• Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Logistics,  Travel,  Weather

    Lonesome in a God-forsaken Hole

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 116-119 A variety of streets and buildings for today. Two of the cards had no messages, but their reverses are nevertheless worth showing alongside the fronts. The cards were sent by different people to different people–at the same address and roughly the same time. I haven’t (yet) done further research into the addresses but it’s quite possible that 1800 State Street, Chicago, was a boarding house or a family lived there who took in a boarder or . . . well, actually, there are quite a few explanations. This will have to wait on some of the external research I’ll do when I write about…

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

    “same old cold stormy smoke, begrimed + sloppy place it is”

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 107-110 Fred Newton was the product of his time and culture: white, likely of Anglo-American ancestry, and possessed of relative privilege. Based on earlier cards, he had enough station to call on the Governor of Colorado when passing through (though he settled for a few minutes with a private secretary). His attitudes about gender and sex were typical of the time; I’ve already posted about how, from a modern perspective, some of his endearments for Katheryn don’t work for me (maybe they do for others). Given the card he sent Katheryn from Pocatello, Idaho, he was also racist. Here’s the front of the card in…

  • Health,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Logistics,  Social,  Travel,  Weather

    Running to the Drug Store for a Smoke in a Blizzard

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 98-100 Three different buildings for today’s images–and questionable decision-making on Fred’s part (from my definitely modern perspective). As with the images in the last post, the first falls into the category of Fred Went Somewhere and Sent Katheryn a Postal of it. This is and always has been a popular reason for making and sending postcards, i.e. to show people you’ve been places and seen things. Sometimes Fred includes interesting information in his message, and other times . . . As seen here, Fred visited the Mint while in Denver and went for what may be construed a joke and very real wish for more…

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

    “A little lady leaving the hotel”

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 95-97 All of today’s cards went from Fred to Katheryn, and build on the cards recently discussed. None of the images were coincidental, but rather connected to or referenced in Fred’s messages. First up, one from his trip down to Pueblo on the way to Seattle. Here Fred chose an image of the Mineral Palace. Back in the day it was intended to showcase Colorado’s mineral resources. The image certainly appears intended to invoke various classical architectural styles albeit with a decided angularity. It evidently required a short trip from where Fred stayed in the city, for he mentioned needing to “jump a car,” i.e.…

  • 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…

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

    Love for the West, and Worries over Love

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 80-81 Today’s cards offer a very interesting comparison–except in images. Fred sent Katheryn the same card twice–within the span of three days. The one on the left is dated May 24th and postmarked the 25th; the one on the right the 27th and 28th respectively. The mood of the cards, now, that differs dramatically. But first a note on postmarks. I haven’t discussed postmarks much here, and I’m not going to. That said, these are particularly clear impressions (they’re not always, even when dealing with someone who isn’t as avid as Fred about using available space). From the same city, three days apart. But we…

  • Business,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Social,  Weather

    Food, sports, and canoodling in the water

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 76-79 In a bit of a switch, the two cards from Fred in today’s post have lengths in reverse to what one might expect: the card from 1907 has the longer inscription and the 1908 the shorter. First the older card (comparatively speaking). A lovely image, and very nice coloration (even though someone wrote 27 upside down in the lake). Fred was evidently in a sentimental mood, based on the inscriptions on both sides of the card. The reverse has a longer meditation on the evening. Dearest: Had a dance + chicken Frye here last night After I got back from Lake Geneva in Auto…

  • Business,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Logistics,  Presentation/Appearance,  Travel,  Weather

    Calling on the Drug Trade Book + Department Stores

    Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 57-59 In which we get more information about what Fred Newton does for a living! As supposed, he’s a salesman. What he sells may vary. He could work for more than one company at any given time, for all we know. However, thanks to the first card shown here we know what he sold, where, and for whom on at least one instance. The Mr. Sears Fred referred to in other cards is evidently “L. Sears Paper Co.” They produce tablets and stationery, which Fred is selling around Washington–this particular day he went to Ballard and called on a variety of stores. It’s not an…

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

    Billy in Berlin and Fred in Salt Lake and Seattle

    Katheryn McMahon Newton Album, cards 32-34 First up, explicit reference as to how Fred expects Katheryn’s correspondence to reach him. Alas, this inspires in me an even greater desire to see her side. I recognize this desire is unlikely to be fulfilled. Her cards and letters most likely were destroyed at some point, whether deliberate or accidental; if they do survive, they may be scattered and even if they aren’t it would be a herculean task to try and locate them. “Dear Kit: Just arrived in the MormonTown – Train 1 hour + 50 m late. Passed through a fierce blizzard + snow storm after leaving Glenwood Springs. Am writing…

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