Christmas in July- Kewpies 2!


This is my favorite Kewpie Christmas card that I have. I love how it has so many Kewpies on it (16!), more than the usual Kewpie card it seems. It was mailed on December 23, 1919, exactly 96 years and 7 months ago from today.

“Oh, if your chimney is too small The Kewpies do not care at all They lower Santa down the wall. They somehow, get him in, I hear All bundled up with Christmas cheer And warm good wishes for my dear.”

It was a steal on eBay a few months ago, I think the seller had it up for Buy it Now $6, which is great compared to the $15-$30 a card Kewpies usually go for.

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A Moth Leads an Awful Life


I found this card at my last meeting, and I originally passed it over. The front just shows a barge entering the Memphis Terminals in Memphis, Tennessee. But then I read the message on the back:

“And then there was the mother flea who was crying because her son was going to the dogs…… A moth leads an awful life. He spends the summer in a fur coat + the winter in a bathing suit.”

No hi, how’s it going, nothing! I thought the moth joke was pretty clever. A sailor mailed this card to his friend in Newark, NJ from the naval hospital in Memphis.

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The Brass Rail


At my postcard meeting Sunday, I was browsing through a section of restaurant postcards and came across one I couldn’t stop looking at for the Brass Rail in New York City. It was unused, so I went on eBay and found a posted one.:)

What I really love about this card is the people that are shown walking around, especially the couple in the lower right hand corner. The lady is in a fancy pink outfit, and the of course the gentleman is wearing a top hat. There are also two other ladies in fancy green and blue outfits if you look right above the words “The Brass.”

The back of the card lays out the four floors of the restaurant. There was a cocktail lounge cafe on the first floor, a sea grill on floor two, a London Grill on the third floor, and the continental room with dining and dancing on the fourth floor. It was located at 7th Avenue and 49th Street. A Heinz ad in LIFE magazine from 1940 featuring different restaurants shows the Brass Rail and says “To Broadway’s sporting and theatrical fraternity, the Brass Rail at 7th Avenue and 49th Street is known as a “swell place to eat.” After the show or boxing match at the Garden, folks gather to enjoy good food in congenial surroundings. And when ketchup or chili sauce is called for, only Heinz is considered good enough to match the high standard of the food.”

The card was mailed in 1938 and makes prints and mugs of the 1938 menu. You could get a bottle of champagne for as little as $7 or a Tom Collins for 35 cents if that’s more your speed.

Today, there is a 32 story office building at 745 7th Avenue. Barclay’s Capital owns the building, which was once owned by Lehman Brothers. I am not sure when the Brass Rail closed, but I am sure the skyscraper pales in comparison to what the Brass Rail once was.


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Case of the Mondays

sunbonnetdays_0001The front of this card looks how I feel, small writing all over the place and everything. It was just one of those days today! A busy weekend means a lot to catch up on after work, including wash. The chores never end!

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Message from a Serviceman: David Freightenburgh


“Dearest Emma How are you, Darling? I am fine other than being lonesome for you. But I’ll most likely see you in a little while, I hope. How is Dad, and Mom? I hope okay. Have you seen Mom F. yet? Did you receive my letters? So long for now Darling I love you with all my heart. Love Dave.”

After searching online for David Freightenburgh and Emma Jennings, it seems as though they did not get married. The Schenectady Gazette from March 15, 1963 has two birth announcements for Ballston Spa, one of which is for “A son, Christopher Jay, on March 6 to Mr. and Mrs. Francis L. DuPont of RD 2. Mrs. DuPont is the former Emma Lee Jennings.” There is another birth announcement in a Schenectady Gazette from 1946 with a birth announcement for Mr. and Mrs. Francis DuPont again. She passed away last August at 90 years old.

I searched the WWII Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard casualty and combat death list for New York State and did not find David’s name on there. Not sure what happened to him, although he may have been an electrician after the war. There is a place called Adirondack Electric in Ballston Spa, owned by a younger Dave Frieghtenburgh, who started working with his father at a young age. According to public records he is 52 years old, which means the Dave Freightenburgh from this card must have survived the war.

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Kenwood Club

VO HAM_0015

The idea of the Kenwood Club arose in 1883 when several men from Kenwood wanted a “social and family club” in their area. In June of 1884, after the group was established for a few months, the club took hold in a physical location that used to be Norman B. Judd’s residence on 47th street near Lake Avenue. An addition was added on, and highlights of the club included a bowling alley in the basement, a dance hall, card rooms, a billiard room, and grass tennis courts outside, among the standard dining room, dressing rooms, etc.

In the late 1880s, the initiation fee was $100 with annual dues of $40. The ladies of the various members’ households were also allowed to use the club. The member listing from 1888 contained around 300 male members and 14 junior members.

Rendering of club in 1888

The Kenwood Club as it looks in my postcard had its cornerstone laid in 1895 at 1361 East 47th Street, near the original location. This new building had four bowling alleys, a telephone room, and a shuffleboard court. The club stopped operating in 1922, and the building was demolished in the 1960s.


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U.S. Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois

When browsing through military postcards, chances are you’ll find a card featuring the U.S. Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois. There are a lot of real photo postcards that aren’t one of a kind.

The U.S.N.T.C. was imagined in 1905 while Theodore Roosevelt was president. A very thorough history is on the Commander, Navy Installations Command website, but I am going to give an abbreviated version here.

Great Lakes officially opened in July 1911. In the early months of 1917, 39 buildings and 1,500 sailors rested on 165 acres. By the end of World War I, there were 776 buildings and 1,200 acres, and more than 120,000 sailors were trained here.

Fast forward to World War II when over four million Americans were on active duty in the Navy. One million  of these sailors were trained at Great Lakes. A key part of training included swimming due to the fact that only 50% of recruits could swim. There were 12 swimming pools, including the largest indoor pool in the world at the time.

Today, the Naval Station Great Lakes as it is now known, still provides training to sailors and starting in 2008, to SEALS through the Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School. It is the largest training center in the Navy and has been since 1911 according to


Various photos of the U.S.N.T.C.


The main gate at the U.S.N.T.C.


Recruit training center.


Scaling a wall during training.


If you look closely at this card, you’ll see that it is all individual sailors making up the design-


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