Today's research specimens come from the Junque Shop, a southwest Detroit antique store owned by a couple of retired city firefighters. While lamps and model train cars and patina-covered WWII medallions comprise most of their inventory, a small postcard collection can be found inside a faux crystal punchbowl below a stringer of old fishing lures. Our quest got off to a great start with this shot of canoeists, Shooting White Horse Rapids- Yukon. The card does not have a divided back (you know, the line separating the message from the address), meaning it was likely issued prior to 1907. For certain, it was printed before 1958, when a hydro-dam neutered White Horse Rapids into Schwatka Lake.How about this postcard from when the Crazy Horse monument was little more than an idea? If you want to see how it looks at present, click here. Progress is going slow but hey, let's not forget that Rome wasn't built in a day either.
Sometimes, we'll find a card that indicates an enigmatic aspect of the human psyche. Like this King Cobra Eating Black Snake from Jungleland Snake Farm. Sent to Jean Robinson of Marquette, MI on July 12, 1964, it reads: Hi Jean. I thought I send this one to you, please put it in the middle of the cards you are saving for me as I can't stand looking at it. Mimi. Psychologists would say Mimi's request to save something she abhors is an example of human behavior known as attraction/repulsion.
Big guns are a common sight among military cards (along with shots of hospitals. Discuss.) Taken at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, the print on back reads "Anzio Annie" This caputred (their typo, not ours. It's fun to find these) famous German railway gun poured fire into the American forces on the Anzio beachhead in Italy in World War II. In the right is a U.S. 280mm gun, M65, the Atomic Cannon. Guided missiles made these big guns obsolete a long time ago but they remain intimidating nonetheless.
The last find of the day was this postcard of James Oliver Curwood (described on back as the very young explorer for the Canadian Government). Actually, he was much more than that: before his death in 1927 from an infected spider bite, Curwood wrote over thirty novels about the Pacific Northwest. Some were made into early Hollywood movies, providing Curwood with a measure of success that allowed him to build an 18th century french castle. Now a museum dedicated to his accomplishments, the castle overlooks the Shiawassee River in Owosso, MI.
BIG NEWS: We just got a tip that Kaleidoscope Bookstore is having a moving sale and cards are priced to go. Yeehaw. More postcard madness soon to come, for sure.