Don't give up on me folks; I will be back. I guess I'm feeling a little tattered and lost myself as I deal with a relatives illness. Bundled up and weathering the storm.


DOLLS, they're a category: Part 8

This is the final submission to this past Saturday's Sepia Saturday with the theme of dolls.

This image is from an old tattered album I purchased several years ago. The album features the life of the woman, shown here as a young girl second from the left, who began life somewhere in French Canada and ended in Northern California.

Click on image to see it larger.

The doll her sister is holding looks like it's possibly a Jumeau, but I can't be sure. Perhaps someone will be able to identify it.

To see paper dolls from 1920 by M. Emma Musselman visit my other site Tattered and Lost Ephemera. You'll see lovely little girls holding their own dolls. So a paper doll holding a doll. Sort of brings the past week of posts to a nice close.


DOLLS, they're a category: Part 7

Who knows what lurks in the shadows. Perhaps a black cat.

To see more images of little girls with dolls visit the previous entries this week, all part of my submissions to Sepia Saturday.

And if you have an interest in paper dolls take a look at Tattered and Lost Ephemera.


DOLLS, they're a category: Part 6

At first glance you might not think I've stayed with the Sepia Saturday theme with these vintage snapshots. You'd be wrong.

Take a close look and you'll see two little girls in the middle of each shot holding up paper doll folders. I can clearly see in this first shot that the girl on the left is holding up Patty and Sue made by Saalfield in 1944. I don't know what the other girl is holding. I'll be counting on eagle eyed paper doll collectors to fill in any blanks.

Any idea what paper doll the girl on the right is holding?

The occasion for these shots was the first birthday for the sweet little babe in the front being held up by her mom.

Of course as a paper doll collector I have to wonder who the illustrator was of each set. I'd like to say I know, but I don't. I will take a guess that the one on the left might have been by Jean Morse.

To see part of a beautiful set by Jean Morse visit my other site, Tattered and Lost Ephemera.


DOLLS, they're a category: Part 5

I know I'm stretching it here, but I've always looked at this little girl and seen the actor Paul Peterson. Peterson was one of the stars of the Donna Reed Show. Perhaps others won't see it.

I'm always fascinated by Time Traveling Celebrities.

This is another submission for this weeks Sepia Saturday.

And to see Hilda Miloche paper doll's visit my other site, Tattered and Lost Ephemera.


DOLLS, they're a category, Part 4

No idea who the little girl is or who manufactured her doll. Just another submission to this weeks Sepia Saturday.

Click on image to see it larger.

To see an antique Mother Goose CutOut Picture Book paper doll go to my other site Tattered and Lost Ephemera.


DOLLS, they're a category: Part 3

I bought a group of photos at an estate sale, all proofs, of a brother and sister. I do know the name of this young girl, but choose not to post it.

This was most likely taken in the late 1950s to early 60s.

Anyone know which Madame Alexander doll she is holding?

Drop by Tattered and Lost Ephemera to see an antique advertising paper doll from The Boston Herald in 1911, Polly's Paper Playmates.


DOLLS, they're a category: Part 2

Continuing this weeks Sepia Saturday theme, dolls, I give you two little girls who grew up in Northern California. I do not know their names, but have a large photo album their mother put together of her life. I also have several hundred negatives, of which this is one.

To see two antique advertising paper dolls for the Estey Organ Company visit my other site Tattered and Lost Ephemera.


DOLLS, they're a category: Part 1

I'm a doll collector and have been since I was a child. Years ago I had to stop because there was simply no room left in the cabinet. I have too many to count.

For awhile I was buying paper dolls because a small amount of space can accommodate a decent collection.

Now, I collect photos of little girls with their dolls when I see one that strikes my fancy. How fortuitous that this weeks Sepia Saturday is a little girl in a beautiful shot with two dolls. I can handle that theme, though I cannot match the beauty of the shot Alan has posted.

So for the next week I will feature a photo each day containing a doll. Stay for just this one or drop back in to see what others I show between now and next Monday.

And if you like paper dolls you might want to check out my post at Tattered and Lost Ephemera where this week I'll feature paper dolls.


CHOCOLATE...that's all I need to say

I have no idea where or when this photo of a young lady selling sweets was taken.
Click on image to see it larger.

The pennant behind her reads:
Gottmann & Kretchmer
and “Upon Honor” Sweets
I find very little about this candy company other than what I provide below from the Cook County, Illinois Genealogy site:
GOTTMANN, Theodore
Partnered with Ernest A. Morris and Theodore GOTTMANN, all former employees of M. SHIELDS & CO. in new firm of E. A. MORRIS & CO. at 194 South Clinton Street March 25, 1887
Moved to 85 West Jackson Street 1888
Changed firm name to MORRIS & GOTTMAN 1894
Moved to 158 West Jackson Street
Morris sold interest to Martin KRETCHMER and firm changed name to GOTTMANN & KRETCHMER at 158 West Jackson Street 1903-1904Ad: "158 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, is where the celebrated SurinamChocolates are manufactured. They are delicious "bitter sweet" and a big seller. A full line of Novelties in new penny goods always on hand. GOTTMAN & KRETCHMER" Page 40 (Ad), 83, 123
I have found that Martin Kretchmer did go on to found another company in 1914 called The American Licorice Company. You might be interested in reading about this company because of the following:
"That same year the firm was asked by comedian Charlie Chaplin to create a licorice shoe as a prop for his classic film The Gold Rush, in which his character eats shoe leather to avoid starvation."
The only image I found online regarding Gottmann & Kretchmer is this pennant for sale in 2005.

That's it. A chocolate company from the past. Gives me pause...and a hankerin' for a big piece of chocolate.

This is my contribution to this weeks Sepia Saturday. On theme? Nope, unless you're thinking the thin thread is about something some women crave. Me, I crave chocolate, not hats.

UPDATE: I was recently contacted by a great grandchild of the Gottmann family who provided a little family history. THANK YOU!
Much of what I know I learned from my Grandmother’s stories. My Great grandfather Frederich Theodore Gottmann was born in Germany in 1862 and came to Chicago from Germany after learning his trade in Switzerland. The company was established in the 1887s and went bankrupt in the 1930’s. Kretchmer was his brother in law (through my great grandmother’s sister Johanna) whom my Great grandfather brought into the company at the request of his wife. I have heard a few reasons why it went bankrupt. I think it was a combination of factors. First, my great grandfather had Alzheimer’s and made some bad business decisions, for example, not to allow unions at the company, which led to financial backlash, and a refusal to make small chocolate bars. I have also heard that there was a falling out with Kretchmer after my great aunt, who did the books discovered some funny accounting. By the time the Gottmann boys inherited the company, to become Gottmann and sons, there was nothing left. But in it’s prime, the company thrived. My grandmother had a piece of dark chocolate every night when she was growing up, and lived to be 91, so just another reason to make some dark chocolate a part of your every day routine. 



Raise your hand if you remember listening booths at record stores. Oh wait, raise your hand if you remember record stores.

Just so young people don’t think they’re the only ones who sample music before buying I want them to be aware of a total joy that long ago disappeared; I’m talking about the in-store listening booths.

When I was a teen, long ago and far away, it used to be a big day out when we’d get a parent to drive a group of us to the biggest town nearby. San Francisco was also “nearby” but there was no way they were going to drive us there for a day of fun. That didn’t happen until we had a driver’s license. So we’d settle on walking around just a few streets for hours and hours. We’d go into all the stores, rarely buying anything. And we’d get dressed up to do this. Well, not Sunday go to meeting dressed up; this was more “look at me, I’m page number 47 in last months Seventeen!” We dressed up for each other and hoping there’d be some totally cool boy who would see us parading down one of the two streets we favored in this little town.

The makeup counter in the big department store was a must visit, but even more was the record store. We could finger through the albums and 45s looking at all the photos, reading the liner notes, and then if we were lucky, find an empty listening booth where we’d all cram inside to listen to an album we would never buy. There were a row of booths, wood from the waist down, glass up to the ceiling. They were soundproof so you couldn’t hear what the people in the next booth were playing. And what did we do besides listen to the record? We’d dance. A bunch of us dancing and laughing. Good times. Good for us, not so good for the store owner.

When our conscious would catch up with us, or when somebody would be standing outside the door staring at us while holding the album they wanted to listen to, we’d grab our purses, slip the LP back into the sleeve, and quietly go back and put the record in the stack where we’d found it. Then we’d leave. No wonder the place went out of business.

I give you this lovely young lady most likely at a record store. I’m guessing she worked there, but then maybe she was just choosing something to listen to in the booth.

Click on image to see it larger.

I just bought this shot last week and had that “oh my” feeling in my stomach when I saw it. It’s now one of my favorites.


Be ready to say "AWWWWWWW"

When confronted with a baby that is not blessed in the looks department it can be a bit jarring. You know what the parent wants to hear, but you almost have to force out the praise. And let's be honest, all you judge about a baby for the first few months is its looks. You have no idea if you're looking at a future Nobel Prize winner; it's looks alone. Seinfeld even dealt with this in a very funny episode; as usual Kramer had a much more difficult time hiding his dismay.

I find I don't have this problem with baby animals. They almost always induce "ohhhhs" and "awwwwwss" from me. They're just so cute and their brains are already developed beyond most babies. You're interacting with them in a way that will be months away with a baby. I give you my evidence.

Click on image to see it larger.

Now mind you, if someone sends me links of cute baby animals I trash it before even looking at it. Those images get passed around the net like a bad case of measles in a first grade class. The person will generally even be banned from my email. I like baby animals, but not pages and pages of them.

I can say that I currently have a truly stunning little baby living next door. She makes me smile within and out every time I see her. She gurgles and coos and answers my insane questions with a smile and some sort of baby gibberish that always seems to be the right answer.


Dogs doin' DOG STUFF

Before the holidays I was doing a series of posts about pets. This weeks Sepia Saturday fits right into that category.

I like dogs when they do dog stuff. They’re happy running around sniffing every new smell they can find even if we find what they’ve found to be repugnant. They’re doin' dog stuff.

This little fellow is in a backyard that may seem familiar to people who follow this site. I ran a series of posts showing the dog, kids, a tetherball setup, and some laundry (here, here, and here) last May. They all came from the Three Buck Big Box of Photos. Well, here’s the dog shining again in his own little world. Oh sure, the kids think he’s in their world, but he’s not. Everything he does he does in Dog World. We need to respect Dog World.

Click on any image to see it larger.

And just for the heck of it I'll throw in a rabbit since a girl with a rabbit was the actual Sepia Saturday prompt. I give you Gladys Kallman with a bunny (Gladys is on the left). For reader's of this blog you might remember the Kallman family from last year.

Bunnies live in their own world too, but I've never quite figured it out.

As to the Three Buck Big Box of Photos...you can actually do a Google search of that phrase and you'll see some of the previous shots from the box and a lot of other shots I own not from the box.



Online research can be notoriously bad, thus I'm always skeptical when someone says they've discovered they're related to some famous person in history. Yeah, well, I'm also related to one of the all time chump tv/radio talk show hosts through a marriage (thus leaving me a few degrees away from nearly every famous person who has lived for the past several decades, including Kevin Bacon), but it means nothing. In my case it's true and can be verified, but for others, with dreams of ancestry grandeur, I have to say, "Check for typos." Case in point...

I bought this photo last week from a bin of photos at an antique store. The obvious information given is from the actual photo and what is written on the back. Most likely Richard Lawson Levelle worked for the railroad since his hat looks like one worn by a railroader and the carts in the background are reminiscent of baggage carts from long ago. He was a stepfather and the photo was taken in Butte. I'm guessing Butte, Montana. That's my jumping off point. And so my online research began.

Click on either image to see them larger.

Now, thinking about how many people currently live in Montana, a sparsely populated state, it would be hard to believe that in the late 1920s there would be two men of the same name, one black and one white, right? I mean, if they were both named Joe Smith I'd buy it, but "Lawson" and "Levelle" don't seem that common when put together.

Here is what I found and the odd turn it took.

Lawson Richard Levelle (as written on several online documents) was born in Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky around 1887 (though in another document “estimated birth” is listed as 1885). His father was Richard Levelle and his mother was Sarah Hibber. On December 30, 1928 Lawson married Agnes Ida Williamson, born in Pocatello, Idaho. She was 29 years old, and a widow with 5 children: Elizabeth A. Williamson (age 11), Paul H. Williamson (age 9), Genevieve H. Williamson (age 8), Eloise M. Williamson (age 5), Thelma M. Williamson (age 4). Her maiden name was Mason; her mother was Sarah Mason, her father Frank Mason. Her previous married name was Williamson.

Both Richard/Lawson and Agnes are listed as negro on various documents, except on the marriage certificate where they’re both listed as white (Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950). That seems strange. Two Richard Levelle's in Wyoming around the same time, both stepfathers. So apparently some of the information I’ve gathered is incorrect. Were there two Richard Lawson Levelle’s or Lawson Richard Levelle’s in Montana in 1930, both stepfathers and married to a woman named Agnes? It all gets a little confusing and I don’t have access to enough information to really figure this out.

I can say that a Richard Levelle died on February 6, 1944 in Deer Lodge, Montana. He was 59 years old. Marital Status is listed as “Unknown.”

Just to make things more confusing, on the marriage certificate their marriage is listed as having taken place in 1928 and yet the witness information says 1929. The record was filed on February 2, 1929. And the marriage license is initially dated December 24th 1929 with the nine then crossed out and an “8” written in. So if there’s that much confusion as to dates I’m guessing they could also confuse if Richard and Agnes were white and not “negro”…yeah, I doubt it.

Who this man was shall remain a mystery.

Again, a little piece of ephemera takes me down a confusing path.

UPDATE: Reader Karl Mousley, has contacted me with information about Richard and Agnes' dates of death via the Find a Grave site. Thank you Karl!
According to the 1940 census Karl was working as a janitor.
Richard's death Feb 6, 1944Agnes died August 23, 1977


A NEW CATEGORY for a new year

It's the shadowy world of a girl with her chicken. It's a category not talked about very much in the world of vernacular photography. Seriously, it's not.

Click image to see it larger, if you dare.


ERNIE at rest

The holidays are over and Ernie needs some rest.



Feeling a little foggy brained this morning? Not sure what you did last night? Could there possibly be photographic evidence? You'll have some 'splanin' to do.