HAPPY NEW YEAR as the last hours tick away

By this time tomorrow...

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A card similar to this is available on Card Cow.


Happy New Year with BERNHARDT WALL

A card created by Bernhardt Wall. I'll be featuring another of his cards this weekend.

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Bernhardt Wall was born in Buffalo, New York on Dec. 30, 1872. He died in 1956 in Sawtelle, California.
After studying at the Buffalo Art League, Bernhardt Wall began a career in lithography in 1889. He soon became known as the "Postcard King" and designed over 5,000 comic cards. He served in the Spanish American War in Cuba.

About 1915, he decided to make etching his vocation. He then had studios in NYC, Houston (TX), Lime Rock (CT), and Sierra Madre (CA). He died in Sawtelle, CA on Feb. 9, 1956.

As an historian, he specialized in famous people and historical events. He was the illustrator and author of Odyssey of the Etcher of Books, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson. Member: Sierra Madre Art Guild; Chicago Society of Etchers.

Exh: San Antonio AA, 1894 (medal); Fort Worth Museum, 1929, 1935 (solos); Witte Museum (San Antonio), 1936, 1955 (solos); Laguna Beach AA, 1945-46. In: Huntington Art Gallery; Grosvenor Library (Buffalo); British Museum; Lincoln Library (Shippensburg, PA); Library of Congress; New York Historical Society; Southwest Museum (LA); Newark (NJ) Public Library; Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Iowa State Universities. WWAA 1936-53; Pasadena Star-News, 2-14-1956 (obit). (SOURCE: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940")
To see other cards by Bernhardt Wall click here, here, and here at Card Cow where you can actually buy a card like this. Click here to read about his archive at the library at Texas A & M. Click here to go to Google Images.

Over at Tattered and Lost Photographs I'll be featuring some photos the next few days to get you in the mood for the New Year.



Like I said the other day, I had no idea I had so many Christmas themed cards by the Whitney company. If you need to see what the back of this card looks like just go back a couple days and look at another post. I'm just getting lazy now.

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It's not too late to get your order in to Santa. I know you all want a Cadet bicycle speedometer. It's probably the most eye-popping mind-blowing item that could be under your tree!!!

Be maniacal about your obsession! Tell everyone over and over again until they start to sneer when you walk into a room. Drive them nuts! NUTS I TELL YOU! NUTS!!!

Put it next to dad's place at the dinner table. Remember, subtlety makes you weak. We don't want to appear weak around Christmas. You'll be the talk of your block as they cart you away!

Just imagine making your folks turn gray before their time!

And oh yeah, getting a bike under the tree is nice, but a speedometer is OUT OF THIS WORLD! And a magical tissue floating in front of your sister is just the best!

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SOURCE: February 1964 She's Josie.

Manufactured by the Stewart-Warner Corporation:
Stewart-Warner is a US manufacturer of vehicle instruments, a.k.a. gauges. The company was founded as Stewart & Clark Company in 1905 by John K. Stewart. Their speedometers were used in the Ford Model T. In 1912 John Stewart joined with Edgar Bassick to make vehicle instruments and horns. Bassick owned Alemite Co and Stewart had bought the Warner Instrument Company, thus the name was changed to Stewart-Warner Corporation. The company started in Chicago and built a manufacturing plant on Diversey Parkway. The building kept expanding and finally covered one-million square feet (93,000 m²) and six floors. They also made radios and refrigerators, and produced the ubiquitous "zerk" grease fitting, named after its inventor, associated with the company. In the last years of the company's Chicago factory, it owned a number of aging six-spindle Brown & Sharpe and New Britain screw machines.

They also made heat exchangers starting in the 1940s under the "South Wind Division", but since then it became independent of its parent. They still use the Stewart-Warner name, and the web site is hyphenated: http://www.stewart-warner.com/

In the 1980s the company was bought by BTR plc who in the early 1990s decided to relocate to Juarez, Mexico and Stewart-Warner was taken over by another management team. In early 1998 Stewart-Warner was bought by Datcon Instrument Company (later renamed to Maxima Technologies), but kept the Stewart-Warner brand. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Now that I've got the speedometer I want those tassle thingies that went on the handle bars. I want my Huffy decked out.



Until I scanned some holiday post cards I hadn't even realized how many were by the same publisher.

I give you the third in a row Whitney card. Another card with embossing where I like the back better than the front.

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Does anyone remember yelling out "Get a horse!" to someone whose car had broken down? I can also remember kids yelling it out school bus windows at kids who were walking to school. An old phrase, long out of fashion. I would guess that the meaning of it is not known by anyone under 50. I'm of the generation who still related to the comment through memories of my grandparents. Yell at someone these days and you'll probably get a most curious look.

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Another card from the Whitney Company in Worcester Massachusetts.


CHRISTMAS: SHOP 'til you drop!

This message is brought to you by the retailer's of America. Shop until you drop and then shop some more. It's how we do things in this country. And by all means, WANT a lot! And then want even more!

I'm not opposed to gift giving, I enjoy it. I am against the making a demand list. I'm especially against children making huge lists of wants/demands. As a child I was told I could ask for one thing, only one thing. I was happy if I got it. Anything else I received was just icing on the cake. I wish people would go back to this way of thinking.

Yes, shop. Support retailers, but be a thoughtful shopper. Wisely spend your money and consider where it's going.

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The card was produced by the Whitney Company in Worcester, Massachusetts. You can read a bit more about the company here.



They might be far away, but we should never forget them no matter if they're currently serving or served in the past.

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Manufacturer was Illustrated Post Cards and Novelty Company. If you click here you'll be taken to a book called Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Errors of the..., Volume 85 which lays out an interesting case brought by the company.



This card, published by Wolf & Co., mailed in 1919, doesn't look the least bit Christmassy to me. I'm guessing this was a generic image that just had holiday messages slapped on as necessary. Still, a nice little card badly worn.

Cannot read the artist's signature. Perhaps someone will find it familiar.

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Thanks to the observant reader Lori for pointing me in the right direction about the card's illustrator. It is indeed an Ellen H. Clapsaddle image. You can read the Wikipedia entry about her here. Here is a portion of the piece which points out exactly how close Clapsaddle was to the owners of the company Wolf & Co.:
Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle (January 8, 1865 in South Columbia, New York, died 1934) was an American illustrator/commercial artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Not only is her style greatly admired and well recognized, today she is recognized as the most prolific souvenir/postcard and greeting card artist of her era.

Clapsaddle’s father died on January 5, 1891, and she and her mother went to live with an aunt in Richfield Springs. Clapsaddle spent her next fourteen years not only giving art lessons, but also creating and selling illustrations, landscapes, and portraits commissioned by local wealthy families, and freelance artwork that she submitted to various publishers through the mail out of an art studio in downtown Richfield Springs.

Initially, two of her designs were accepted by the International Art Publishing Company in New York City to be used as souvenir/postcards that became an immediate success as bestsellers. After that initial purchase of two designs, several others followed and they retained her to work along with other artists. Because she became their premier illustrator due to the popularity and successful marketability of her designs, the company invited her to move to the city around 1895.

Soon, by 1901, the International Art Publishing Company also offered her a paid 2-year trip to Germany for her and her mother. While in Germany, she refined her art talent by working directly and closely with the German engravers who were the actual manufacturers of the products offered for sale. Her designs started to appear in various forms like Valentines, souvenir/postcards, booklets, watercolor prints, calendars, and trade cards and other objects in the world of advertising.

By this time, Germany was the center of the high-end publishing world and many publishers in the United States depended on them for the final products that were shipped to the U.S. Clapsaddle was in Germany when her mother, died on March 2, 1905.

Clapsaddle spent some years in Germany, funded by the International Art Publishing Company, and then returned to New York around 1906. It is said that she established the Wolf Company backed by the Wolf brothers—a full subsidiary of the International Art Publishing Company of New York City. She was the first and only female souvenir/postcard artist of the era to establish her own enterprise. She was the sole artist and designer for this company.

At that time, few women were even employed as full-time illustrators. For 8 years she and the Wolf brothers enjoyed their success and there seemed to be no limit to the growth potential in the souvenir/postcard industry. (Some sources suggest that she was employed by the Wolf brothers). Nevertheless, confidence in the boom and high return in profits in this specialized area of commercial art during this boom period, led her and her partners to invest heavily in the years that followed in many Germany engraving and publishing firms. She returned once again to Germany to work with the engravers and publishers they used because they had the best printing plants.

The postcard and greeting card business was doing well, and Clapsaddle was making good money most of which she invested in German printing firms.

World War I
By 1914, the war broke out. The majority of the souvenir/postcard publishers in the United States depended on German supplying firms but once they became disconnected from them, they had to go out of business. Many German factories suffered total destruction from bombings and all of Clapsaddle's recent original artwork was lost along with the investments in those firms because of the destruction of the records and messages going back forth between the continents that never arrived or were never answered. Clapsaddle was totally displaced and could not be found. She was penniless, lost, and alone in a far away land in the middle of the turmoil of the First World War.

By 1915, many firms in the United States, like the Wolf Company, did not have a business any more and in their case, their sole designer-artist was lost in Germany.

Although the United States did not enter the war until 1917. Between 1914 and 1919, Clapsaddle was trapped and unable to leave the country. The end of the engraving and publishing industry in Germany came about suddenly and so did her livelihood and her future—so did her life and spirit and desire to live as she witnessed and suffered the war first hand.[

With the end of the war in 1919, nothing was known in the United States about Clapsaddle's fate. One or two of the Wolf brothers borrowed money so they could go to search for her in Europe. She was finally found six months later. By then, she had had a complete mental breakdown as a victim of the war, was wandering through the streets hungry and sick, and her health and spirit were totally broken—she was only 55 years old. When the Wolf brothers approached her, she was so disconnected from the world and reality that she barely recognized them. The Wolf brothers brought her back to the United States.

Unmarried and childless, Clapsaddle had no close relatives. Furthermore, she had spent all of her time and productive years dedicated to her artwork and there was no one to take care of her under those circumstances. The Wolf brothers took care of her as long as they were able and alive but they too died destitute and poor. When they passed on, she was left penniless, alone, unable to work, and mentally incapacitated. She had lost the ability to make a living and her deteriorating health rapidly became a major obstacle.

She was admitted to the Peabody Home for the elderly and destitute on Pelham Parkway in New York City in January 1932. One day short of her 69th birthday in 1934 she died. Like many residents of the home who had no relatives, she was buried in a potters' grave. She died totally destitute through no fault of her own just like the Wolf brothers—innocent victims of the world tragedy of the First World War.



An unusual Christmas greeting for sure. One of those times where I really like the back of the card because of the embossing.

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From the E. Nash company.

E. Nash Co. (1908-1910)
New York, NY

A well known illustrator and publisher of high quality holiday cards. (SOURCE: Metro Postcard)



A crazy antique dealer relative gave this to me a long time ago. If only I'd been able to get my hands on the hundreds of sheets of scraps she had. But she wasn't that crazy.

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Want to have a good time traveling over Christmas? Want to visit family and friends who live far away and arrive feeling rested and happy? You do? Well...good luck with that. Unless you can time travel to 1953 I think you're out of luck.

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Alas, the New York Central doesn't even run anymore.
The New York Central Railroad (reporting mark NYC), known simply as the New York Central in its publicity, was a railroad operating in the Northeastern United States. Headquartered in New York, the railroad served most of the Northeast, including extensive trackage in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Massachusetts, plus additional trackage in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

The New York Central was known as the "Water Level Route", as its mainline to New York City followed the Hudson River, the Erie Canal, and the Lake Erie shoreline.

The railroad primarily connected greater New York and Boston in the east with Chicago and St.Louis in the midwest along with the intermediate cities of Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Detroit. The NYC's Grand Central Terminal in New York City is one of its best known extant landmarks.

In 1968 the NYC merged with its former rival, the Pennsylvania Railroad, to form Penn Central (the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad joined in 1969). That company went bankrupt in 1970 and was taken over by the federal government and merged into Conrail in 1976. Conrail was broken up in 1998, and portions of its system was transferred to the newly formed New York Central Lines LLC, a subsidiary leased to and eventually absorbed by CSX and Norfolk Southern. Those companies' lines included the original New York Central main line, but outside that area it included lines that were never part of the New York Central system. CSX was able to take one of the most important main lines in the nation, which runs from New York City and Boston to Cleveland, Ohio, as part of the Water Level Route, while Norfolk Southern gained the Cleveland, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois portion of the line called the Chicago line.

The famous Water Level Route of the NYC, from New York City to upstate New York, was the first four-track long-distance railroad in the world. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Click on the Wikipedia link above to read more about the New York Central.



Giving someone a Buick for the holidays? Need some stocking stuffers? How about seat covers or a center bumper guard for a 1936 Buick from the Buick Magazine?

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What? You say that now that you've been on that Paleo diet and exercising 3 hours a day your socks are too small to hold a center bumper guard?

No worries. Just point your recipient to this helpful video teaching them the rules of the road. It shows you care...and you don't have to spend any cash. And they'll be convinced big brother is always watching which in many cases in many cities is absolutely true.


Get more JUNK IN YOUR TRUNK with Buick

Inside back cover of The Buick Magazine from December 1936.

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And when you think about buying that iPad, remember at one point you could buy a Buick for $845. Can you imagine with what gas cost in 1936 how far you could drive for $845?

I'm guessing the trunk of this car was packed by an engineer with a slide rule or someone who worked at a sardine factory. You judge.

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Yesterday I gave you the back cover of the December 1936 "The Buick Magazine" with Santa hawking Buick. Today I give you the front cover.

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I generally like to do a bit of research about the ephemera I'm posting; sometimes I find a lot, sometimes I find little, and sometimes I just don't have the time or bandwidth to do it justice. Tonight will be the latter thanks to the windstorm going on. I'm expecting to lose power at any moment.

Fortunately someone else has already done the research about the illustrator of this cover, H. E. Vallely so I'll leave it to them to fill in the blanks.


IT'S BEGINNING to look a lot like...

Did you know Santa was an authorized Buick dealer? I'm assuming the elves ran the service department. Try to imagine those little fellas with their pointy green hats with their heads under the hood. Probably needed step ladders.

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SOURCE: The Buick Magazine, December 1936



The crash was coming, but for awhile everyone could dream of driving a Studebaker in 1929.

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SOURCE: May 1929 Cosmopolitan

The signature of the illustrator of this piece is OTIS. I have not found anything online showing this signature.


It's THANKSGIVING. Remember...

be cordial. You only have to see these people once a year. Give them the bird and then leave.

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Card manufactured by M.W. Taggart, N.Y., 1908.



Wondering how you're going to deal with the relatives on Thanksgiving? Have nothing to say to them that doesn't begin with "You know what ticks me off about you...?"

Well, worry no more. I'm making it easy for you. Here are some jokes from 1937 courtesy of the Studebaker Wheels magazine. Thigh slappers every single one of them!

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Go in to buy a car and just when you think the price is set they start in with the nickel and dime stuff.
“Do you want carpeting? How many speakers do you want? Undercoating? We recommend undercoating. We can’t be held responsible if you don’t get the undercoating."
What if they offered you luggage? Custom-built luggage for your Studebaker. Would you buy it? Made to fit. And yeah, if you don’t buy it you don’t get the blond dame in the passenger seat. She's an extra.

It’s up to you big spender.

SOURCE: The Studebaker Wheel, July 1937



I've been doing a series of posts at my vernacular photography site about men and their cars; old snapshots of men standing next to their pride and joy.

This weeks Sepia Saturday has inspired me to post the following from the July 1937 magazine called "The Studebaker Wheel." According to a site called The Studebaker Wheel there were a total of 117 issues of this promotional customer oriented publication. I have only one, but it's a gem. You can see a previous post I did about this issue here.

The images below are mostly of men and their Studebakers. Do click on the images to see them larger. The captions are well worth reading.

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IF A DOG POOPS ON A RUG IN VEGAS does it stay there?

I don't understand Vegas. I don't understand the lure of Vegas. I don't understand the marketing of Vegas. I never will. It seems to be a Jekyll and Hyde sort of place. Bring the kids; don't bring the kids. Pirate ships and fine art; hookers and cheap buffets.

"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" leaves me shaking my head. That said...

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On the back:
At Systems, Math, Computers All, I’ve been considered apt. But then I laid my money down and what do you know “I crapped”!
The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino:
...opened in 1906 as the Hotel Nevada. In 1907 it was assigned Las Vegas' first telephone with the number 1. In 1931, with gambling being re-legalized in Nevada, the Hotel Nevada was expanded and renamed Sal Sagev (Las Vegas spelled backwards.)

The hotel gained its current name in 1955 when a group of Italian-Americans from San Francisco Bay Area started the Golden Gate Casino. The 106-room, four-story hotel was renovated in 2005.

The Golden Gate was the first to serve a fifty cent shrimp cocktail in 1959, now a Las Vegas cliché. Called the "Original Shrimp Cocktail" on the menu, has become a mainstay of the San Francisco Shrimp Bar and Deli and is a favorite of both locals and tourists. It is what the Golden Gate is best known for. The idea came from owner Italo Ghelfi, who based it on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

The Original Shrimp Cocktail consists of a regular-sized sundae glass filled with small salad shrimp and topped with a dollop of cocktail sauce. In 1991, the price was raised from 50¢ to 99¢. The price was raised in 2008 to $1.99. Unlike many other Las Vegas establishments that offer a 99-cent shrimp cocktail, the glass is not padded with lettuce or other fillers, which is often cited as the reason for the Original Shrimp Cocktail's popularity. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Dogs, shrimp, crap, and gambling. I just don't get it.


JUSTICE IS SWIFT if somewhat confusing

This is an odd vintage post card. The copy on the back doesn't seem to make much sense or provide any guidance as to what this was about.

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Here's what I have found.

The manufacturer, Elba Systems based in Denver, created video and audio content for rather dry subject matter. The company was actually E. L. Barrett & Associates dba (doing business as) Elba. I believe this card, titled "The Case That Nobody Won," was for a filmstrip for the Guarantee Mutual Life Co. The image below is from here.

Other exciting Elba titles released as 33-1/3 RPM recordings include:
Bury Me In Eden
Introduction to Modern Tools
and yes, you can even get "The Case That Nobody Won" as a record.

Thinking to yourself, "Well doggone it! I want a copy of this post card!" Spend $1.79 + postage and you can get it here. But better rush because the auction mallet will be coming down within 22 hours. Suitable for framing if you're an attorney with a license from some online diploma mill.

So if you ever do find it hanging on the wall of an attorney you're using try to remember you've been warned.



but I like it.

I will leave you to figure out who these famous faces are from a 1973 post card.


HOME FROM SCHOOL on Sept. 10, 1974

Okay, so you've managed to con your mom into believing you're not feeling well so that you don't have to go to school. How will you while away your hours? With television of course. And you know I Love Lucy will be on at 9 am. I swear all over the country she was on at 9 am. But what else is on?

The world before cable. Make sure to take a look at the stuff that was on for the early risers who were trying to get their act together and get out the door to work. I'm sure there were a lot of people who got in late because they were enraptured by the 6:30 showing of "Superintendent of Schools Annual Report"* or perhaps "Group Therapy with Dr. Irene Kassorla." I don't even want to know what "Across the Fence" was.

Okay, by 1974 I was already one of those poor souls already out the door by a little after 6 for my two hour drive to work.

*Please note that should you not make the first viewing of "Superintendent of Schools Annual Report" you can catch it again at 10 am. Remember this is pre-VCR days so you could not tape it to watch later. Pity, huh?