• Collecting,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Logistics,  Puzzles,  Social,  Travel

    Two Times the Great Northern Depot

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 93 and 94 As mentioned in the last post, today’s post features the same postcard twice. This offers an opportunity to discuss the image a bit more. There are many sources out discussing postcard imagery–but one thing these two cards offer is a bit of insight into the production. The version on the left (93) doesn’t have a postmark but was dated 5 April 1908. The one on the right was dated 18 March 1908 and postmarked a day later. So we know which was sent later–this doesn’t necessarily mean it was purchased later. Yet these are not identical. The March version is slightly darker…

  • Collecting,  General Info,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Logistics,  Travel

    Three Domes and One Hotel

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 86-89 First up: a view of Washington, D.C., bearing the initials J.T.R. Still no additional information about the sender. As with others, they directed the card to Anna McMahon of 1800 State Street, Chicago. The fact that the card presents a DC image does not also mean the sender was in D.C. at any time. Cards, after all, were a highly mobile medium (they still are for that matter). Whether or not J.T.R. acquired the card in Washington, they did not post it in there. Rather, the reverse clearly denotes the card as sent from Niagara Falls on 13 July 1907. This date happens to…

  • Collecting,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Social,  Travel,  Weather

    From the baggage-smasher to a blizzard to the tally-ho

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 82-85 Four cards from four different places, but only two people. Mostly Fred, of course. First up, two cards documenting Fred’s travels through the West. Fred dropped a quick update to Katheryn from Pueblo to assure her as to his safe arrival–and make sure she knew where to direct her letters and cards. That’s Girlie Dear: Just arrived in Pueblo + am waiting for baggage-smasher to locate my suit-case Looks the part of a Wild Wooly Western Town As Ever Fred Newton to Katheryn McMahon, 14 February 1908 His description of getting his suitcase tickles me, although I suspect that baggage-smasher is much more apt…

  • General Info,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Travel

    The trimmest little boats to take you over

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 71-75 Today’s cards are a bit of a grab-bag variety. They do continue the water theme from the last post. First up, a fairly characteristic post from Fred while in Seattle. Once again he lauded the attractions of the West in general, in this case Seattle, as incentive for Katheryn eventually joining him, gave her an idea of what he does on his weekends, regretted she wasn’t there to enjoy it with him, and reminds her to write to him. Dearie: This is a beautiful country for scenery. They claim in summer it is a regular Paradise on earth. We are enjoying early easter styles…

  • General Info,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Presentation/Appearance,  Social,  Travel

    Lots to be seen but, I can’t see it

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 66-70 As shown above, the title for today’s post comes from one of Fred’s postcards. I’m not sure what Fred meant when he wrote it, but I know what I mean by including here. This post will raise questions–most/all of which will never be answered. In short, we’ll know that there are things to be seen, but be unable to see them. You have been warned! Up to now, the bulk of postcards have been from Fred to Katheryn during the period in 1908 when they were engaged (presumably) but before their marriage. By-and-large, he’s written lengthy notes on the cards and on multiple occasions…

  • Collecting,  General Info,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Travel

    This is no place for me–alone

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 54-56 We’re basically skipping #54. It’s another card from Europe to an unspecified “Miss McMahon” at the State Street address. Probably from Billy, and offering a different view of Llangolen. Last time I mentioned the issue of the postcard order in the book, and the possibility the cards were arranged by theme. It’s hard to tell for certain, since the album was picked over. Who knows what is missing? That said, I have come to the conclusion that at a minimum a goodly chunk of the cards at some point were arranged in topical order. While you won’t see that in today’s cards necessarily, keep…

  • Collecting,  General Info,  Health,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Logistics,  Real Photo Post Cards

    One of the most aristocratic little resorts

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 50-53 First up, two more cards from Europe. I’m only sharing the fronts here. Based on the handwriting on the back, I’m guessing these also came from Billy (who’s so far been responsible for most/all of the foreign cards–and no I still don’t know his last name). As is quite typical of Billy, there’s no message. That said, these differ from several of the most recent cards in that, as with a few earlier ones, they’re directed to “Miss McMahon” at Shields Ave rather than State St, and thus were likely intended for Katheryn rather than Anna. With respect to the images themselves, note that…

  • General Info,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Logistics,  Puzzles,  Social

    Make short work of the “tall + uncut”

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 40-43 I originally intended to focus on one card at a time. That didn’t last long! It proved much easier to spend extensive time on the initial cards I presented, both because I was starting to figure out what to do with this blog and because each was selected for one or more iconic qualities which rewarded in-depth examination. With this album, the attractions for me include seeing how the cards fit together–how Fred (and others, especially when we move on to add other albums) uses the cards. What information he includes, where he’s open versus coy and allusive. TLDR: I’ll share however many cards…

  • General Info,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Real Photo Post Cards,  Social,  Travel,  Vitals,  Weather

    Old Haunts and Burros Revisited

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 35-39 On the 26th of February 1908, Fred sent Katheryn another card where the image was the inspiration for the communication. In this case, he even specified where he got the card: in a drug store in Portland, Oregon. Drug stores were a mainstay of the postcard market–and this particular card presented a local view, and was one of the United States images produced by the publisher, W.G. MacFarlane. Once again, Fred inscribed suggestive initials on the image, but in this case he did so not to invite Katheryn to imagine herself in Portland so much as to encourage her to think back to a…

  • Business,  Collecting,  Holidays & Birthdays,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Social

    From the Governor’s Private Secretary to Writing Everyday

    Katheryn McMahon Newton Album, cards 30-31 Evidently, Fred decided to call on the Governor of Colorado, Henry Augustus Buchtel, while passing through Denver. I still don’t know enough about him to find him in the Census–and I’m not (yet) going to start other research to find him in Seattle and/or Chicago records and related materials. The population of Colorado at the time was numbered in the high hundred-thousands; that of Denver in the low hundred-thousands. Fred’s evident comfort level in making the call suggests he came from higher up the class ranks–even though he settled for “a very few minutes” with the Governor’s private secretary. To continue the discussion of…

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