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Greetings from Seattle, Washington, USA

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year

On New Year's Eve tradition here at John's Island requires opening up this antique cylinder music box and playing a few cycles of Auld Lang Syne.  We thought we should share it [again] this year with our loyal followers and friends. The cylinder produces music by turning slowly and tiny metal picks click musical pins. Pretty amazing, actually. Enjoy, and Happy New Year from John's Island.


See you next year!

Handsome -- Historical -- Instructive [Part 2]

In our last post we introduced you to "trade cards" from the 1890s. We have a few more cards from that series of 100 views ... today featuring Yellowstone National Park. Please keep in mind that Yellowstone was made a National Park by Congress in 1872 and these cards were published just about 20 years later. In the 1890s just about the only way to reach the Park was by way of horseback or stagecoach.

Grand Geyser
Yellowstone National Park


Canon and Great Falls of the Yellowstone
We are curious about how a camera might have been used in the production of these images. According to Wiki's article on "history of the camera", around this time period (1890), George Eastman introduced the Kodak camera and paper film. Did you know the first Kodak cameras were pre-loaded with enough film to take 100 pictures but had to be sent back to the manufacturer for processing and reloading? Hmmm ... time consuming to see if that selfie turned out as you wanted! In any event, the images on these cards are called "photo-lithographic" views ... if you can explain that in simple terms please leave us a comment!


Mammoth Hot Springs


The Queen's Laundry
The Giantess
The Giant
Yellowstone National Park


Lone Star Geyser
Keplers Cascade


Bee Hive Geyser


Camping in the Rockies
1890s
Yellowstone National Park


As 2014 draws to a close we will take this opportunity to thank you for your visits to John's Island. We also appreciate your comments.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Handsome -- Historical -- Instructive

On reading the title of this post we are certain your first thought jumped to our founder, John. Just kidding, of course. What the title refers to are cards printed in the 1890s by a company known as Jersey Coffee. The cards commemorated a World's Fair (Also called the Columbian Exposition) held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. The cards are known as "trade cards" and signaled the beginning of modern advertising. Manufacturers gave them away to encourage interest in their brand of products. Company salesmen distributed cards to shopkeepers, who passed them along to customers. Some companies inserted trade cards directly into packaged goods as premiums.

We have four cards for you today. The story for each card is told on its back.

The President's House
Washington, D. C.

Sometime during its 120+ years of existence some of the
description was lost but we think you can make it out.
The back starts with this: "New Series Photo-Lithographic View Cards with Jersey Coffee. Handsome -- Historical -- Instructive. One hundred views embracing Columbian Exposition Buildings, Grandest Natural Scenery in the World, and finest Monuments of Ancient and Modern Architecture. One card in each one pound package. No two cards alike in any single case of coffee. This card belongs to the series. Use Jersey Coffee and secure this valuable collection of cards for your home." The remainder of the back describes the view on the front.





We do believe the cards are instructive. We see views representing two of the three branches of USA government ... Executive and Legislative. We bet there is a card showing the Supreme Court ... representing the Judicial branch ... but we have not found it, if it exists.



Those of you who are regular followers may be wondering what drew John's attention to these cards. We will show you in the next post ... a few cards that featured the relatively new (at that time) Yellowstone National Park.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Postcard Exchange 1945


The back of the card tells the story. Card collectors exchanged cards to add variety to their collections. This card, a wheat field in Montana, was exchanged for a card from California showing a movie star's home. Postmarked Bozeman, Montana, July 18, 1945. Our guess is "ans" in script across the cancel indicates that Miss George answered this card, possibly in reply to D. B.'s message. How about this for a hobby back in the 40s?


Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Wampole's Creo - Terpin Compound [1940s]

Wampole's Creo - Terpin Compound
for Coughs due to Colds


From the 1940s ... An advertising card for Creo - Terpin.  We like the illustrations of birds. And then, of course, there is the measure around the edges ... inches top and bottom and metric on the sides.

At one time, Creo - Terpin was available at Alexander & Brasfield, Prescription Druggists, East Side Square, Dresden, Tennessee. We don't think it's still there today, but we did find a photo of the interior here. And, yes, it looks like you can still buy Creo - Terpin today here.

In any event, we hope you are well and don't need something like Creo - Terpin.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Peace to You

We like the image on this old postcard ... sent through the mail in 1907. We were unable to determine the artist. Unfortunately the stamp is missing, but the card ended up in the collection anyway due to the fine winter scene depicted.


Wishing you and yours a peaceful holiday season.

Postmarked 1907
Ironwood, Michigan
Card Printed in Germany
Linking up today with Good Fences! Thank you Tex!

Thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Glacier Nat'l Park Wildflowers -- 1930s [Part 2]

Earlier, we posted some of the old postcard images from a packet of 12 cards featuring wildflowers of Glacier - Waterton National Parks. Here are the remainder of the cards, including the ones we posted earlier. If you enjoy flowers we think you will love these old images.

Wildflowers of Glacier - Waterton National Parks
12 views - 25 cents

Glacier Lily or Dog Tooth Violet

Mountain Maple -- Skunkflower

Wild Hollyhock

Indian Paintbrush
Mariposa Lily

Mid-Summer Spray

Mountain Ash

Pink Aster

Blue Beardtongue
Bush Cinaufoil
Shooting Star
Daisy Fleabane

Pale Arnica

Pasque Flower
Bluebell
Mountain Phlox

Wild Rose
Northern Anemone

Back is the same on all 12 cards.
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Northern Pacific Steamship Stamps -- Early 1900s

A sheet of 10 Steamship Stamps
For collectors of antique paper, stamps create an entirely separate category. Within that category, railroad and shipping companies issued stamps to advertise their business. Hopefully, the stamps would be placed on correspondence (snail mail) and create an interest in travel.

According to Wikipedia, collecting stamps is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. Stamps are often collected for their historical value and geographical aspects and also for the many different subjects depicted on them, ranging from ships, horses, and birds to kings, queens and presidents. People who collect stamps are sometimes known as philatelists ... which comes from the word philately, the study of stamps. The stamps we are showing you in this post are called "cinderellas" because they do not have any postage value.




Q. Are these stamps rare?  A. Not extremely rare, but unusual finds today, these stamps were issued by the Great Northern Pacific Steamship Company in the early 1900s. There were several "series" of stamps issued, this is "Series 2" which consists of 10 stamps showing various parts of the steamship known as S. S. Northern Pacific, which plied the waters between Portland, Oregon; Astoria, Oregon; San Francisco, California; and Honolulu, Hawaii. Travelling by ship in the early 1900s was much more special than it is today with cruising being so common and economical.

These stamps are a good example of how looking at something online may actually be easier than looking at the real stamps ... Each of the 10 stamps have been enlarged for easy viewing ...

S. S. Northern Pacific

Wheel House

Dining Room

Smoking Room

Promenade Deck

Observation Parlor

Engine Room

Deck Scene

Private Suite

Writing Room
Please let us know if you have questions. Thank you for stopping by John's Island.