Posts Tagged ‘ephemera’

Ever get the feeling that battling the corporate giants was an uphill battle?  Riley Burdett found that out the hard way.  The pictured Victorian trade card is advertising for an organ company in which Riley was partners with Jacob Estey.  In 1871, Riley sued Jacob over an alleged patent infringement involving a reed board.

Estey Organ Victorian Trade Card

Victorian trade card advertising for Estey Organ Co.

Illness, Death, and Delay

It took 5 years after bringing suit, to hear the case.  However, due to the illness of one judge, and the death of two others, the case had still not been decided two years later.  During this time, Estey Organ Co. was allowed to benefit from a patent Riley felt was rightfully his.  How frustrating for Riley.   Two new judges then heard the case.  It took them just 5 months to make a decision. 

The Decision

The judge found in favor of Riley.  Ex-Governor Stewart of Vermont was appointed to take an accounting of profits due Riley.  Stewart took 5 months to find Jacob of Estey Organ Co. owed Riley $161,000.  This is approximately $3.46 million in today’s dollars.

No Decision Is Final

Of course Jacob appealed.  He put up a required bond of $200,000.  What?  Jacob put up money in an amount exceeding the awarded damages?  What if he ultimately lost the case?  Jacob Estey took a chance.

The chance paid off.  In November 1883, the United States Supreme Court ultimately decided in favor of Estey Organ Company.  Riley Burdett had fought then corporate giant, Estey Organ Company and lost.

Trivia:  If curious what yesterday’s dollar is worth today, see MeasuringWorth.com.

Read Full Post »


Railroad Depot Postcard, Pocatello, ID

Oregon Short Line Depot in Pocatello, Idaho. Built in 1884 in the second empire style; expanded and improved in 1915. This postcard was published by the Gray News Co. of Salt Lake City.

Pocatello, an Idaho railroad town established in 1892, held its first election in 1893.  This town of over 3ooo elected a mayor with quite an eventful history, Edward Stein.  

A Revolutionary’s Bribe

Edward’s grandfather, Baron Von Stein, was thrown in prison for following reformer (or revolutionary) Carl Schurz.  Edward was educated at the Prussian University.  His republican tendencies led him to become interested in America.  In 1871, he boarded a steamer for New York – without a passport.  A passport would have led to German military service for Edward. 

The steamer’s officers were warned he didn’t have a passport, but demanded to see one anyway.  After a rather vocal search, Edward had no choice but to hand over the “packet” in his pocket.  It contained the money his father had given him to start out in America.  The bribe worked.

A Highwayman’s Good Deed

Edward made it to Chicago, where his limited funds finally failed.  This resulted in pawning the last of his belongings.  While wondering the streets of Chicago, a highwayman stuck a gun in his face ordering “hands up”.  After learning Edward was penniless, the highwayman bought him a meal.  He also told Edward where to find a job.  This was ironic coming from a highwayman.

So in 1893- a man with a titled past, who bribed a steamer officer to avoid German military service, and got robbed by a highwayman with a conscience was elected the first mayor of Pocatello, Idaho.

Read Full Post »

Puzzle cards were a type of novelty victorian trade card used in late 19th century advertising to capture and keep a potential customer’s attention.  Puzzle cards differed from other novelty trade cards in that they required more effort and concentration by customers.  Below is an example of a puzzle card with hidden pictures.

Carters Backache Plasters Puzzle Trade Card

Carters Backache Plasters Puzzle Trade Card: see if you can find an elephant, monkey, giraff, bear, dog, wild boar, 2 camels, wolf, 2 rats, face, lion, lioness, and tapir.

TIP:  Hidden Picture Trade Cards with color images are scarce.  Also look for hidden picture trade cards with unusual hidden objects like “nigger eating watermelon” or “fat man on roller skates”.

** You can find more victorian trade cards with great advertising and graphics in my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.

Read Full Post »

Vintage Christmas Postcard, Sled Girls

Vintage Christmas Postcard printed in Germany

“Hello cousin Martha,
How you getting along.  I am well.  Martha(,) Santa Claus is coming soon.  you better be good or he will take you along.  Best Regards from Tillie to all(.)  answer soon.  tell your Momma that she write me a letter ore (or) Postal Card.  I like my place awful good.
Tillie Salger, 2015 Walnut Street, Murphysloo, Ill”

Boy, this vintage postcard message missed its intended purpose by a mile.  I certainly wouldn’t be threatened by the possibility that Santa Claus would “take me along”.  I’d probably be bad on purpose.  Can you imagine riding in Santa Claus’ sleigh?  Or seeing his reindeer?

The other thing I noticed in this postcard message was Tillie used “Postal Card” rather than postcard.  Maybe that was the accepted name for this type ephemera back then.

** More great antique and vintage Christmas postcards available in my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.

Read Full Post »

The Advent calendar is used to count down the days of Advent (the period of preparation for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus) in anticipation of Christmas.  Its use was a practice started by German Lutherans as early as the beginning of the 19th century.

As a German Lutheran, I would like to continue this practice.  Starting December 1st I will be activating a link each day, thru December 25th, on the below advent calendar of Santa Claus.  When you click on the link, you will be taken to an antique or vintage Christmas postcard I have listed in my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.  Purchase is nice, but not required.  I only ask that you enjoy each Christmas postcard as it is revealed.  (intro courtesy of my ‘2009 advent calendar blog post)

Dec. 01
Dec. 02
Dec. 03 Dec. 04          
Dec. 05 Dec. 06 Dec. 07        
  Dec. 08 Dec. 09      
    Dec. 10 Dec. 11 Dec. 12  
    Dec. 13 Dec. 14 Dec. 15  
    Dec. 16 Dec. 17 Dec. 18  
  XXXXXXX Dec. 19   Dec. 20 XXXXXXX
  XXXXXXX Dec. 22 Dec. 23 Dec. 24 XXXXXXX

Merry Christmas (and Happy Holidays) from Remember When Vintage Postcards!

If you want to return to this Advent Calendar to reveal the antique or vintage postcards behind the remaining days counting down to Christmas, please bookmark this blog post.

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

I also wouldn’t mind your sharing this blog post with friends and family; especially those interested in antiques and collectibles (hint).  If you repost/mention it on your blog or other social bookmarking platform, please remember to give me credit as all images/text are copyrighted.

Read Full Post »

SXPC Real Photo Postcard, Victorian House

1912 SXPC Real Photo Postcard of Victorian House

“Hello –

I suppose you are angry.  I will explain as soon as I am able to write a letter; have been sick.  This is one of the pictures I took and promised you.  will have to stay in town for  a few months.  will let you know when I return.  there is no place like the Old Home.  does it suit you.


I wonder why Lucile believes W. E. Conner (recipient) might be angry.  It is mysteries like this that make reading old postcard messages enjoyable.  Lucile says she will explain as soon as she can write.  Obviously she can write, or else someone else wrote the message.

I like real photo postcards of Victorian homes for architectural reasons.  The design of the window caps, corner trim, and color choices on this home make what could have been a plain home stand out.  I noticed the front steps look to be carpeted.  I wonder if this was normal.  It is certainly the first time I have seen it.  There is also the possibility this house didn’t have indoor plumbing in 1912 (notice outhouse to left under the trees).  Postcards like this help in the restoration of Victorian homes.

** You can find more real photo postcards for sale in our store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.

Read Full Post »

Thanksgiving Postcard, Turkey Looks Over Farm

Vintage Thanksgiving Postcard, Turkey Looks Over Farm (series 1)

In this vintage postcard, a turkey is looking over a farm from afar; most likely thankful he isn’t on the menu.  This year, I’m thankful I have a job that pays the bills and a roof over my family’s head.  Let those of us who have, help those who have not in the coming year.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from Remember When Vintage Postcards.

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

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »