Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Olympian Calendar Top

Railroad/train enthusiasts who collect related memorabilia are frequently searching for a calendar to add to their collection. Railroads, in the early to mid-1900s, often published yearly calendars which were given to customers and agents. The intent was not only to provide a useful reference but to put a piece of advertising on walls and keep the railroad in customer's minds. Some of the calendars were elaborate, for their time, including a picture or some art on each month's page. Some provided just one illustration that became the "calendar top" and then the monthly calendar pages below were torn off as the year progressed. In the early 1960s the "Milwaukee Road" [technically the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific railway] published a calendar and used the image below of their premier train, The Olympian, for the top.


In the days before AMTRAK, railroads that provided passenger service all had "name trains". For example, you may heard of the Coast Starlight, The Empire Builder, the Sunset Limited, or the Southwest Chief. (The names, sometimes were retained by AMTRAK after they took over almost all passenger service in the USA in 1970.)

The Milwaukee Road's Olympian was unusual because it was operated electrically for large segments of its transcontinental run between Chicago and Seattle/Tacoma. In the image above The Olympian is traveling through a mountainous region, probably the Cascade Mountains. A specially designed electric locomotive, known as a Bi-Polar, was the power for this region of the country. The railroad touted the advantages of the Bi-Polar as being powerful, quiet, and smoke-free. Today, in retrospect, it seems they were simply ahead of their time. In any event, the art work on this image is one of our favorites. The artist was Paul Gerding who was known for his illustration work.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day [1920s]

For all Mothers ... A postcard just for you ...

About 95 years later, the words are still true.

We're estimating this unused card to be from the early 1920s.


Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Your Fortune ... If born in May [1910]

From our collection of old postcards ...


Now, we're just sharing old postcards, so don't take offense if you don't like your fortune. On the other hand, if you think it's right-on let us know!

We like the flower and birthstone at the top. Do you know the flower Fleur de lis? We had to look it up and found this online:   The English translation of "fleur-de-lis" (sometimes spelled "fleur-de-lys") is "flower of the lily."

This old card was mailed May 4, 1910.  Why May 5 is written in the message area is anyone's guess ... birthday?



Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April Photos

A few photos taken in the Emerald City in the last few days ...

"The Mountain" of the Pacific Northwest
Mount Rainier -- 14,409' (4,392 m)
Towering above Port of Seattle
and into the clouds. 

A lady snaps the view from Kerry Park ...
a favorite spot to overlook the city.
And a runner up for our Good Fence entry.

Afternoon sun creates thousands of sparkles on the water
of Puget Sound

Our entry for this week's Good Fences.
It looks pretty good to us, how about you?
Linking up today with Good Fences. Thanks to Tex for hosting!

We like this tree!

Another tree in a little park in the Magnolia neighborhood.
The bench gives you a some perspective on the size of the tree.
Great spot to sit and ponder just about anything.

The new leaves and angle of the sunlight almost
make this tree shine.

We love these in their fall colors ... but isn't the green beautiful too?
These flowers seemed to be glowing in the bright afternoon sun.
A rose is a rose ...  but this one is wild!
Thank you for stopping by John's Island. Can you believe April has gone by so fast ... how was your April?


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Half Moon [History -- Ships -- ca. 1609]

From our collection of old postcards ...

The Half Moon was a Dutch East India Company yacht, more properly known as Halve Maen. The ship was assigned to Henry Hudson by the Dutch East India Company for a voyage in 1609 to find a passage from the Netherlands to the Spice Islands. This old postcard features an image and description on the back.


The following is our summary of information found on the Library of Congress website about Dutch Exploration and tells the story of the ship on our postcard. 

The Half Moon was a Dutch East India Company yacht, more properly known as Halve Maen. The ship was assigned to Henry Hudson by the Dutch East India Company for a voyage in 1609 to find a passage from the Netherlands to the Spice Islands in the Far East. Actually, what Hudson found was a part of the New World.

Hudson left Amsterdam on April 6, 1609, aboard the Half Moon, a small, eighty-ton yacht with a crew of eighteen sailors. Sailing along the coast of Norway, he reached the North Cape on May 5. Fearful of another setback in the Arctic waters and worried about quarreling among the Dutch and English sailors on his crew, he made a bold decision to head westward toward North America, following a map that his friend Captain John Smith had shown him. There he hoped to find a westward passage to the Far East - an inlet that would lead to a river across America and into the Pacific.

Hudson made landfall on Labrador and then began to head south along the coast. He entered Chesapeake Bay and stopped briefly at the mouth of the Delaware River before turning north again. In early September he entered what later would come to be called New York Harbor and the Hudson River. Still searching for a passage to the East, the Half Moon sailed almost as far north as present-day Albany before Hudson turned back, convinced by the increasingly shallow water that the river would not lead to the open sea. Although disappointed that he was unable to find the fabled route to Asia, Hudson was impressed by the wealth of the New World. The ship's log describes a country teeming with beaver, deer, and otter and dotted with Indian villages that cultivated corn and beans.

The maps of Hudson's voyage are quite interesting and can be found on the website here.



Read more about the Half Moon at Ship Wiki here.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Five Little Eskimo Sisters [ca. 1906]

From our collection of old postcards ...



Five Little Eskimo Sisters, Copyright 1906 by F. H. Nowell, Nome, Alaska. Published by Edwin Mitchell, San Francisco, probably 1906 -- 07. This card is one of many catering to the fascination, during that time period, that many Americans had with Alaska and Native Alaskans.


The title is hard to read at the top of the photo. We are uncertain ... card number 1??8.




Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Recipe Week [P7] -- Shredded Wheat and Strawberries

We saved the oldest postcard and easiest dish to prepare for your Sunday ... Shredded Wheat and Strawberries ... Enjoy!

"A food to grow on, to work on, to live on."

Niagara Falls, New York -- "The Home of Shredded Wheat"

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.