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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.)

Late 18th century/early 19th century patent medicines, particularly the old English remedies, owed their popularity to the following fact.  The multitude of ingredients inside might have varied (unbeknownst to the customer), but the bottle shape did not.  A patent medicine’s proprietor believed this distinctiveness leant genuineness to their remedy. 

Victorian trade card, bottle of Ayers Cherry Pectoral

Victorian trade card, bottle of Ayers Cherry Pectoral

Distinctive packaging may have made patent medicines easily recognizable to even the most illiterate, but it also made them vulnerable to counterfeiters.  Naïve proprietors eventually got smart and began to vary their packaging using differing bottle heights, mouth widths, and bottle inscriptions in order to deter counterfeiters.  This may also explain why many of today’s products, not just over the counter medicines, change their packaging from time to time.  Why chance loosing sales to an unscrupulous competitor?

Victorian Trade Card Ayers Ague Cure

close up of bottle on back of Victorian trade card advertising Ayers Ague Cure (notice the similarity in bottle shapes)

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

I ran across this beautiful poem on the back of an embroidered silk vintage birthday postcard in a lot I recently bought.  Enjoy!

1915 Embroidered Silk Birthday Postcard, made in Germany.

“…Your Birthday is never forgotten, neither are you.
       And this little card brings with it a greeting true.
       God Bless you tis a simple word 
       But simple prayers in heaven are heard
       So mine shall surely bring to thee
       A Birthday blessing rich and free…”

For those of you who celebrate your birthday this month, Happy Birthday!

** This and other vintage birthday postcards can be found in my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.  Also, we post a picture of an antique or vintage postcard’s back when listing it for sale.  If curious, stop by for a visit and browse our postcards to see what was written on their backs.

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.

“Must drop you a card and let you know that we are still alive. Are all well and hope you are the same. Am getting awful tired of the cold weather. Heard you had some little chickens. Elda’s has some but I have not any and not a hen that even wants to set. My geese laid early again.
Esther”

Daffodil Vintage Easter Postcard

1915 vintage Easter postcard published by Pink of Perfection

 

Seems like Esther is green with envy as she came up a little short in an unspoken egg laying competition.  Maybe if Esther played her chickens a little music they would lay more eggs than Elda’s hens lay for her??  He he he.  I just think this is funny as I can picture Esther pouting.

* Remember When Vintage Postcards posts a picture of an antique or vintage postcard’s back when listing it for sale.  If curious, stop by for a visit and browse our postcards to see what was written on their backs.