Archive for September, 2010

Vintage advertising postcard for Keen Kutter Lawn Mower

I was again going thru my old vintage postcard stock, when I came across this advertising postcard for the Keen Kutter Lawn Mower.  I found out the Keen Kutter trade name was first used by Simmons Hardware Co. of St. Louis, MO in 1866.

Keen Kutter became synonymous with an unparalleled guarantee of quality and satisfaction, and E.C. Simmons capitolized on it with a well-organized marketing strategy.  He put the Keen Kutter logo on everything  a retailer could require or use.  Anotherwards, E.C. Simmons used an early form of branding.

This aggressive advertising strategy, and the Keen Kutter name, eventually helped E.C. Simmons and later A.F . Shapleigh (a competitor) become responsible for wholesale hardware industry as we know it today.

** Be sure to stop by the blog, The Best Hearts Are Crunchy, to view the many postcards shared on Postcard Friendship Friday.

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Vintage Kewpie Postcard, Quill

1916 Kewpie Postcard by artist Rose O'Neill, and published by Gartner & Bender

 Postcard collectors may be familiar with Rose O’Neill’s Kewpie doll-like illustration created in 1909.  A Kewpie is a comical character with a somewhat larger head, big eyes, cubby and rosy cheeks, and a curl or top knot on top of it’s head.  I found out some trivia about the Kewpie I wasn’t familiar with I thought I’d share with my readers.

Did You Know?

  • The Kewpie was the first case of merchandising based on a comic character.
  • The 1939 New York World’s Fair time capsule contained a Kewpie doll.
  • The Kewpie doll was mentioned in Anne Frank’s diary, and John Steinbeck’s 1930s novel, Of Mice and Men.
  • The Kewpie is the mascot of the Kewpee Hamburgers chain.

I find trivia always fun and interesting; especially if connected to old vintage postcards.  I hope you found the above trivia fun and interesting too.

** Be sure to stop by the blog, The Best Hearts Are Crunchy, to view the many postcards shared on Postcard Friendship Friday.

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JP Coats Fast Black Thread Victorian Trade Card


1881 JP Coats Thread Victorian trade card with needle and thread tables for sewing machines on back

Just a short one this time.  I thought some of my readers of Victorian trade card blog posts might find the following images of JP Coats display cases used by dealers interesting.  I came across them while searching for current images of JP Coats sewing thread.

JP Coats Sewing Thread 6-drawer Display Case currently selling for $2975

JP Coats Display Cabinet

JP Coats Sewing Thread Display Cabinet that sold for $747.50

JP Coats Display Inside

Inside of above type of JP Coats display case

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It’s Postcard Friendship Friday! Be sure to stop by The Best Hearts Are Crunchy blog to see all the postcards being shared.

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Patent Medicine trade card for Hood's Sarsaparilla made by C.I. Hood & Co. of Lowell, MA

I always read what a medicine claims to “cure” before buying, to ensure I get just what I need and not more.  I’m not interested in overmedicating.  People living during the late 1800s might’ve had a difficult time following my lead.  Read below to see what I mean.

Hood’s Sarsaparilla contains the following ingredients:

Sarsaparilla (or Grandular): perennial trailing vine with prickly stems native to Central America.  It is also known as a type of soda.

Yellow Dock: perennial flowering herb used for blood and liver problems, dermatitus, and venereal diseases.  It’s powdered yellow roots were thought to’ve medicinal properties, and used as a mouthwash and dentifrice.

Wild Cherry: traditional Native American remedy for respiratory infections and anxiety.  It’s primary use over time has evolved into a component of cough syrup.

Dandelion: nutritious food whose leaves contain substantial levels of several vitamins and minerals.  The root’s historical use includes the treatment of breast diseases, water retention, digestive problems, joint pain, fever, and skin diseases.

Juniper: Its berries were used to assist in childbirth, treat congestive heart failure, stimulate menstruation (what??), treat gonorrhea (wait, didn’t yellow dock already do that?), and urinary tract infections.

Pipsissewa (or Prince’s Pine): a rare, small evergreen plant growing 3-10 inches tall sometimes used to flavor candy and root beer.  It’s leaves and stems act as a diuretic, astringent, and tonic alterative.  It is great with cardiac and kidney diseases, chronic rheumatism and scrofula.  **MN is one place it’s found.

Stillingia: a strong stimulant to immune cells.

Mandrake: plant often used for medicinal purposes as an anesthesia. If too much is taken, it can cause people to be delirious and have hallucinations.

So, basically Hood’s Sarsaparilla is a flavored, medicinal soda used to treat anything under the sun.  Geez, it even sounds like it could CAUSE medical problems; especially if mandrake’s included.  So much for not overmedicating.

** If you liked this Victorian trade card blog post on Hood’s Sarsaparilla, please click on either the buttons below or to the lower right.  Thank you for visiting!

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Last Postcard Friendship Friday, my daughter and I were at the Minnesota State Fair having fun.  I, of course, went to see the old vintage postcard boards entered in competition in the Creative Arts Building.  The postcards on them are always very interesting to view as sets/groups.  I took pictures, but they didn’t turn out.  Bummer.  I came across something else I thought you might find fun though.  Read on.

I also saw the butter sculpting of the Milky Way Dairy Princesses (head busts only).  Butter sculpting has been a MN State Fair tradition for around 30 years.  On the way out of the building, I picked up an psuedo advertising postcard for the Midwest Dairy Association I just had to share.


Butter-Fy Advertising Postcard picked up from MN State Fair

On the back, it gives directions on how to “Butter-Fy” yourself.  The directions aren’t quite right though.  Instead of selecting the “Butter-fy Yourself” link once on the Midwest Dairy page, select the “Visit us at MidwestDairy.com” link.  I tried to Butter-Fy myself, but my pic wasn’t in the right format.  I’ll try again though.  If I get it to work, I’ll post the results.

ButterFy Yourself Postcard Back

Back of Butter-Fy Yourself Advertising Postcard picked up at the MN State Fair

Have fun.  Butter-Fy yourself.

Be sure to stop by The Best Hearts Are Crunchy for Postcard Friendship Friday where people share all kinds of interesting postcards.

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I found this antique postcard message funny as it’s a question I’ve asked a few of my immediate relatives a time or two over the years (and them of me).


German made antique Christmas postcard of the nativity postmarked 1910

“Dear Emma
are you dead or alive I would like to hear from you or see you if you are alive how are all the folks come down when you can
Alice McEwans”

It’s a safe bet Alice’s English teachers would have a field day with this message.

The above message was rather blunt.  Apparently, this approach was necessary in order to get Emma’s attention.  It can therefore be assumed it’s been awhile since Alice’s heard from Emma.


If Emma is dead, I somehow don’t think Alice would like to experience a paranormal event by hearing from Emma.  I also don’t believe Alice would like Emma to “come down when you can”.  I certainly wouldn’t like a visit from a ghost.  Would you?

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