Archive for February, 2010

Ah, so you’re back.  That’s great.  Let’s continue our visit to the New York Zoological Park.  Remember, this is the zoo that resulted from Fordham University’s selling the land to New York City for $1000.

Today’s vintage postcards picture the Alaskan Brown Bear, and the Arctic Fox.

Alaskan Brown Bear

New York Zoological Postcard, Alaskan Brown Bear

The Alaskan Brown Bear, or Kodiac Bear, is a threatened species found off the southeast coast of the Alaskan peninsula (Kodiak, Afognak, and Shuyak Islands) that rivals the polar bear as the largest land based predator.  It has a noticeable hump above the shoulders.  The adult male can reach a height of 8.5 feet when standing erect.  Although it cannot see very well, this bear can manage a speed of up to 40 mph.  Note, bear cubs have no fur when born.

Arctic Fox

New York Zoological Vintage Postcard of the Arctic Fox


The Arctic Fox, or Polar Fox, is found in the arctic and alpine tundra of Eurasia, North America, and Canadian archipelago, Siberian Islands, Greenland, inland Iceland, and Svalbard. This predator and scavenger’s status is good, but is heavily dependant on the fluctuating rodent population, mainly lemmings.
Be sure to come back each day, starting Saturday, 02/27/10, thru Wednesday, 03/03/10, to find out which animal on vintage postcards from the New York Zoological Park will be visited that day.


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Not long ago, I was excited to discover several vintage postcards from the New York Zoological Park in a 900 postcard lot I’d just bought.  This excitement was because I’d recently become a member of the Minnesota Zoo.  I go to this zoo to relax, while watching frolicking baby otters, sleepy Red Pandas (very cute), darling Prairie Dogs, endangered Amur Tigers and Leopards (they have such BIG paws), and other animals up close.

The Gift

My membership in the Minnesota Zoo helps support these wonderful animals and the zoo’s conservation efforts.  In the 1880s, Fordham University sold most of the land another zoo sits on for $1000 to the City of New York on condition it be used for a zoo and garden.  This led to the formation of the New York Zoological Society in 1895 (WCS), one of the first conservation organizations in the U.S.

The Bronx Zoo

The New York Zoological Society’s wildlife conservation efforts led to the opening of the Bronx Zoo (originally called the New York Zoological Park) in November, 1899 featuring 843 animals in 22 exhibits.

Over the next five days, I will be featuring vintage postcards of animals exhibited at the New York Zoological Park (Bronx Zoo).  Be sure to come back each day to find out which of this zoo’s 843 animals on postcards I’ve posted.

Elephant House at the New York Zoological Park

Riding Indian Elephant, Gunda, at the NY Zoological Park

Pair of East African Elephants at the NY Zoological Park


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This afternoon, I opened my browser (to prepare a post on Victorian trade cards) to find the Yahoo headline:  Snow in 49 states at one time.  Cool (no pun intended).  The lone hold-out was Hawaii, which coincidentally has a ski club (huh?).  Snow in this many states is so strange, that stats are not kept on it.  Trust the USA to be strange, lol.

In honor of this strange happening, I’ve posted several Victorian trade cards where snow is a prominent part of the image:

JP Coats Victorian Trade Card

JP Coats Victorian Trade Card, Ducks on Ice

Baking Powder Trade Card

Star Crystal Baking Powder Victorian Trade Card

Patent Medicine Trade Card
Lydia Pinkhams Patent Medicine Trade Card for EH McAllister, Druggist


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It’s again Postcard Friendship Fridays at The French Factrice blog.  This is an event, hosted by Marie, where postcard collectors share an example of what they feel is “postcard perfect”.  It’s a great way to show why this hobby is so fun.  This week, I’m sharing two postcards featuring the children’s toy, the Jack-In-The-Box.

Jack In The Box Postcard of Santa Claus

Christmas postcard of girl enjoying a toy Santa-In-The-Box from series 288

Box Toy’s Origins
The first wind-up toys were made in Grecian times.  The art of making this type mechanical toy was revived in the 1400’s by watch and clock makers, with versions based on clocks which had a bird “popping” out.
 Another theory regarding this wind-up toy’s origins has it evolving from captured runaway black slaves, or “Jacks”, put in wooden boxes.  Children playing around these boxes, would poke sharpened wooden sticks though the knotholes.  The Jack inside would yelp, often busting through the box’s top.  If this theory were true, it makes me wonder how many parents would have let their children play with such a toy had they known it was based on mistreatment of a human being.
Cat curious about Jack-in-the-Box toy

Christmas postcard published by Davidson Bros. no. 761-4


** Remember to hop on over to Marie’s and check out all the postcard enthusiasts sharing this week. 

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It has occured to me that many of my posts on antique and vintage postcards, while informative, have been a little too factual and “dry”.  This resulted in a slight detour from why I personally collect postcards – more the enjoyment of the postcard images themselves than the details and history behind them.  Below you will find a few of the many postcards I’ve sold in my web store, whose images I’ve found very beautiful.  Enjoy! 

I almost kept this one.

I find all BW Angel Postcards soooo darling.

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Every postcard collector has a topical interest that spurs their interest in this great hobby.  I’ve already posted about one of my favorites, Santa Claus.  I’d now like to post about another, children in footed pajamas (or pyjamas- originally from the Persian word “payjama” meaning leg garment).

The Butt Flap

I noticed many of the postcards in my collection showed flaps in back.  According to the blanket sleeper section on Wikipedia, the flap in back was called the drop seat, trap door, or butt flap.  This flap allowed the wearer to use the toilet without removing the sleeper, and was traditionally closed with buttons.  OK, then how does the wearer open the flap, then re-button when done if it’s in back?  MOMMY!! 

In some US states, laws were passed preventing zippers or buttons in back as it was considered abusive (the wearer being forced to ask for assistance when using the bathroom).  This puzzled me.  The footed pajama was worn mainly by infants (who didn’t know how to dress/undress themselves and used a diaper), and toddlers (who probably didn’t know how to dress/undress themselves, thus needing to ask for assistance any place).  Some laws go just a teeny bit too far.

Another Footed Pajama Feature

The elastic back waist was a band around the rear half of the waist in larger sleepers designed to give a better fit.  In many of the postcards in my collection, this is shown as a buttoned strip of cloth.

No matter what the specific pajama feature is, the children wearing footed pajamas on antique and vintage postcards are still darling.

Note:  Marie over at The French Factrice blog is hosting Postcard Friendship Fridays.  Hop on over to Marie’s and check out all the postcard enthusiasts sharing this week. 

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Kissing seems to be on many people’s minds these days.  Not surprising as Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  

Victorian trade card lithographers did not appear to have kissing on their minds, however.  I have a stock of over 500 Victorian trade cards and only came up with three examples that showed kissing; two are below.  In the second example, the little girl is giving a kiss of comfort to her doll.  The lack of kissing on Victorian trade cards probably stemmed from the purpose behind them – the advertisement of something objective.  Kissing is anything but objective.  

Victorian trade cards advertising for John B. Merz's French Bakery in Philadelphia, PA.

Patent medicine Victorian trade card advertising Radway's Ready Relief, Donaldson Bros. Lithographer.

 Useless Bits of Kissing Info:  

  • 34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles are used in a kiss.
  • An increased frequency of kissing in marital and cohabitating relationships has been shown to reduce cholesterol.  Somehow I don’t think that was the goal of the kissing participants.

Many more examples of Victorian trade cards with great graphics can be found in my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.  

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