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Archive for the ‘Vintage Postcard Tidbits’ Category

I’ve always wondered what filled all those multi-storied buildings in big cities around the turn of the century.  The Terminal Building for the Pacific Electric Railway, shown in the below vintage postcard, was such a building.  One of its occupants I found to be as interesting as the building itself – The Jonathan Club.

PE Terminal Building Postcard

Vintage Postcard of Pacific Electric Railway’s Terminal Building in Los Angeles. Published by Cardinell-Vincent Co.; printed in Germany.

Pacific Electric Railway Terminal Building

The Pacific Electric Building, also known as the Huntington Building, opened in 1905.  This ten-floor height building was the largest building in floor area west of Chicago for several decades.  It was also the terminal for the Pacific Electric Red Car Lines south and east of downtown Los Angeles.

With the increase in auto traffic in the 1920s, shared streets became congested.  In 1922, the California Railroad Commission issued Order No. 9928, which required the Pacific Electric Railway to construct a subway that bypassed these congested streets.

In 2005, the building was converted into live/work lofts.  The lobby currently houses artifacts from it’s days as an active railway terminal.  It’s nice to know this piece of history won’t be forgotten.

The Terminal Building’s Top Occupant

The top three floors of the Pacific Electric Railway Terminal Building were occupied by one of Los Angeles’ leading businessman’s clubs – The Jonathan Club until 1925.  Historical evidence supported this private club’s roots as being named after Brother Jonathan, the caricature predecessor to Uncle Sam.

Brother Jonathan was a good natured parody of all New England who came into use during the American War for Independence.  He wore striped pants, somber overcoat, and a stove-pipe hat.  Interesting that a club based out west, names itself after a caricature with ties to the east.  After 1865, Brother Jonathan’s clothing was emulated by Uncle Sam.

(Many more antique and vintage postcards can be enjoyed by visiting my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.)

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I was sooo excited two weeks ago.  I had found the 6th (and final) antique cupid postcard in a series published by PFB!  Granted, three of the six weren’t brilliant (gold trim).  I was still very happy to know what the image was on the last postcard to find.  It was of a cupid with fairy wings standing on the shoulders of another cupid with bird like angel wings trying to reach a clover on a small rock cliff.  So darling!  I have posted images of all six antique postcards for my blog’s readers.  Enjoy these treasured members of my personal postcard collection!

PFB Cupid Postcards CPFB Cupid Postcards B

PFB Cupid Postcards A

If anyone knows who the artist is for this series, I would be interested to know.

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Ever wonder what became of the buildings on old vintage postcards?  Are you curious to know if they still stand?  In my previous blog post, I showed two hotels; The Elms Hotel in Excelsior Springs, MO and The Durant Hotel in Fling, MI – Hotel Old Vintage Postcards – Then and Now .  I continue my series of blog posts on “then and now” old buildings pictured on vintage postcards with the below sanitarium also known as Hell House.

Mudcura Sanitarium, Shakopee, MN  Then…

Mudcura Sanitarium, Shakopee, MN

Vintage postcard of Mudcura Sanitarium, Shakopee, MN, postmarked 1939

This building had originally been a sanitarium for rheumatoid arthritics in the early 1900’s.  People took mud baths in mud from the nearby sulfur springs in hopes of relief from pain.  When this went out of style, it became a monastery.

Mudcura Sanitarium, Shakopee, MN  1997…

Mudcura Sanitarium in 1997 after arson fire

Mudcura Sanitarium in 1997 after arson fire

Prior to this suspicious fire in 1997, it still looked very depressing (inside and out).  Yes, the floors were unsafe and there was a hole in the roof from a previous fire, but I don’t believe it would’ve been considered a complete tear down. 

As for the Hell House designation…  At some point after the building was abandoned, someone had painted “hell house” across the top of the front.  Kind of fits as the building does look creepy.

Be sure to stop back on August 12th, when I share a curious postcard message.

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I was sooo excited to buy several Halloween postcards for listing in my web store at the recent 2011 Land Of Lakes Postcard and Paper Show.  One was of a witch sitting on a moon with a white owl.  Such a striking image.  I was curious what an owl’s connection was to Halloween.  I found a blog post entitled Birdlife: Spooky Myths About Owls that explained the connection.  I thought you might find it interesting.

Halloween Postcard - Owl and Witch Together on Moon

October 1911 Halloween Postcard of Witch on Crescent Moon With White Owl

Be sure to stop back on August 8th for the next installment of “Then and Now” Postcards. It was a sad ending for the featured building.

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I came across a special vintage patriotic postcard with a type of postmark I had heard about, but not seen.  The postcard was hand stamped “Soldiers Mail, Capt. E.W. Hamlen, O.M.R.”.  Below is a picture of both the front and back for those who havenot seen this type postmark.

Archie Gunn Postcard The Sentry Moon

Archie Gunn Postcard The Sentry Moon

The above postcard, with soldiers mail hand stamp, was sent by W.E. Conner of the 108th U.S. Engineers.  W.E. writes that he arrived safe and sound (doesn’t mention where), and that everything is fine. I imagine this news was a great relief to the recipient, Miss Elsie Hankey.

(The above vintage postcard was artist signed by Archie Gunn.  Many more artist signed and patriotic postcards can be found in my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.)

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I just had to laugh recently as I took a trip down memory lane.  I ran across a MSN Money article, http://tinyurl.com/3jhwauv , about a man who got cited for disorderly conduct after paying a $25 medical bill with pennies.  I once did the same thing when paying a $20 spa bill just out of high school.  The spa said I owed, I said I didn’t (I’d canceled my membership the previous month.).  The bank almost didn’t give me the pennies as it would severely deplete their supply (or so they said).  I dumped a coffee can of unrolled pennies on the receptionist’s desk.  Hah. 

The article goes on to list several examples of the same type of protest.  I’m surprised in today’s economy that more people don’t protest in this manner.  At the end of the article, it explained US law states a merchant does not have to accept over 100 pennies as payment.  I didn’t know that.  Good thing the spa didn’t know either, wink wink.

New Year Postcard, Dressed Pig Chariot

Gold trimmed German New Year postcard, dressed pig rides chariot pulled by pigs

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Going beyond an antique or vintage postcard’s image can sometimes lead to some of the juiciest historical tidbits.  Insert a couple of quick eyebrow raises.  A rather stilted recitation of Manchester, NH  history (but still a good source of historical info), was where I found my juicy tidbits this time – Manchester, Hillsborough County, NH – History and Genealogy .

Antique train postcard of Manchester, NH railroad station

Antique train postcard of Manchester, NH railroad station

The page starts out in 1604, but let’s jump to 1839.  You ask, “What happened in September, 1839?”  I’ll tell you.  Jeremiah Johnson was killed by Elbridge Ford.  Elbridge was tried the next year and found guilty of manslaughter.  He was sentenced to five years in prison, but pardoned after three; not much justice for Jeremiah.  Why was this murder notable?  The page’s entry just previous to this tells of a vote to establish a system of police – in October, 1839!  There is nothing like a murder to light a fire under a town’s butt.  Unfortunately, this was too late for poor Jeremiah.

Let’s jump ahead to 1853 to when Bayley, Blood, and Company, or Vulcan Works, was established.  Sorry Trekki fans, no relation to Spock.  In 1854, Vulcan Works became Manchester Locomotive Works.  By 1875, Manchester Locomotive Works had turned out 786 locomotives (beyond capacity).  That’s a lot of trains.  I wonder if any of them are still around.

Where does Levi come into this story?  Around 1873, Levi Strauss started making what became their famous “blue jeans” or riveted clothing.  The denim for them was made at Manchester’s Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.  Cool.

* You can find more railroad station postcards in my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.

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