 and tore it down in 1966.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park is located in central Arkansas. The National Park was established from Hot Springs Reservation which was was initially created by an act of the United States Congress on April 20, 1832. The area was made a national park on March 4, 1921. It is the smallest national park by area in the United States.

The hot springs flow from the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain, part of the Ouachita Mountain range. The springs have been managed to conserve the production of uncontaminated hot water for public use. The hot spring water has been used in therapeutic baths for more than two hundred years to treat rheumatism and other ailments. While it was a reservation, the area was a well-known resort nicknamed The American Spa.

The postcard below shows an aerial view of Hot Springs. The building in the top left corner of the postcard is the Park Hotel which was originally opened in 1930. It is located directly opposite Hot Springs Mountain. The hotel was restored, and I stayed there in the 1990s. It still has an old-fashioned look and reasonable rates.

The next postcard shows one of the 47 Thermal Springs at Hot Springs National Park. The description on the back says that 1,000,000 gallons of water daily flowed from these springs at 85° to 147° Fahrenheit.

The next postcard (ca. 1940) shows one of the public hot water drinking fountains and some people "drinking radio active hot water." Drinking water is dispensed from several hot water jug fountains, and the hot water is naturally potable. The water has a measurable level of radioactivity primarily due to dissolved radon gas, with some radium. In the past collection and distribution equipment was designed to retain the radon gas, while now it is designed to allow it to escape.

The level of exposure to radiation that results from bathing appears to be similar to the level that would result from sitting in the sun for the same period of time. The park water is considered well within safe limits and similar to other natural waters throughout the world. (source: Wikipedia)

There have been nearly two dozen pay bathhouses open at the same time, with about nine of those within the park's "Bathhouse Row." In 1929, prices for single baths ranged from $1 to $1.40, while a course of 21 baths was $16 to $24. Baths were offered at the Arlington Hotel, Fordyce, Buckstaff, Eastman Hotel, Maurice, La Mar, Majestic Hotel, Quapaw, Hale, Imperial, Moody Hotel, Ozark, St. Joseph's Infirmary, Superior, Ozark Sanatorium, Rockafellow, Alhambra, Pythian (colored), and Woodmen of Union (colored). At present on Bathhouse Row, only the Buckstaff is operating as a traditional bathhouse. The Quapaw has been restored as a spa. The Fordyce is open as a visitors center giving tours of the facilities that have been renovated to appear as they originally did and The Ozark is currently housing the Museum of Contemporary Art and can be rented as reception hall. The Arlington Hotel, Austin Hotel and Convention Center, and The Springs Hotel & Spa also offer hot spring baths using the Park water. (source: Wikipedia)

The next postcard shows the Buckstaff Baths (ca. 1930) which has been in continuous service since 1912. This postcard advertises white attendants.

The next postcard (unidentified and unknown date, possibly Buckstaff and 1920s) shows white attendants in the ladies bathing department of a bath house.

According to an article African Americans and the Hot Springs Baths on the National Park Service website, most bath attendants were African American until the 1980s. The next (ca. 1941) postcard shows African American attendants in the men's department of a Hot Springs Bath House.

Finally, I have a humorous view of before and after 21 baths. The hot baths were often taken once a day for three weeks.

For More Vintage Images

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Vista Dome

The back of this postcard has the following description:
The Burlington presents the VISTA DOME, an entirely new idea in train travel. In this new type car, 24 passengers are seated in the Vista Dome, a laminated, heat and ray-resisting glass penthouse, replacing a section of the roof and providing an unobstructed view in all directions. Modern air-conditioning affords complete comfort. Burlington is building a fleet of these cars for the enjoyment of its patrons.
The ad below is from Popular Mechanics of September 1945 (source: Wikipedia)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Historic Sibley House - Mendota, Minnesota

Sibley House is considered the oldest private residence in Minnesota. It was built for Henry Hastings Sibley between 1835 and 1836 of limestone blocks cut from a nearby quarry. Sibley was the regional manager of the American Fur Company and Minnesota's first governor.

After Sibley moved to St. Paul in 1862, the house was used for several purposes and eventually fell into ruins. In 1910, the house was rescued and restored by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), who opened it to the public.

In 1997 the DAR turned the ownership of the Sibley Historic Site to State of Minnesota and the management to the Minnesota Historical Society.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Swedish Göta Canal Stamps

This postcard shows Swedish stamps of the Göta Canal that were in a booklet of 6 stamps issued May 7, 1979. The subjects of the individual stamps are: the tourist steamer Juno, the locks at Borenshult, the roller bridge at Hajstorp, a lock keeper, a sailing vessel and a canoe paddler in the Forsvik lock.

These stamps were engraved by Slania. (click the images below to see more detail)

Sweden's Göta Canal was constructed in the early 19th century. The canal itself is 118 miles (190 km) long and has 58 locks. It forms the backbone of a waterway stretching 382 miles (614 km), linking a number of lakes and rivers to provide a route from Gothenburg (Swedish:Göteborg) on the west coast to Söderköping on the Baltic Sea via the river Göta älv and the Trollhätte kanal, through the large lakes Vänern and Vättern.

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

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pinching & Police & Women

Like this postcard of a woman dressed in a sexy police outfit, most of the postcards with a police theme fall in the comic category. Also like this postcard, many comic postcards depend for their humor on a caption with a pun or double meaning. Pinch is a word with many meanings. Here the humor comes mainly from two of those meanings. The most common meaning of pinch is "to squeeze between the thumb and a finger," which gives this image a risque interpretation. Pinch is also slang meaning "an arrest by a law enforcement officer." Naughty can mean simply disobedient or mischievous, but it can also imply something indecent or irmmoral.

The picture on the postcard is not as far-fetched as it first appears. The postcard was published about the same time that women suffragists were demonstrating for equal voting rights. The picture below is from the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. It was published in 1909, and its title is "Policewomen - the woman "Cop" (a dream). Suffragette posed to illus. woman police concept - Cincinnati."

Another photo from the Library of Congress shows the "Arrest of Suffragette, London Oct. 1913." Not only is the policeman arresting or pinching the woman, but she is displaying another meaning of pinch with her pinched face.

There actually were a few women police in the United States early in the twentieth century, but they were mostly limited to working with women and children. The first police woman may have been Marie Owens who was transferred to the Chicago Police Department in 1891 after working with the city health department as one of five female factory inspectors who enforced child-labor and compulsory education laws. Alice Stebbin Wells was a social worker who became a Los Angeles policewoman in 1910. Lola Baldwin of Portland, Oregon has also been called the "First U.S. Policewoman." She became a paid policewoman in 1908 and oversaw the Women's Protective Division.

The next picture is also from the Library of Congress. It is dated 1918 and titled  "Police Women - Capt. Edyth Totten and women police reserve. New York City."

For More Vintage Photos

Monday, October 15, 2012

Herman the German - New Ulm, Minnesota

The following description of the history of Herman's Monument is from the New Ulm website:
Hermann (Arminius), a Cheruscan chieftain, spearheaded the struggle to defend German tribes against a Roman imperial army.  In time the Hermann story became a legend and Hermann a symbol of strength and unity in preserving freedom.

The story of the Roman legions’ first major defeat unfolds in the forests of north-central Europe at the time of Christ.  In autumn of A.D. 9 a coalition of German tribes under Hermann ambushed three Roman legions commanded by Qunctilius Varus.  The defeat caused Caesar Augustus and his successors to forego conquering Central Europe.  A new imperial policy changed European history.  The people of Central Europe developed independent of Roman Rule.

Today, on Grotenberg Mountain, a high hill near the German city of Detmold, a colossal statue of Hermann memorializes the event.  A similar but unique monument in New Ulm, Minnesota, has come to represent the contributions of Americans of German heritage, the largest ethnic group to emigrate from Europe to the United States.
The monument's cornerstone was laid in 1888. The statue was created in Ohio and shipped to New Ulm. It arrived in 1890 and was dedicated in 1897. Structural and cosmetic restoration projects were carried out in 1998 and again in 2004. (source: Wikipedia)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lace Making & Most Popular 1976 Swedish Stamps

One of my favorite Swedish stamp postcards is the one above showing a girl at her lace-pillow making bobbin lace. In the background is the monastery church of Vadstena. This stamp was engraved by Slania and was issued on March 10, 1976.

A variety of postage stamps on the lace theme are shown at Lace Stamps of the World.

The postcard below shows the ten most popular stamps in the contest for the most beautiful Swedish stamp of 1976. The lace making stamp is in the bottom row with the two Europa Handicraft stamps (the handicraft stamps were featured on my post here). The three stamps in the first two rows are from the province of Ångermanland series. The two stamps at the left of the third row are one commemorating the Royal Wedding of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Miss Silvia Sommerlath and one showing a chimney sweep. The other two stamps in the third row are from the Christmas- Medieval Book-Painting series.

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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

WWI Soldier Souvenir Postcard from France

This is a souvenir postcard sent from France by an American soldier to his sister in Holland, Iowa. It was written on September 30, 1918. Most of the message is readable, though some words, including the soldier's name, are obscured by markings.
Dear Sister
Will send you a card that I am coming along fine. the weather is damp & cold but we got a fair place at present. how is every thing out their hope fine wrote you a letter few days ago received one yesterday also one from M.(?) I think you be picking corn (?) when this card gets their.
Priv. Al...A.E.F.
The A.E.F. initials at the end of the message stand for American Expeditionary Forces, the United States Armed Forces sent to Europe in World War I. Soldiers Mail is written at top right on the postcard. The postmark over that is indistinct, but I can tell that it says Army Post Office and appears to be dated 8. 10 (October 10?) In the center of the postcard is a stamp that says EXAMINED by No. 26. AT the bottom left of the card is a BASE CENSOR stamp with an American Eagle in its center.

Soldiers Mail has changed a lot since WWI. I wonder whether any soldiers still send real postcards back home. The Missing You - Letters from Wartime video  by the National Postal Museum traces Soldiers Mail from the Civil War to the present.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hobble Skirt Cars on Broadway - New York City

The following description is on the back of this postcard:
The new surface cars now so numerous on Broadway were first introduced in 1914. The central portion of the cars is built close to the ground and the doors are in the center of the car, the steps being only about 6 inches from the ground.
 The hobble skirt cars got their name from the women's fashion of hobble skirts, skirts with narrow hems that made it difficult for the wearer to climb into a streetcar. The low floors on the hobble skirt cars made it easier to enter the streetcar.

More information about the hobble skirt cars can be found on Tramway Information.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sprial Bridge - Hastings, Minnesota

This "one-of-a-kind" spiral bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Hastings, Minnesota was built in 1895. The bridge was designed with a spiral ramp so that it was high enough for steamboats to pass under it while still exiting at the main business district of Hastings.

The spiral bridge was destroyed after a replacement bridge was built in 1951. That bridge in turn is in the process of being replaced.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Centennial of Engineering Stamp

The Centennial of Engineering stamp commemorated the 100th anniversary of the American Society of Civil Engineers which was founded in 1852. The stamp was issued in Chicago on September 6, 1952, during the convocation of the Centennial of Engineering at the Conrad Hilton Hotel. The design features a wooden bridge typical of the 1850s, New York City's George Washington Bridge, which opened in 1931, and the emblem of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The George Washington Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River, connecting New York City and New Jersey. The bridge now has an upper level carrying four lanes in each direction and a lower level with three lanes in each direction. There is a path on each side of the upper level for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

The George Washington Bridge was opened to traffic in 1931 with a six-lane roadway. During the first full year of operation in 1932 more than 5.5 million vehicles used the bridge. As traffic demand increased, additional construction was necessary. The two center lanes of the bridge, which had been left unpaved in the original construction, were opened to traffic in 1946. The six lanes of the lower roadway were completed in 1962. (source: Port Authority of NY & NJ)

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

Friday, October 5, 2012

Raymond & Whitcomb Co. Cruise

Here are three postcards sent by the Raymond & Whitcomb Co. reporting on their Spring 1927 Mediterranean Cruise that left New York on March 29 on the Cunard Liner Carinthia. The information is printed on government postal cards that were sent from the offices of the Raymond & Whitcomb Co. at the request of one of the cruise members. The cards were postmarked in Boston on April 7, 13, and 26. The first one has a cancellation promoting the Citizen's Military Training Camps, and the others have a South Postal Station cancel.

The ship Carinthia was launched in April 1925. She crossed the Atlantic on the Liverpool-Boston-New York route and was also used for cruising. The Carinthia was converted into an armed merchant cruiser in 1939. She was torpedoed by a German submarine off the Irish Coast on June 6, 1940 and sank 36 hours later.

The last image (source: eBay) is a menu from the 1929 Raymond & Whitcomb Mediterranean Cruise.

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