Sunday, November 30, 2014

With and Without

Several weeks ago a loyal follower suggested we take another look at trees after fall colors are over ... so here is the "With" ...

Without ...

Getting these "before and after" or "then and now" pictures should be easy, right? It's not quite as simple as it seems, but it is a nice challenge!

Weather Update 

Yesterday, we had our first snowfall for the season. The accumulation was small here in downtown ... only noticeable on roof tops and tops of cars. (Photo below) Slightly north, in Snohomish County there was quite a bit more. (Snohomish County seems appropriately named for the occasion but actually it is named after a Native American tribe.) Later in the day, winds picked up, the skies cleared, and the temps dropped. Sunny days are forecast for today through Tuesday.

Cool Clouds

Last Wednesday, Nov. 26th, we looked out to see the interesting clouds in the photo below. Looking to the west, and a bit to the north, and considering the lighting of the clouds, this might be a scene expected around sunset, but no, this was a part of sunrise at just after 8:30 AM. This time of year the sun is about as far south as it's going to get on the eastern horizon. From our perspective it almost looked like the clouds were coming out of the top of one of the skyscrapers.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

First Snow -- Nov 29 2014

As we write this it's Saturday morning, about 8 am, and we are experiencing our first snowfall of the season here in Seattle. There is a very slight accumulation on cooler surfaces, nothing on the streets yet. Since we don't need to drive anywhere we think it looks great! We do hope it doesn't turn into something like the scene on one of our old postcards ...

Good day to everyone ... thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Dinner for One Dollar and Fifty Cents

From our collection of antique paper we have a Dinner Menu used on the Great Northern Railway around 1915, plus or minus a year or two.

On the front of the menu we like the portrait of James J. Hill.  According to Wiki... "James Jerome Hill (September 16, 1838 – May 29, 1916), was a Canadian-American railroad executive. He was the chief executive officer of a family of lines headed by the Great Northern Railway, which served a substantial area of the Upper Midwest, the northern Great Plains, and Pacific Northwest. Because of the size of this region and the economic dominance exerted by the Hill lines, Hill became known during his lifetime as The Empire Builder."

Now, when you hear someone say, "He/She is just building an empire" you will know what they mean. And, it is no surprise that the Great Northern named their premier passenger train after Hill, calling it The Empire Builder.

The interior of the menu is shown below. A full dinner, for $1.50 with your choice of either Fried Spring Chicken or Grilled Sirloin Steak. Just for fun we used the online inflation calculator to see that the same dinner today would cost you about $35.26.

When was the last time you saw a menu in a restaurant with this statement: "Suggestions for betterment invited."

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hearty Thanksgiving Greetings

For all our blogging friends in USA ....

Hearty Thanksgiving Greetings ... a postcard with art signed by Ellen Clapsaddle. Postmarked Boston, Mass., Nov. 23, 1909.

Shall we all take the message to heart ... "Don't eat too much ... on Thanksgiving day. Love to all. Mrs. Swift."

Printed in Germany by ? Barre, 190?. Mailed to Master Glover Kearly, East Union, Maine. We like the way the card is divided into "For Correspondence" and "For Address Only". Cancelled at Dorchester Station, 1¢ U S Postage. This is an embossed card. Normally, you might not know that from a simple scan, but the address side of the card has enough age to show discoloration around some of the embossing. In it's day, this card was probably a little more expensive than average.

Regarding the artist, this info comes from Wikipedia ... "Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle (January 8, 1865 - January 7, 1934) was an American illustrator/commercial artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Not only is her style greatly admired and well recognized, today she is recognized as the most prolific souvenir/postcard and greeting card artist of her era."

- - - - - - - - - - -  

12th Man Update

This week the skyscrapers have been lighting up in Seahawks' colors. Two Union Tower (just to the left of center in our photo) has one of the best displays constantly changing blue to green. The team plays today against the 49ers in Santa Clara, California.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island and Happy Thursday to those of you not in the USA.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's Paradise in Wyoming

If you were ever there maybe you can tell us if it's true ... Paradise Dude Ranch, Buffalo, Wyoming. We like the gate with FUN welcome. We're going to guess the photographer was riding the saddled up horse with no rider waiting by the fence.

This was an unused card, one that card collectors call a "real photo" postcard.  It appears that the photographer might have used a rubber stamp that labeled it PHOTO POST CARD, provided a place for ADDRESS, and advertised they were using Kodak Paper as a frame for the stamp spot ... here's the back ...

The question we can't answer very well ... How old is this postcard?  Perhaps we should ask the folks who are still running the Ranch. You can view their website here. They claim to have been in business for over 100 years and now go by the name Paradise Guest Ranch. We're going to guess the card is from the 1950s ... what do you think?

Linking up today with ... Good Fences

Thanks for stopping by John's Island.

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.


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