• General Info,  Presentation/Appearance,  Social,  Thomas Gray Haile subcollection

    Valentines, union suits, and wrestling

    Thomas Gray Haile subcollection, cards 36, 55, 167, and 95 First up, a nearly blank slate ripe for speculation. This could be from Madge–but equally might not be. There is very little to go on. With respect to the sender’s identity, we have the choice of the card, which suggests a romantic connection, and the name and address of the recipient. This is the kind of card Madge generally chose (i.e. romantic, as the following posts will demonstrate), but . . . the handwriting on the card isn’t close enough for me to incline that way (much as I’d like to). Further, the card was addressed to Mr. T. Gray…

  • Collecting,  Miscellaneous,  Thomas Gray Haile subcollection

    Good and True and Truthful

    Thomas Gray Haile subcollection, overview Time to switch to a new set of postcards! The Haile cards. These, too, date from around 1907-1908, with some later cards. Nevertheless, the Haile cards differ in many respects from the Katheryn McMahon album. The Haile cards don’t constitute a coherent album collection. Oh, they were in an old postcard album when I got them . . . but mixed in with other unrelated cards. In short what I’ll be focusing on for the next month or two (or three) is a sub-collection: cards that at some point became part of some one’s collection. Was that someone one person? I don’t know. Were they…

  • Collecting,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Travel

    Numerical proof of love?

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, an initial chronological and numerical assessment For about five months, I’ve been posting about the cards contained in the album and referring to an eventual chronological assessment. This is–and isn’t–it. It is, because it’s what I’m providing; but it also isn’t, because I don’t promise it addresses all the issues I mentioned in earlier posts. There’s only so much I can do now. I expect this particular album and assortment of cards to play a strong role as I analyze and write about early post cards in bulk and in specific, but at this point I’m still processing cards and getting ideas (and sometimes having those…

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

    Daddy dear and sweetheart valentines

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, additional materials Before we go to the additional materials, a correction regarding a recent post. When discussing card 127, I somehow leapt to associate references to the “U.S. Ex. agent” as exports. I’m not sure what I was thinking. At any rate, this was far more likely a U.S. Express agent — i.e. a firm that he had arranged to ship materials to Katheryn. A precursor / antecedent to UPS and/or FedEx. Especially given one of the letters below! The album contained two letters and three cards when it reached me. These all date from later-on. The cards on the left and right are signed from…

  • General Info,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Social,  Weather

    An ordinary park bench to the casual observer

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 130-133 The last cards in the album! There are a few non-cards for the next post, then on to a chronological overview–and we’ll be off to our next set of cards (I’m looking forward to introducing Madge to the world). But I’m getting ahead of myself. First up, one of the few items in the album that affirm Katheryn married Fred. In this case, his mother (name alas unknown right now) sent them a postcard which means I have their address in Seattle as of late 1908. If they were still there (or nearby) in 1910 this may help locate them in the census. (FYI:…

  • Collecting,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Leather Post Cards,  Social

    The customary expression appropriate in a case of this kind

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 126-129 For today, four cards from the album that are not images of places (or flowers). Whoever went through the album plucking out cards likely left them behind as of little value. In terms of inscriptions, three of the four have something on them with two speaking to Fred and Katheryn’s relationship. This one, for instance, dates from when Fred was courting Katheryn. The postmark is hard to read, but places this on/around the 25th of July, 1907. He addressed her as Kittie, as this came before the shift to Katheryn. He added lines to the front of the card, affirming the printed warning to…

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

    Keeping Secrets and Choosing Addresses

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 110-112 This first card was postmarked and dated 10 February 1908. These don’t always align quite so nicely. I’ve usually erred on the side of citing the date Fred wrote on a card over the postmark unless I’m talking about the mailing. At any rate, back to the card. There’s nothing explicit to this effect–it was merely an image of Denver with a quick query about how the town struck Katheryn–but I suspect it was Fred’s arrival-in-town-safely missive. After all, we know he’s sending two or more cards from most places he stays for a night or two. Anyone who’s been in Denver more recently…

  • 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…

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