Monday, December 26, 2011

1950s Car Comic - 18 Miles Per Gallon

This is a standard/chrome postcard that just screams 1950s - though there is no date on it.  It touches a bit on relationships, and the abilities of automobiles at the time.  This one has run out of gas, and the caption is the wife complaining about her husband insisting the car would get 18 MPG. The husband is in the distance running off to find some gas, while the wife waits in the car reading a book.   This postcard is also artist signed - "Frye".

In the 1950s, 18 MPG for most cars in the USA would have been considered pretty good.  Maybe even better than pretty good - gas was cheap and mileage was not usually a consideration.  I got my first car in the 1970s (it was used, from 1966) and it only got 16 miles per gallon in the best of conditions, and I thought that was pretty ok.

When I was living in Germany, I tried to play a little mind game:  I'd try to figure out kilometers per liter and convert that to miles per gallon.  It's not easy. Gasoline was much more expensive in Germany, and cars, as a rule, were smaller and more fuel efficient, but I could never quite figure out my "mileage" to my satisfaction. Eventually I got to the point where I just accepted the liters and kilometers for what they were, and quit worrying about miles and gallons.

So, for those of you who may not be familiar with USA's version of the Imperial System of Measurements, 18 miles to the gallon is terrible mileage by today's standards, at least for a normal family car.  That was not the case when this postcard was created.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Only Enough Gas - WW II rationing - Linen Comic Postcard

This is a linen comic Curt Teich postcard.  It is circa 1942 (per the serial number in lower right), so that means it is World War II era.

It took me awhile to realize what this postcard was about.  It's a comic, but yet I didn't really see any humor in it, and comics usually make at least an attempt to be humorous.  But after some thought I realized that people in 1942 may have smiled at this - not because it was funny, but because it was so real.

The man in the car is pointing at his gas gauge, which is almost on empty, and basically complaining that he needs more gasoline, but the attendant refuses to sell him anymore, even though the gauge on the pump seems to indicate there's plenty to sell.  In WWII gasoline was rationed, and you could only buy so much in a given period of time.  I'm pretty sure that's what this card is about.

Just a little social history.

Update: Sold!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Bullens Family of Massachusetts.

This is part of the Bullens family, late of Boston & Newton, Massachusetts., and sometimes of Buffalo & Rochester, New York.

We've listed 9 old photographs (CDVs, Cabinets & other Antique photos) of various members of this family.  I have 3 pictures of Mary Bullens, spanning at least 20 years.  There are pictures of Mary Bullens as a child, as a young woman dated1881, and another dated 1891.  We also listed a picture of Charlotte Bullens as a young woman (undated), a cabinet photo of Kingsley Bullens as a baby, and one of a very debonair Albert Bullens, undated, but we know is 1896 or later because of the photographer information.

We also listed a photo of the Bullens family lot at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass. - it has steps leading up to it with the "Bullens" family name.

Oh the whole, this seems to be a family of some means, probably not in league with the Vanderbilts, but significantly better off than most.

The picture above has some handwritten information on back:  O. L. Bullens, Rochester, NY, Oct 26, '83.  So if the date is correct, this photo is 128 years old.   I believe, but no way can I prove, that the younger woman sitting in front is Mary Bullens, and I think the woman in the very back is Charlotte Bullens.  I cannot be sure about that.   I have no idea which one is "O.L. Bullens",  and I don't see anyone I can identify as Albert.

128 years ago a group of family members gathered out on some rear steps of a house and had their picture taken.  Mary (or whoever) moved, her face is slightly blurred.  Judging by the everyone is wearing, it was quite a formal society.   I believe Charlotte was buried in the family area at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in 1933, meaning she lived about 50 years after this picture was taken.

Anyway, we've listed 9 pretty nice photos of this family in our store, all ID'd & most dated.

Dec 17th:  After staring at the back of the picture for awhile, I've realized that "O.L. Bullens" may really be "C. L. Bullens", which would indicate Charlotte.  Handwriting can be tricky sometimes.

Update:  Sold!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

This is a linen postcard advertising Krieg Brothers Chevrolet, out on US Highway 79 in Thrall, Texas.  Thrall is a small town 35 miles or so north of Austin.  If you'd like a little history of Thrall (including a present day view of Krieg Bros Chevrolet), you can check out this site:

Linen cards were made from around 1930 to 1952, and I'd say this card is from near the end of that era, probably early 1950s.  I like that it advertises a specific business in a specific place, something that people around there remember.  I don't know the whole history of the business, but I'm pretty sure it not longer exists.  You look at a business like this, the impressive building, the activity, the people employed, customers coming and going and you think it'll be around forever.  Nope.

Also what is neat about this card is its condition.  This is a card which is at least 60 years old, and it still has sharp corners, bright colors, no damage or marks that I can see.  I'm extremely cautious about saying a card is in mint condition, but this one is close.  It is in much better condition than most cards from that era.

If you're interested in going to the listing for it just go to our eBay site and search for Thrall - you'll find it.
Update: Sold!