Business,  Collecting,  General Info

When is the new year again?

Due to this and that, I cannot promise how often I’ll be able to post between now and the end of the year. But here’s taste of what we’ll be working through whenever I am able to post (and I do promise to try to mark Thursdays) because I’m looking forward to this:

E.C. Patton’s album.

There may be some similarities between Patton and McMahon Newton. I strongly suspect Patton was white, as Newton likely was. They may have come from similar upper middling classes. Both albums contain cards mostly postmarked in the early 19th century (naturally, since that’s mostly what I collect).

BUT . . . let’s start with a few key differences (other than gender).

Addressee Location — Patton lived in Salem, Oregon, so in this case most of the cards were sent to the Pacific Northwest rather than from.

Variety of Senders — The McMahon Newton album was notable in no small part due to the number of cards sent by the same person. That’s not the case here (I do have other albums where that is the case; hopefully we’ll get to those one of these days!). Most of the senders will likely have sent only a handful at best of the cards in this album.

Type of Album — I don’t mean the type of album with respect to the physical book in which the cards were stored (although it was different)–I’m referring to the type of collection this is. Every page was full and there were several additional cards loose in/around it (I documented where). The total number in my possession is 189 and I’m sure there were more.

E.C. Patton was the business of post cards (and stationary and books).

Based on an article published in the Historic Marion newsletter for Marion County Historical Society members (click here as long as the link still works to download it), E.C. stood for Edwin Cooke. He was one of five children of Euro-Americans who’d traveled to Oregon from the midwest, and was born in Oregon in 1868. The article referred to him as “Cooke Patton” (he was named for his maternal grandfather, Edwin Cooke) but at least one of the postcards is addressed to “Eddie C.” The family was relatively well-off, enough to pay for hired labor. Their father was United States Consul in Kobe, Japan, for two years (1884-1886). Before their father’s death in 1892, he and his brother Hal started work in the family book and stationery store. He thus may have had some similarities with Fred Newton (who spent at least some time selling stationery). He married and he, his wife, Leah Orsella Guiss, and daughter, Luella Charlton, lived mostly in his family home along with his brother and brother’s family.

E.C. and his brother also operated a picture post card company and for a while had the largest collection in the Northwest. E.C. was a photographer and took many real photo post cards.

This album contains place cards. He probably had other albums. I don’t know and likely won’t ever know for certain.

In addition, he corresponded with post card collectors–and I strongly suspect he had some involvement in one or more postcard clubs (there were several). We’ll see. This could prove very boring or very interesting (or a mix).

So, here are three cards to start. First, an English image from a relative of “Eddie C.”–with some interesting commentary about church attendance.

Westminster Abbey in London. Handwritten message across the top: "I didn't go to ths[?] church on Easter either, but had I been in London wouldn't have missed going here."
“B.” to Eddie C. Patton, 11 April 1907

The relative signed with their initial(s), and I’m not completely clear whether the sender was B or B H B. The message on the reverse side was as short as on the image side: “Will send you Cousin Jimmie’s address as soon as he is located. What is your sister’s name? Am going to send a postal to Maudie. As B H B.”

Next up is one probably from a purchaser of post cards

Image of a water tower blasting water on a burning building. Titled "Water Tower in Action," Image #1944 from the Ill. Post Card Co., N.Y.

Since I now know E.C. Patton took photos and co-ran a postcard company, I’m guessing Clew was a buyer (from New York, given the postmark) of either E.C.’s photos or cards. Perhaps at some point I can track down the image of the “Wild Mare” in question and possibly other images taken or produced by E.C. of fish and/or steamships.

Delighted with the “Wild Mare” Please send me your photo + I’ll be more delighted. How can I coax you? Tell me I’m all attention. Great fish + steamships + people out your way—A.B.Clew[?]

A.B. Clew[?] to E.C. Patton, 10 March 1907

And then there’s this

Image of the Grand Canyon, by the Detroit Photographic Co. Handwritten message across top (see body of post)
Henry Emms to E.C. Patton, Esq., 5 March 1907

The message is very simple: “Greetings from Henry Emms Rosemont P.O. Manitoba. Who is Miss Stoddard of Mass?”

From my earlier reviews of the album, there will be quite a number from Miss Stoddard, who was evidently one of Patton’s correspondents. My suspicion is that she and he were both part of at least one post card club dedicated to exchanges–am I right? We’ll see if any of the later cards supports or counters this!

Until next time.

“When is the new year again?” copyright 2021, Alea Henle

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