Sunday, October 25, 2015
Here's a look at some of the bright linen postcards that promoted American cafes and restaurants about 65-70 years ago. Part of the 'roadside' collectibles category, these showed the ingenuity of design and vibrant colors that make collecting linen advertising postcards so enjoyable. Some collectors prefer to focus on specific states, but I like to look for great artwork. We open with a postcard from the chain of restaurants, Pig' N Whistle, with a fine art deco design set against a black background. There's advertising information printed on the back.
Above is another colorful linen postcard for a "coast to coast" chain of restaurants with a multiview design embellished with art deco details. This one is from Warren, Pennsylvania.
A huge red lobster adds impact to this design from Allentown's "Favorite Lobster Center."
A Chinese-American restaurant in Washington DC combines images from the restaurant with a silhouette of music and dancing. On the back, advertising information tells us that the "Lotus has the distinction of being the first Cabaret Restaurant established in Washington."
The modest Sugar Loaf Cafe in Utah has vintage automobiles parked outside - one of my favorite collecting images. On the back is printed "Gateway to Utah's Famous National Parks."
This Curt Teich linen advertises two elegant restaurants in Cleveland's "Beautiful Residential Suburbs" - Damon's also had a candy shop in the Hotel Cleveland.
The Steer Head Cafe in Portland Oregon had a wonderful neon sign showing a white steer head - offbeat signs are a special collecting niche in linen advertising postcards.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Recently, the question of what roles women in the US military will take in the future is again in the news...women have always been a valuable part of war efforts although not in combat roles. This post opens with a picture of WWI Red Cross nurses in a July 4th 1918 parade after the war ended.
A real photo postcard shows WWI era young British nurses holding the flag and wearing their uniforms. Many postcards exist - both photographic and artistic - showing these "Angels of Mercy" who helped wounded soldiers both at the front and after the soldiers returned home.
Some artists - above are two signed Xavier Sager examples from France - created risque images for postcards that combined the war theme and sexy women. The image on the left especially shows off Sager's witty erotic style and is from a series of women riding artillery. Note the red and white striped emblem on the woman's hat at right. These are divided back WWI postcards.
In WWII, women filled war-effort jobs at home while men were in battle overseas. The information printed on the back of the above postcard says, "Kansas has pioneered in the training and accepting of women for factory jobs. When the war production program stepped up production, Kansas factories were ... ahead of the field in the number of women employees operating machines, releasing men for the tasks demanding more vigorous efforts."
Here is a Tuck-published postcard from the UK showing a W.A.A.F. woman working for the Allied war effort.
Above is the front and back of a real photo postcard showing a French woman in uniform...it's dated 1945 and she has written that she is "thinking of you", signed Marie. It's especially interesting that she calls herself a "French Military girl" - perhaps she was sending this to an American or English soldier.
The last two images in this post are from Russia, a real photo postcard showing WWII era men and women and a 1956 continental size postcard of a soldier "ordered to the West" with a young woman saying good-bye.
Nurse images are plentiful. Although other images of women's activities during wartime are harder to find, they are an important visual record of history. An interesting collecting niche!