Saturday, May 31, 2014


I had to dig into the vintage dictionary collection to find a definition for asthore.  (N)  Irish, my treasure: a term of endearment.  For the record, spell check doesn't recognize asthore.  How disappointing.

Written on an undivided back, "Mrs Jos. H. Stock, Hillsboro Lower Village, N.H. c/o J W Jackman"  Also, two postmarks, "WHITERIVER JUNCTION, 2:30 pm, APR 30, 1907"  and "HILLSBORO BRIDGE, N.H. MAY 1, 4 PM, 1907 REC'D."  Published by Bamforth & Co., Holmforth England, and New York City.  They were in business from 1870 through 1990.  They opened their New York Office in 1906.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Photographic Pleasures

I haven't posted anything from this collection for awhile, so I'm going to start off with a bit of explanation.  A year or so ago, I bought an envelope full of postcards that the seller referred to as his flirtation collection.  He had bundled postcards that had somewhat romantic themes, most from the New England area, especially Maine. There are some repeat names, towns, and addresses. Some of the cards are actual photographs, some, like this one, pretty clearly started life in a camera and have been converted into tinted halftones.  The images that are pure illustration are posted on my Fair Use blog  ( that I use for non photographic bits of ephemera that I've picked up over the years, as well as interesting images I've found while surfing the web.   I've followed the sellers lead, and have tagged them flirtation in the labels section at the bottom of the post.

Written on the back, "Shall be down in the 3:30 Fri. hope to see you when I get there.  Shall stop at the house.  H."  This card has an undivided back from the years when it was against postal regulations to write a note on the back of a postcard.  Never stamped or addressed, it must have been sent in an envelope. Published by The Taylor Art Co., of Philadelphia, PA.  They were in business from 1907 to 1909.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Desk Lady

This one's been sitting on my desk for months.  Some how or another, it kept getting bumped for another photo.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Gold Star Mothers

How's this for a happy bunch of people?  I really like the guy in the front row with the baby doll and the lap sitting on the right.   But when I first saw these two photos, it wasn't the party action that caught my eye.  It was the star banner in the background.  In 1918, at the recommendation of the Women's Service Committee, American women were authorized to wear a black armband with a blue star for every child in the military and a gold star for every son or daughter who had died.  Banners were also made using the same design. On June 4, 1928, twenty-five women residing in Washington, D.C., started Gold Star Mothers, Inc., as a service organization providing comfort to the mother's of dead servicemen.  During World War 2 and Korea, Gold Star Mothers distributed banners with the traditional blue star, gold star configuration.  They were usually hung in the front window of the serviceman's home, so that people walking down the street could see who was serving and who had sacrificed their lives.  This photo shows a single blue star, and since the people in these photos look late forties, early fifties, the banner could be a hold over from World War 2, or current for the forgotten conflict, Korea.  I was born in 1955, in a small town in Pennsylvania, and a lot of people still hung blue and gold star banners in their home.   One other bit of info, a gold star banner wasn't limited to combat deaths.  During World War 2, as an example, more American soldiers in the North Africa campaign died from heat, than from combat.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mystery History 7

This is it.  The last of this collection, and it's still all a mystery.  I don't know if these photos were taken in the United States or Europe.  Don't know the backgrounds of these people, their ethnicity, their politics, or their intent.  Anyway, one final thought.  Play balalaikas, not war.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mystery History 6

More marching men, more writing, and a new date.  I've been thinking, and Cyrillic writing, and Eastern Rite Church, does that equal Serbia?  The top picture has a couple of nice bicycles, and, perhaps, an American policeman standing next to the smaller one in the background.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mystery History 5

Well, I did warn people that this collection might have limited interest for viewers.  This one has the two subjects that have dominated so far.  People having fun, especially the kids, and marching men showing their martial readiness.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mystery History 4

More marching men!  Two observations from today's post.  The first is the visitation of the Patriarch.  Let's be honest, throughout history,  military and militias have always sought the blessing of the local priest, preacher, whatever.  The second, take a look at the kids in picture six.  They're playing something that looks a whole lot like a pick-up baseball game.  While that would indicate a picture taken in the United States, there is another explanation.  It's part of the national history that people came to America, but what's rarely mentioned is that many of those immigrants went back home.  So, kids come to the U.S. at a very young age, spend their formative years in America,  they're parents go home with the children, and the kids miss all sorts of things, like baseball.  And then comes one of the most brutal wars in history.  If those kids were hauled back to eastern Europe, many of them would have died in the conflict.  And if anyone out there recognizes the building in the final picture, let me know.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mystery History 3

As promised, a date and Cyrillic writing.  When I was younger, I spoke a somewhat conversational Russian.  I could order a meal, find a bathroom, but would have been baffled by a doctor's office.  In any case, I'm sure it's Cyrillic, but not Russian.  As far as the year, 1938, it was a good one for uniforms.  From Balkan nationalists, to political extremists, parading around in uniform was quite common.  And, not just in Europe.  The United States had it's fair share of paramilitary groups roaming the countryside, with The German American Bund the most prominent.  It's hard to imagine, but yes, Hitler youth walked the streets of the United States.  I have no idea where any of the photos in this collection were taken.  They might all have come from eastern Europe, the U.S., or both.  All I know for sure was that they were purchased from an EBay dealer in Wisconsin.  Translations welcome.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mystery History 2

I've guessed some sort of militia rather than an actual military because of the kids.  These groups always have a youth auxiliary.  The white numbers are easy to explain.  Black ink on the negative prints white and is a common practice when prints are made in volume, for sale.