Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bamforth Postcards

Bamforth & Co. of Holmfirth  (England) and New York published this postcard circa 1910 ("photo only copyright 1910"). It was printed in England and is part of Series No. 1648. I wish I knew what the rest of the series is about. The other postcards in the series are probably  related to some aspect of this scene--but which one? The reason I bought this postcard is that I collect "postcards about postcards," and this card has a Bamforth's display in the background (see enlarged detail below).

I often have difficulty in understanding the humor on postcards from the early twentieth century, even when they are American. This postcard was used in the U.S., but its style is more English than American. I suspect this postcard would probably be understood better by someone in England--and there are many Sepians from England. Can anyone identify the "well-known paper?" The humor on postcards often depends on words or phrases with more than one meaning. In this case, the humor on the postcard also seems to depend on the various meanings of "take in."

Bamforth & Co was started in 1870 by James Bamforth, a portrait photographer. In the late 19th century the company specialized in making lantern slides. Bamforth postcards evolved from the slides by the early 1900s. Their early postcards were based on photographs and included illustrated songs and comic subjects. By 1905 there were branches in New York and London, although the main office remained in Holmfirth. By the end of WWI 20,000,000 cards were being printed every year, and artist drawn postcards were more popular. Bamforth continued producing postcards through most of the twentieth century.  The company was best known for its saucy seaside comics, a peculiarly British phenomenon.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Map: See 5 States

Big Walker Lookout Historic Mountain Pass lies near the center of the Appalachian Highlands affording a gateway to the many scenic and natural splendors of these beautiful mountains and valleys. the view from here of the distant Blue Ridge and the surrounding mountains is probably unsurpassed in the entire range.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Nevada Statehood Anniversary

This stamp was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Nevada statehood. It was first placed on sale through the Carson City, Nevada, post office 50 years ago, on July 22, 1964.The shape on the right side of the stamp is that of the Nevada state map. The background features a view of Virginia City.

Virginia City sprang up as a boomtown following the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode,  the first major silver deposit discovery in the United States. At its peak in the mid-1860s it had an estimated 25,000 residents, but the mines' output declined after 1878. Virginia City is now a tourist attraction. Its 2010 population was only about 855. (source: Wikipedia).

The postcard used for this maximum card has a view from Carson City which is described on the back of the card as follows:
Colorful display of historic antique objects includes a beautifully preserved early train and steam engine of the Virginia-Truckee Railroad which "opened up" the area during the historic silver boom.
The USPS issued a stamp on May 29, 2014 to honor Nevada's 150th anniversary. This stamp has a view of an area in Fire Canyon, part of Valley of Fire, Nevada’s oldest state park. At dawn, the sandstone formations glow in shades of brilliant reds and yellows — a result of various quantities of iron in the rock — highlighted by deep purple and blue shadows.

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

Friday, July 25, 2014

New York World's Fair: Royal Visitors

This potcard was mailed on June 6, 1939 with the following message:
Dear Anne:
My birthday is June 16. You can make me happy by writing me a line. Please. The Fair is getting ready for the Royal Couple. So far the Fair is wonderful and even if you don't see it, you will hear plenty about it.

King George and Queen Elizabeth visited the 1939 New York World's Fair on June 10. Read more about their visit here.

Look for more World's Fair Postcards on the Postcardy Blog on Fridays.

To view past World's Fair posts, click here or on the exposition label.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Signs on Hennepin Avenue

Although "signs" is one of my favorite postcard collecting topics, I don't have any postcards with building signs advertising signs like the one in this week's Sepia Saturday prompt. I chose this postcard for my post because of  the "Business is better in Minneapolis" sign (which advertises both Minneapolis business and advertising itself) and the Orpheum Theater signs. This postcard is probably from the early 1930s.

Hennepin Avenue is one of the main streets in downtown Minneapolis. The Orpheum Theater is located between 9th and 10th Streets. The State Theater, also seen on the postcard, is located between 8th and 9th Streets. Both of these theaters opened in 1921 and have been restored. RKO, appearing at the top of the old sign, was one of the biggest movie studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The Orpheum Theater presented both vaudeville acts and movies. The names at the bottom of the sign — Richard Dix, Jackie Cooper, Burns & Allen — were all popular well-known entertainers.

I was somewhat surprised that I couldn't find more old photos of the Orpheum Theater. The one below is dated approximately 1925 (source). The theater sign appears to be much shorter in this photo, and the marquee isn't clear enough to read. What really surprised me is what is next to the theater in this photo — a building with signs advertising signs!

Below is an enlarged view of the "signs" building. On the side of that building is a sign advertising Holsum Bread, and next door is a shoe shine shop with with signs advertising the prices for dyeing shoes black or brown.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Paintings on Soviet Postage Stamps

This postcard pictures four paintings from the The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is the largest museum of European art in Moscow.

The two stamps with the yellow border were issued in 1974. The painting on the top row is a market scene by Joachim Beuckelaer (1533–1574), a Flemish painter specialising in market and kitchen scenes. Below that is “Woman Selling Fish” by Pieter Pietersz (1540-1603), a Dutch Renaissance painter.

In the center of the bottom row is a 1971 stamp with “Girl Fruit-seller”  by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), a Spanish Baroque painter. .

On the left side of the postcard is a 1970 stamp with a painting of Actress Jeane Samary by French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919).

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

Friday, July 18, 2014

1939 World's Fairs

This year is the 75th anniversary of two important world's fairs (expositions) held in the U. S. One was held in San Francisco and the other in New York. Both fairs were held a second year in 1940. To celebrate the 75th anniversary, I am going to feature postcards from these fairs on my blog on Fridays.

The San Francisco fair was called the Golden Gate International Exposition and was held on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. It celebrated the completion of San Francisco's two large new bridges--the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge (opened in 1936) and the Golden Gate Bridge (opened in 1937).

The 1939–40 New York World's Fair was held at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (also the location of the1964–1965 New York World's Fair). This exposition was based on the future, allowing visitors to view "the world of tomorrow."

Look for more World's Fair Postcards on the Postcardy Blog on Fridays.

To view past World's Fair posts, click here or on the exposition label.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Terrace Garden Ice Skaters

The postcard above shows an ice skater performing at the Terrace Garden Restaurant at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago. It is the only postcard I have of the ice skating show there, but there are others including the two shown below (source: Roy Blakey's IceStage Archive). The postcards below show an ice-skating carnival (left) and a skating act (right).

The Terrace Garden Restaurant had a tiered dining area curved around a large area that could be used as a dance floor or stage. The dance floor could be converted to an ice rink for performances by professional skaters. The small portable ice stages were called "tanks." The first permanent ice tank was installed in the College Inn of Chicago's Hotel Sherman in 1914. This type of show became popular and was copied by other hotels, including the Morrison. My postcard was mailed in 1922. Hotel ice shows seem to have died out during prohibition, but were revived later.

The following is an except from a 1917 description of a show at the Terrace Garden (source):
The first part of the programme was devoted to a high-class cabaret programme in which the entire Terrace Garden company took part . . . When this was over the rugs and sylvan scenery disappeared, giving place to a surface of glittering ice and a background of wintry scenery, which was the setting for a wonderfully graceful and fascinating skating show. The stars [a man and woman] . . . were backed by a duo of feminine skaters hardly less agile and attractive, and a whole skating ballet of pretty girls who coasted down onto the ice on sleds and performed numberless figures in the ice carnival . . . It was a Mardi Gras Carnival on ice . . .

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

New York Hot Dog!

These are two "World's Fair Comics" postcards from the first New York World's Fair.

2014 is the 75th anniversary of the 1939 New York World's Fair, and July is National Hot Dog Month.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

1950s Hairstyles & Beauty

This postcard advertising Cold Wave by Helene Curtis was sent out by a hair stylist in 1951.  Cold waves are a type of permanent wave invented in 1938 that does not use machines or heat (source: Wikipedia).

I have never had any personal experience with permanents, and I never liked the look of most permanents that I was aware of. Of course, if the permanents looked as nice as the ones in ads, I probably wouldn't even be aware that it was a permanent.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Belarus Sport Stamps

These two postcards show Belarus winter sports stamps. The postcards are dated 2013. The stamps shown are from the 1990s and 2000s.

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

Friday, July 4, 2014

Freedom's Jubilee

This is a day of memory--July 4, 1776. July 4 is the day Independence Day is celebrated in the United States and it is usually thought of as the day representing the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.

However . . .
July 4, 1776 wasn't the day that the Continental Congress decided to declare independence (they did that on July 2, 1776). It wasn’t the day we started the American Revolution either (that had happened back in April 1775). And it wasn't the day Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (that was in June 1776). Or the date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain (that didn't happen until November 1776). Or the date it was signed (that was August 2, 1776).

The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They'd been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes. July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) It’s also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remembered. (source:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Altar of the Nation

This is a postcard of the Altar of the Nation at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, New Hampshire. The picture shows Governor Gregg of New Hampshire placing President Dwight D. Eisenhower's wreath at the altar. Roses on the Altar are tributes of every Governor of the 48 States. According to the caption on the back of the postcard, this event took place on Independence Day (July 4) 1953. I wonder whether this caption is correct. This type of event usually takes place on Memorial Day (the last Monday of May), the holiday for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country's armed forces.

The Cathedral of the Pines was founded in 1945 as a memorial to those men and women who had sacrificed their lives in World War II.  The memorial's mission was later expanded to include all American war dead. The Altar of the Nation was built in 1946. The stones making up this altar come from every state and territory in the United States, and include a stone donated from every U.S. President since Harry Truman. There are also stones from many other significant places.

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