Tuesday, November 25, 2014

America's Favorite Five-cent Pencil

Today's image is from an antique ink blotter.

"You're lucky lad. When I was a boy, starting school, we never had pencils like this one."


America's Favorite Five-cent Pencil

You will like its smooth black lead

Its rounded edges please the fingers.


How do you like that phone number?  507-W  [W for Way-back? Ha ha]  It kind of looks like the gentleman in the big chair is holding a cigar, but no, it's the TI-CON-DER-OGA !

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bear of a Log!

When was the last time you saw something like this? Sixteen guys standing on top of a log big enough to carve out a dwelling and bear den. The title is, "Two Natives of Washington, A Bear Den and Dwelling in a Washington Saw Log." The image, of course, is from our collection of antique postcards, most of which have something to do with railroads ... like this one having the log on a Northern Pacific RR flatcar.

This card evokes different emotions for us. For one thing, almost all the giant first-growth trees in the Pacific Northwest were logged in days when the mentality was that there was so much forest that they would never cut all of it. Sometimes it has been difficult for mankind to look into the future very clearly and consider the implications of their actions for future generations. On the other hand, we are pretty amused at what these loggers turned this particular log into. What's your guess ... is that a real bear in the den? Could this have been one of the first "man-caves"? Was this picture such an occasion that participants were asked to wear a suit, a vest, and a hat? We note the guy in the doorway of the log [and that may be the first time we've ever used those simple words in that order] is casual compared to the others ... maybe that was the way he dressed when he was "at home"?

For those of you who collect postcards, here is the address side ...

The card is unused which makes it a little more difficult to pinpoint a time of publication. The domestic rate for postcards was one cent, which was true for postcards until 1952. This card is well before that ... we are guessing during the teens or possibly as late as early twenties. It is identified as card #4132, published by Lowman and Hanford Co., Seattle, U. S. A. Just a few years ago we wouldn't be able to tell you any more about Lowman and Hanford ... it would take too much time to research. Today, a lot more info is at your fingertips on the World Wide Web ... we learned at this website that "The Lowman & Hanford Stationery and Printing Company, later the Lowman & Hanford Company, was a printing company and retail stationery business operating in the Pioneer Square area of Seattle beginning around 1885." On our card today there is another number, R-23274, which we suspect to be the stock number for the company that printed the card, C. T. Photochrom. Again, just a guess on our part.

Thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Snow Plow in Taft - 1908

Rotary Snow Plow
Coming Through Taft, Montana
Postmark 1908
The past week has seen unseasonably severe snowfalls in the Eastern USA. Our post today features a postcard mailed about 106 years ago from Saltese, Montana to Huntley, Illinois. The image shows a rotary snow plow grinding through the small town of Taft, attempting to clear the tracks, after what appears to be a pretty heavy snowfall.  

The card was mailed on April 3, 1908, to Miss Mae Hadley, Huntley, Ill. and includes this message:

Saltese, Montana
Apr. - 2 -08

Hello Mae:
     Taft is a new town 4 mi. N.W. of Saltese. I'll tell you more about it later. We have only 5 ft. of snow here at present. I arrived O.K. Try addressing a letter to me at Saltese Mont. and see what will happen.
     Sincerely,  Will

We wonder if Miss Mae replied and what happened next.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Update -- What does a railroad snow plow look like?

Thank you for all comments. In today's first comment DJan asks about snow plows. Great question and you sure can't tell what one looks from the image on the postcard with the snow blowing in front of it. The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad has one on display and we snapped the photo below when we were there in Skagway, Alaska, in September, 2014 ... [ see our Skagway post here ]

These big powers can clear a lot of snow off the tracks. No, neither of those people in the photo are John. :-)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Wish You Were Here [1907 - Sheridan]

A few days ago, in our comments section, a loyal follower asked, "What's next?" If only we knew! Well, even John doesn't know what's next for the Island. He's working on it. Please stay tuned and find out. Today, John was going through some of the postcards in one of the boxes of antique paper and found the one you see here.

The scene is a "bird's-eye-view" of Sheridan, Madison County, Montana, in about 1907. At the bottom of the image, the person (we believe a lady) who mailed the card, wrote --- around the printed location --- so that it reads, "Wish you were in Sheridan Madison Co, Montana for a while."

The card was mailed in Sheridan on October 24, 1907, and addressed to Mr. Robert Thompson, Murphysboro, Ill. Wasn't it great when no street or zip code was needed, AND it only cost 1 cent to mail a postcard!?! It appears that the card made it to Murphysboro in just four days (about 1575 miles/2535 km) and was postmarked there on October 28th (on the image side of the card).

Perhaps the best part of this card is the message and the artistic way in which it was written.

Our guess is, this card put a smile on Mr. Thompson's face. It says, "Dearest Friend: I am in Sheridan at present having a Fine and Dandy time. Went to a dance here last night, had a 'Swell time.' The blot of ink on other side is where I am staying {226 N. 8th street} in Sheridan. E. M. B"

How do you like the script?

It did take us a while, with a magnifying glass, to find the blot of ink ... yes, we found it ... we added a red arrow to help you ... closer to the right side of the image.

AND, Lastly, don't miss the steam train approaching the depot at the bottom of the image side of the card. :-)

We wonder how things turned out as time went by.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Getty Gardens

We started our visit to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles in our last post. Today, let's recall the wonderful Getty Gardens ..

The Getty Gardens
Always Changing
Never twice the same

Bird of Paradise

Thanks for joining us on our visit to the Getty Museum and thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum - Los Angeles, CA, USA

Here at John's Island we are digging into our photo archives. In January, 2006, John visited the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Here are some photos to help us refresh our memory of that trip.

Tram that takes you from parking area to
entrance of the Museum

Every tourist destination has a gift shop.

We enjoyed an al fresco luncheon here. 

For info on visiting the Getty today click here.
Next post: The Getty Gardens

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Great Ship Calendar from 1973 [Oct-Nov-Dec]

Today we are sharing the final three months of the Great Ship Calendar from 1973. Please read more below the photos.

Bremerhaven, Germany

Piraeus (Athens), Greece Harbor

New York Harbor
 About the paintings ...

We thank all of our followers for the kind comments on the posts sharing the calendar.  A couple of you were curious why Texas Refinery would print this calendar. Our guess is this: In the years just prior to 1973, Texas Refinery President, A. M. Pate, Jr., was not just in the 1%, but maybe the .001%. He loved to travel and loved ships. He and his wife were "frequent cruisers" before that designation became popular. On one of his longer cruises, Mr. Pate met Woodi Ishmael, the 1973 calendar artist, who was aboard the cruise ship to offer classes on how to get started with painting. Mr. Pate loved Woodi's work and commissioned him to paint the art we see in the calendar. Of course Mr. Pate wanted to share all of that with the world and, being President, could have the calendars published regardless of how they related to the business of Texas Refinery. Actually, ships were related to the company as they sold their products all over the world. In fact, Mr. Pate created a Transportation Museum.  When you go to the website, it begins, "Texans’ love for all things horse-related is well documented. But Texans also have a love affair with the horseless carriage." It goes on to explain Mr. Pate's love for cars and planes and we think that extended to ships. Now you know the rest of the story.

Background information for these posts is here.
All months of the calendar prior to October can be found in Blog Archive -->

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.