Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cold Weather

From our collection of old postcards ...

Parts of North America have experienced a cold and snowy winter but possibly not breaking the record cold in White River, Ontario, Canada. We're not sure about the age of this old postcard but are guessing it's from the 1970s. The back of the card features a description of "Canada's Cold Spot" and mentions the pictured "electrically operated upright thermometer, probably the largest in the world..."

We took a look on Google Maps Streetview and, yes, it looks like the thermometer is still there ... maybe some of our Canadian friends can tell us if this "probably the largest in the world" thermometer still gives "constant accurate readings."

Being in Canada, we assume it's C but, anyway you look at it, Celsius or Fahrenheit, it's cold ...

How about it ... have you experienced any temperatures this winter to rival White River?

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Famous Railroad Kitty

Regarding comments on yesterday's post ... We do not endorse animal cruelty of any kind. If an animal appears on one of our postcards we trust it was treated with kindness or we would not post the card nor include it our collection. Now, on to today's old postcard from our collection ...

Enjoying the Dome Car on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad ...

Don't miss the Kitty! According to the Chesapeake and Ohio (Railroad) Historical Society, the Chessie Kitty "is probably the most endearing and certainly one of the most successful corporate symbols in American history." We're not so sure about that, but then again, it's the C & O Historical Society. Our guess for publishing date is 1950s.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ride a Swimming Buffalo?

Having fun at
Cortland Du Rand Big Elk Ranch
Martinsdale, Montana

"Where guests ride swimming Buffalo ..." We're not sure if we would do that or not. How about you? This old card from our postcard collection is probably pretty rare. A Google search for "Cortland Du Rand Big Elk Ranch" has no results. Our guess on publishing date ... 1920s or 30s.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Monday, February 16, 2015

President's Day

From our collection of old postcards ...

Monday, February 16, 2015, is President's Day in America. We selected a card from the collection featuring Woodrow Wilson, to celebrate the day. The little poem on the card might be more appropriate for Flag Day, so maybe it will show up in a future post as well.  (Click on images for larger view.)

This is an embossed card, which, of course, is not so apparent looking at it online, but you can see some of the impression on the back of the card ... we darkened it up a bit to make it more apparent. This card was not mailed but was addressed simply, To Papa.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921.

A poem at the bottom refers to supporting our World War I efforts. Enlargement of the poem ...

One of our blogging friends, Red, gave us a comment a while back that made our day ...

That sets us on a journey to see what more we can find out about this old card.  Taking a careful look at the copyright ...

In the lower left corner we see the standard copyright C in a circle, but up above that, the same symbol and the name (we think) G. W. Buch (plus two characters we can't make out). Of course, when you try to look that up, Google thinks you are misspelling G. W. Bush. But no luck on an artist G. W. Buch. We did find another one of these postcards for sale and the seller thinks it is G. V. Buck. You can see that card here. In addition to all that copyright stuff, there is more at the lower right of the image ...

We are curious about the little face (?) near the bottom center of the image. Ground hog, dog, ??? What do you think? Is this one of those things where an artist has hidden something in the art?

Lastly, we thought, let's see what the WWW has to say about President's Day. Here's a screen shot of our Google search results ...  

Well, the first thing we'll have to work out is whether there is an apostrophe in the name. Actually, since we are honoring all the Presidents, shouldn't it be Presidents' Day? Yet, according to Wikipedia: "With official names including Presidents' Day, President's Day and Washington's and Lincoln's Birthday, the day is also a state holiday in most states." OK, so much for that, but what really amused us, or perhaps, disappointed us, was the "In the news" link ... What to Buy During President's Day Sales. What do you think about that? Could it be that we get that on our computer because of all the "cookies" websites kindly leave behind after we visit their website? : - )

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Blue Skies in Cowtown [1960s]

From our collection of old postcards ...

Blue sky and sunshine "deep in the heart of historic downtown Cowtown, Fort Worth, Texas." This card features a photo taken by John A. Stryker published by Western Fotocolor in (guessing) early 1960s.

Now that it is so easy to research things on the WWW, we looked up John A. Stryker and discovered that his photography is featured in a collection at Texas State University. You can read about Mr. Stryker and the collection here.

Enlarged info from back of the card ...

Linking up this historic blue sky with SkyWatch Friday -- Thanks to the SkyWatch hosts!

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sun Valley -- Summer and Winter [1948]

You may recall seeing the card below on our January 8, 2015, post, featuring Sun Valley, Idaho, as it appears in the summer. Now, scroll down the page to see the same scene in the winter.

Summer ...

Winter ...

Next to each other for comparison ...

We wonder ... Which scene do you like better ... summer or winter?

These cards are from our collection of old postcards. Many of the cards were published by railroad companies in the heyday of passenger travel by rail in the USA. These cards were published by the Union Pacific Railroad in the late 1930s and into the 1940s.

Our post on January 8 was linked up with Good Fences and several of you confirmed seeing a fence in the photo. So, it must still be there in the winter scene, and so we link up again with Good Fences.  Thank you Tex for hosting!

Thank you for stopping by John's Island and thank you for your comments! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sheep Herding [1909]

From our collection of old postcards ...

In 1909 the Northern Pacific Railroad was looking for passengers to ride the rails. How about it ... Would this scene make you want to travel? Or, perhaps, take up sheep herding?

Shepard, two dogs, and a herd of sheep.

Postmarked St. Paul & Spokane Railway Post Office -- 4th Division
Train #4, July 29, 1909
(Postmarked aboard the train.)

One of the Northern Pacific Railroad's logos.

Mother's message ...

If we are reading it correctly ...
Bozeman Montana 
We are now crossing the Rockies. I wish I could describe the magnificence of the scenery. How I have wished for you all. It seems so selfish to have it all to myself. It is not cold although some of the mountains are snow capped.

Details ... The card was "Made in Germany" ...  No. 992, American Import Co., Publishers, Minneapolis, U.S.A.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Tallest Building in the West -- Smith Tower

From our collection of old postcards, Seattle's Smith Tower ...

Tallest building on West Coast
when this card was published.

From Wikipedia:  "Smith Tower is a skyscraper in Pioneer Square in Seattle, Washington. Completed in 1914, the 38-story, 149 m (489 ft) tower is the oldest skyscraper in the city and was the tallest office building west of the Mississippi River until the Kansas City Power & Light Building was built in 1931. It remained the tallest building on the West Coast until the Space Needle overtook it in 1962."

Here are some of our own pics of the Smith Tower ...

Atop Smith Tower ... the Observation Deck ...

Clearly, they do not want you to jump off the Smith Tower!

View from Observation Deck
Space Needle across the city.

The Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound
as seen from the Smith Tower

On July 19, 2013, we posted about our visit to the 73rd floor of the tallest building in Seattle, Columbia Tower ...

And included this picture of Smith Tower from above ...

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Travel Near, Travel Far ...

Travel near or travel far -- You'll find no prettier Dining Car ...

When you collect old postcards you may find one, like this card, that leaves you wondering ... To us, it looks like a possible newer "reprint" of a vintage card. Reasons we are skeptical ... The back of the card is printed a bit haphazardly ... not squared up with the paper ... The italic font in the description does not seem like one commonly seen during the time corresponding to the image -- 1910 to about mid 1920s ... and the printer carelessly left a "paragraph" marker before the last sentence of the description. As with any collectible item, people will try to copy it and sell it as if though it was authentic. Buyer beware, as they say.

If authentic, this card would have been published by the Northern Pacific Railroad. They were, indeed, well known for their dining car accomodations. We have seen the image in the Railroad's other publications, such as advertising brochures.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

New Steel Train -- Over New Steel Trail [1912]

From our collection of old postcards ... The Olympian, New Steel Train -- Over the New Steel Trail. If you are not into railroad history, when you think of an olympian, you probably think of someone who participates in the international sporting event known as the Olympic Games. But back in 1909 America's third northern transcontinental railroad inagurated passenger service between Chicago and Seattle, and the railroad had to come up with a name for their premier train. They settled on "The Olympian" after the range of mountains near the western end of the line ... the Olympics.

This card was published in celebration of the new train called The Olympian
Service was between Chicago and Seattle/Tacoma
Paper surface showing its age.

Postmarked April 27, 1912

Good news: Letter with check arrived O.K.
Hope chicks and kittens are well.
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Take a Spin [1914]

This old card doesn't fit into the main categories of our collection of old postcards, but we liked the image despite the solemn correspondence. Mailed in May, 1914, just over 100 years ago.

How about it ... Can you imagine getting an invitation for your first ride in one of the first automobiles?

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Mostly Mt Rainier

Back to Mt. Rainier 2024 ... At the entrance gate the Ranger provided a map of the Park and a sheet of info for Spring 2024.  I was careful ...