• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Collecting,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Presentation/Appearance,  Social,  Travel

    Berlin, a Terrace, and Mental Telegraphy

    Katheryn McMahon Newton Album, cards 27-29 First a card not from Fred but with a message. One “Billy” (last name unknown) is in Berlin (Germany) and moved to send a postcard to Katheryn–whom he (or she) addresses as “Kitty”–and ask forgiveness for not writing before. This dates to 1907, i.e. before most of the cards from Fred. Without more information about the individual, there’s fairly little to say as regards sender. Or is there? This does provide an inscription to compare with Fred’s. First off, it’s shorter–or rather, Fred’s are longer. I’ve acquired enough postcards, and particularly enough batches of postcards sent by one person, to say that Fred is…

  • Business,  Collecting,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Real Photo Post Cards,  Social,  Travel

    Very Fond of Children and the Pacific Coast Limited

    Katheryn McMahon Newton Album, cards 20-22, 24 Today’s is a bit of a miscellany. First is a travel postcard produced by the Metropolitan News Co., a northeastern firm responsible for a number of regional-oriented images. This particular card has no inscription whatsoever. The sender evidently presumed Anna McMahon would understand from whom it came–likely the only person she knew in Boston at the time. As a side point, according to Google Maps 1800 State Street is about midway between the two addresses we have for Katheryn McMahon. 2621 South Shields Avenue (Google is not currently offering me an option for North Shields) is about 1.5 miles walk south-southwest. 315 Wabash…

  • Business,  Collecting,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Real Photo Post Cards,  Social

    Altered Images, Love Letters, and Guilt Trips

    Katheryn McMahon Album, cards 16-19 If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the worth of a picture with words added? This post has two examples of a benefit some people found in sending postcards versus letters: the opportunity to interact with the image on the front. A classic method is for a sender to inscribe initials or names on people portrayed on the front of the card–even or especially when the images were mass produced and patently not the sender, addressee, or anyone they knew. Fred did this himself, as shown in the post on 11 January, when he added Katheryn’s and his initials to a man…

  • Collecting,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Social,  Travel

    Where the Birds are Better Than Alarm Clocks

    Katheryn McMahon Newton Album, cards 10-12 The next card in line lacks any inscription whatsoever. Whichever postal station marked the card managed to add wavy lines canceling the stamp without including anything to indicate when or where it was posted. The where probably Portland, Oregon, given that the front bears glittery letters offering “Greetings” from there As for the rest? My guess: Fred Newton at some point in 1907. Fred, because it’s his handwriting (or a very close approximation) and he passed through Portland at various points. 1907 given the address specified for Katheryn McMahon: the Atlas [School] Supply Co. on Wabash Ave in Chicago. A cursory review of the…

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