Saturday, May 31, 2014

W. C. Handy -- Father of the Blues

A 6-cent stamp honoring W. C. Handy was placed on sale on May 17, 1969, at Memphis, Tennessee, the city he immortalized with two compositions, "The Memphis Blues" and "The Beale Street Blues." The stamp was issued during the sesquicentennial anniversary celebration of the city.

William Christopher Handy (1873-1958) was a US composer who is attributed with integrating blues into ragtime. Handy worked as a schoolteacher and bandmaster. He conducted his own orchestra even after he lost his eyesight at the age of 30. His autobiography, "Father of the Blues," was published in 1941.

The stamp was designed by Bernice Kochan of Cleveland, Ohio, winner of a nationwide contest sponsored by Memphis Sesquicentennial, Inc. The artist combined purple, light red, and light blue for a jazzy effect (source)

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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Hall's Hair Renewer

This is a Victorian trade card advertising Hall's Hair Renewer. This type of advertising card was popular with advertisers and collectors in the late 19th century, before postcards became popular. Unlike postcards, there was not a standardized size for trade cards--this one is 3-1/8" X 4-3/4". Trade cards typically had a picture on one side and advertising on the reverse.

The advertising on the back of this card makes Hall's Vegetable Sicilian Hair Renewer sound like a miracle all-purpose hair product, but it really was a quack product. 
According to Hall himself the product formula was given to him by an Italian sailor hence the name Sicilian Hair Renewer. However the actual product formula changed over time. Initially the formula was composed of 60% water, 36% glycerine, 2% lead sugar, and trace amounts of sulfur, sage, raspberry leaves, tea, and oil of citronella. Later on though the formula was 52% water, 26% glycerine, 13% Jamaica rum, 7% bay rum, and trace amounts of lead, sulfur, and salt. The lead combines with the sulfur to form lead sulfides that darken the hair shaft. However, lead is also poisonous…(source)

See ADVERTISEMENTS AND OTHER IMAGES for more Hall's advertising images. The same website also has information and images of many other hair product advertising and bottles here.

For More Hair Raising Images

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Washington Saves His Army at Brooklyn

This 3-cent stamp was issued on December 10, 1951 to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn. The central design of the stamp depicts the evacuation of General Washington's troops from Brooklyn at the site of the Fulton Ferry house. General Washington appears mounted on a white horse, directing his troops. A part of the Fulton Ferry house is shown on the right, and in the distant center, troops already embarked are seen crossing the East River.The maximum card was issued by Velvetone with a plain back.

The Battle of Brooklyn, also known as the Battle of Long Island or the Battle of Brooklyn Heights, was fought on August 27, 1776. It was a defeat for the Continental Army under General George Washington and the beginning of a successful campaign that gave the British control of the strategically important city of New York. In the American Revolutionary War it was the first major battle to take place after the United States declared independence on July 4, 1776. In terms of troop size, it was the largest battle of the entire war British General Howe failed to press the attack, and Washington managed to evacuate all the troops not already killed or captured.(Source: Wikipedia).

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

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mr. and/or Mrs. Kaatskill

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Kaatskill from the Catskill Mountains of New York state. They sure look like the same cat to me. There are many similar looking cats, but not with the same distinctive leg markings.

I was surprised to see the "Mr." mate to my "Mrs." on 9teen87's Postcards blog a few days ago here. The handwriting and date ( 7-18-06) on the bottom of both cards looks the same. Her postcard says "Show this to Frisky." and mine says "This looks like Fluffy."

The cat on the postcards also looks like my late cat Tasha. Tasha, however, refused to wear a hat. The picture below shows her response to my attempt to photograph her wearing a Mrs. Santa pet hat. I put the hat on her head with a strap under her chin, but it didn't stay on her head long. I had to settle for photographing her with her paw on the hat.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Harmony House Restaurant

This postcard is a photo of a room with lots of pennants and tables. Fortunately the information written on the back tells what it is. It is "Harmony House Restaurant owned by Inez Thompson of 'Big Four' quartet."

The Big Four Quartet was the 1953 Sweet Adeline International Quartet Champion. The quartet was based in Chillicothe, Illinois and was made up of Inez "Junior" Thompson, Lucille (Miller) Bradley, Sarah LeMaster, Bertha Bradley and the replacement member Mary Waters. Sweet Adelines International is "a worldwide organization of women committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education, competition, and performance." Barbershop music is described on Wikipedia as follows:
Barbershop vocal harmony, as codified during the barbershop revival era (1930s–present), is a style of a cappella, or unaccompanied vocal music, characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture. Each of the four parts has its own role: generally, the lead sings the melody, the tenor harmonizes above the melody, the bass sings the lowest harmonizing notes, and the baritone completes the chord, usually below the lead.
Member Mary Waters wrote a book about the Big Four Quartette in 2000: 800 Pounds of Harmony: The Big Four Quartette. There is a CD recording of the group, Big Four Quartette, that can be ordered online. The CD is a remastered album the group recorded in 1958, plus several cuts from their live shows.

In the Harmony House restaurant photo, there are about 25 pennants on the wall, arranged around a map of the U.S. with pins placed at various locations. Both the pennants and pins probably represent places where the group performed. The quartet also performed on radio and several popular TV shows. On the far wall there is a portrait of group hanging behind some trophies. Here is an enlargement of the portrait:

I didn't find a recording of the Big Four online, but there are some recordings of recent Sweet Adelines champions. The video below is a recording of the 2014 champions, the Lovenotes.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Map: Texas Shape Wooden Postcard

This Texas shape wooden postcard has a picture of the San Jacinto Monument, which is a 567.31-foot (172.92 m) high column. It is the tallest masonry column in the world and is topped by a star symbolizing the Lone Star State. The monument is a memorial to all those who fought to win the independence of Texas.

This card has the date Aug 15th 1943 written on the back. It required a 1-1/2 cent stamp for mailing, which was the third class rate for 2 ounces.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

USSR Stamps

This postcard shows a collage of USSR stamps on several topics and from several series. The top layer of stamps shows airplanes from several similar series from 1976, 1977, and 1978. Below those are four samovar stamps from 1989 and a couple of lighthouses from 1982. Below those are some ship stamps. There are naval ships from 1982 and ice breakers from some 1970s series.

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

Friday, May 16, 2014

Man-Bird & His Bride Going to "Feather Their Nest"

Hartman Furniture & Carpet Co. used the slogan "Let Hartman Feather Your Nest" in their advertising. They had a large mail order catalog and also had stores in many cities. There is a copy of a 1916 Hartman catalog online here. Another post with a Hartman advertising postcard featuring bride and groom birds is here.

This postcard was mailed from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Lidgerwood, North Dakota. The year in the postmark is unclear, but it looks most like 1910 or 1916. The message:
Dear Folks
I thought I wrote last so was waiting for a card from you. Ida was here from Hankinson last week she only stayed one day will write more next time.  by by . . .

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Sailor's Life — 1904

My post has an excerpt from my grandfather's Navy journal. He started the journal when he joined the Navy in 1901, but most of the entries are from 1904 near the end of his service. I am using some WWI era Sailor Comics postcards as illustrations. These are the only four cards that I have from a No. 684 set of 12 designs. I never actually saw this journal, but my sister did and transcribed it. If you are interested, you can read more of the journal on a web page I made, Navy Journal of Frank J. Brennan — 1901-1905.


The cruise of the U.S.S. Annapolis from the Philippines to Frisco.

USS Annapolis (Source: Wikipedia)

I will try and keep a diary of my cruise on the gunboat Annapolis, but this is about my third attempt and I don’t know how I will succeed.

May 16. Transferred to U.S.S. Annapolis from the U.S.S. Wisconsin. This ship is a gunboat of brigantine rig, and it is a great change from a big battleship. Everything is so small and no room to speak of. She has the navy record for gunboats in target practice, the same as the Wisconsin had the record for her class. Just think of making nine hits out of ten shots in five minutes and forty seconds and each projectile weighting eleven hundred and fifty pounds. That was done on the Wisconsin. This ship’s battery consists of six six-inch, four six-pounders, two one-pounders and two Colts automatic. We were transferred at 6 o’clock of this day, and they were making handclasps when we left our old shipmates. The whole ship company manned the rail and gave three cheers for the homeward bounders, which we returned, and they was many a sigh when we seen the last of the Wisconsin.

May 21. Vicksburg, a sister ship of this, left today in company of the Wisconsin and Frolic for Hong Kong. The Frolic used to be Mark Hanna’s yacht, but is now a gunboat. The Vicksburg had her homeward pennant flying, we are also flying a homeward bounder.

May 22. Pumps broke down and we lay here two weeks longer. We should have went with the Vicksburg, but we will meet her at Yokohama, and there we will both leave for home. Got a new first luff (?) today, Miller by name. He relieved Cristy who used to be executive officer, who is now on the Rainbow.

May 23. Rainbow left for Hong Kong. We have plenty work. We took down a sail today and get plenty running boats to man, but we don’t care. We are all short timers aboard, the longest timer has only eleven months to do.

May 24. Steam launch broke down more ____ boats, all kinds of calls, but we don’t have much quarters, plenty of bright work to shine though.

May 25. Been on the Asiatic Station a little over a year, and I am mighty glad we are to leave it, but some of my shipmates has been here for three years. But what do we care, we are all homeward bound, and before many months are up we shall be in Gods Country, my own United States.

Five o'clock is reveille and all hands get up, get some coffee, have a smoke then it is three bells. Three bells is turn to, scrub, and wash clothes, scrub-down your ____, scrub all paint work, 4 bells stop, all scrub and wash clothes on the line, wash down the decks, shine your bright work, and at six bells draw water and wash, and at seven bells all hands are piped to breakfast. This is an every day occurrence, and I only mentioned it in case any one should try to peruse these lines, they will know what happens in the morning

May 27. Steam launch broke down again, and we get plenty of pulling boats, today especially as we are guard ship and I’ve been pulling since this morning in guard boat. Got the phonograph going, whenever we get a chance. Plum duff for dinner: you get very good chow aboard here, better than the flagship.

May 28. Answered a call ashore getting oil, and we all got our feet blistered from the sun being so hot. We of course were barefooted. Got back in time for dinner. Afternoon rigged our main trysail gaff and row (???) in boat . Drill today was aboard our ship.

May 29. Got a very sore leg and a slight fever, feel pretty bad, but we are used to that. Leg all swollen, had it cut in by the doctor, excused from heavy duty.

May 30. Coaled ship and it was so hot we could hardly work, we actually got dizzy so you know it was warm. But we had to knock off at ten, we could hardly stand. We then had lunch, then a little rest, and we went at it again. But we managed to finish, and have the ship cleaned by night.

May 31. Sent (??? Bent? Went???) all sail.

June 1. Got all the sail and sailing gear ready for sea. In the evening, we gave a farewell entertainment to all the ships now laying here. We had a band, plenty of dancing and refreshments, and whoever knew how to dance or sing had to do their turn., And the farewell was voted by everyone to be a thorough success and as each boat, with the men left us, they gave us three rousing cheers which we returned heartily. I forgot to mention that we also took on stores today.

June 2. Secured all boats for sea, got everything ready, and at 4 P.M. the boats’n’s mates piped, all hands up anchor for home. We then weighed anchor, sent a man to the wheel and chains. It reminded me of a little poem, you see it was 8 bells when we got up anchor, here it is
Strikes 8 bells
Relieve the wheel and chains
Oh, won’t we have a jolly time
When we get home again.
We broke our homeward bound pennant, and steamed slowly by the cruiser Frisco and as we did, they manned the rail and gave three hearty cheers for the homeward bounder. Then we manned the rigging, and we returned them as heartily as they were given, for every man aboard here is glad to leave the dust of the Philippines behind him, where you get weather that would kill a horse but not a blue jacket.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Flowers on Stamps

This postcard is part of a five card series featuring stamps of the world, ©1965. The stamps appear to be from the late 1950s to early 1960s. The Luxembourg stamp in the center commemorates a 1959 flower festival. Above and to the left of center is a British stamp commemorating the 1964 International Botanical Congress in Edinburgh.

I looked up the British stamp and found a post about that stamp and its designers: Stamps and plants make for a lasting union. The stamp shown has a "dog rose" and is part of a four stamp set that also includes Spring gentian, Honeysuckle, and Fringed Water Lily. The designers were Michael and Sylvia Goaman, who also designed other stamps featuring plants and flowers, including the Queen's 1953 Coronation stamp with floral emblems of the UK.

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

Friday, May 9, 2014

Birthday Cats

This is one of the cards that I bought at a postcard show last weekend. This postcard is for my "cat collection." I have a binder filled with cat tradecards and postcards. Cats are fairly common on Christmas postcards, but I have seen very few on birthday postcards.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wicker Porch Furniture for Summer

Above is an advertising postcard for Porch Furniture with a May 1914 calendar. This style of postcard was designed to be sent by furniture sellers. This, and other advertising postcards with calendars, typically were published in series, with one card for each month.

The postcard above does not list a publisher. The two postcards below also have pictures of wicker porch furniture. These were published by Grand Rapids Furniture Record Co. © 1912 and have verses on the front and 1913 calendars and advertising messages on the backs. Grand Rapids, Michigan was a major furniture manufacturing center, and the Grand Rapids Furniture Record was a publication of the Grand Rapids Furniture Manufacturers Association.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Map: Route 66 Kopper Kard

Arizona, The Copper State, is a storehouse of the wonders of nature. Mineral wealth, the Grand Canyon and other extraordinary scenery, and a mild climate are atttracting visitors and new residents by the thousands.

"A Card to be Treasured"
© by Kopper Kard Co., Salt Lake City, Utah.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Paintings on Soviet Postage Stamps

This postcard above shows Paintings on Soviet Postage Stamps ( произведения живописи на советских почтовых марках ) from The State Tretyakov Gallery (государственная третьяковская галерея). Starting at top left, the stamps and paintings going clockwise are:
  • 1967 The Lace Maker by V. A. Tropinin (1823)
  • 1967 The Boyarynya Morozova by  V. I. Surikov (1887)
  • 1973 That Is Father's Dinner by A. G. Venitsianov by  (1824)
  • 1974 Port in the North by G. G. Nissky (1957)
  • 1974 Spring by O. M. Zardaryan (1956)

Here are two of those stamps affixed to postcards of the corresponding paintings. The first psinting is "The Boyarynia Morozova," a historical painting depicting a "boyarynia", or woman of high nobility, being dragged through the narrow streets of Moscow, after having started a rebellion against the ruling czars of Russia in 1671. (source)

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

Friday, May 2, 2014

M & M's in Space

© MARS, Inc. 1989
"M & M's ® and "m" ® are licensed trademarks of Mars, Incorporated registered for candies
postcard © Hallmark Cards, Inc.

The first Friday in May is Space Day. Space Day was originally started to get America's youth interested in math and science. Space Day focuses upon creating an interest and awareness of all kinds of topics and issues related to space. (source)

In 1981, "M&M's"® Chocolate Candies were chosen by the first space shuttle astronauts to be included in their food supply. "M&M's"® are now on permanent display at the space food exhibit of the National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C. (source)

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