Monday, March 14, 2016

Some Old Alabama Postcards (1)

Over the years I've collected Alabama postcards and want to share a few in this post. I've gathered together some old ones that were actually mailed and have scanned both sides. I have some comments below. I think several of these cards were purchased at Ackley's Rocks in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The shop features mostly minerals, crystals, etc., but has a section devoted to stamps, postcards and such. 

In a future post I'll look at some of the unused postcards in my collection.

According to Wikipedia, the first postcard was sent in 1840 in England. Collecting and studying postcards is called deltiology.

You can see many more old Alabama postcards at AU's Alabama Postcard Collection and UA's Historic Postcards of Alabama

This card postmarked 1943 [1948?] features Mr. Vulcan himself and a simple message to Mrs. Carter in Georgia. I wonder where Fizzy or Fuzzy was standing when he [she?] wrote his message--a drugstore, perhaps? 

The card was made by the E.C. Kropp Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can see a postcard of the company's plant hereFounded in 1898, the firm operated under the Kropp name until sold in 1956. Several other cards below are also products of the company. 

That George Washington one cent stamp was first issued in 1938. 

This "Phototint card made only by Detroit Publishing Co." is declared along the left margin of the message side. The card features Old Shell Road in Mobile and is copyrighted 1906. The card was mailed at 4:30 P.M. on September 1, but the last two digits of the year didn't print very well; it may be 1928. 

The author of the message told mother in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, of a safe arrival in Mobile and plans to leave the next morning. "The author notes "It [sic] pretty hot over here." The one cent Benjamin Franklin stamp was first issued in 1927. 

This one is another E.C. Kropp card postmarked on January 3, 1940 at 8:30 P.M. and mailed with one of those same one-cent George Washington stamps. The author of the message declares "Birmingham is a very pretty city."

The Masonic temple pictured was torn down in September 1970 and used as a parking lot until the construction of the AmSouth-Harbert Plaza. The theatre had opened in 1925 as part of the Loew's chain and seated 3100. Vaudeville, plays and films appeared there. Actors such as Bela Lugosi and Tallulah Bankhead performed on the stage.

The town of Lanett was first known as Bluffton, but the name was changed after the Lanett Cotton Mills opened in 1894. The town has had a long relationship with West Point across the Georgia line. Mill owners Lafayette Lanier and Thomas Bennett developed the entire area in the late nineteenth century, providing employment to many people. The name "Lanett" was created from their last names. By 2009 the last cotton mill in Lanett had closed.  

The anonymous author of the note on this card was obviously close to the married couple in Nebraska and a busy person as well. The date on the postmark from the West Point post office appears to be April 1948. The author seems proud of that 1946 Chevy--wonder what model it was. That one-cent George Washington stamp makes another appearance.

Running up the middle of the card is the designation "Genuine Curteich". Curt Teich was a German immigrant who opened his business in 1898 in Chicago. The company became the largest manufacturer of postcards in the world and operated until 1978, four years after his death. 

This building opened in late 1939 as the Jefferson-Hillman Hospital; I have explored its history and place at the UAB School of Medicine in a couple of previous blog posts here and here

The original version of The Price is Right game show ran from 1956 until 1965, first on NBC-TV and for the final couple of years on ABC-TV. Often featured was a "Showcase" of multiple prizes in which home viewers were invited to submit bids on a postcard. This card must be one of those bids. I wonder if Miss Parrish won.

This card is another one from the Curt-Teich company. This particular four-cent Abraham Lincoln stamp was first issued in 1954. The card was apparently distributed at least locally by the Moore News Company of Birmingham.

This card features St. Vincent's, one of the "finest and best equipped" of Birmingham's "ten excellent hospitals" circa 1942. There is no stamp or postmark; we can assume the card was never mailed. I wonder if Celia was the sender or intended recipient?

The Boston company of Tichnor Brothers, Inc., produced this card. 

A 1908 photograph and another postcard of St. Vincent's can be seen in one of my earlier blog posts here.

This card was mailed by someone just passing through Alabama on their way to Florida. Apparently the recipient's parents lived in Birmingham. The "Bankhead" mentioned is the Bankhead Hotel [now the Bankhead Towers] which opened with 350 rooms in 1926. The hotel was named after Senator John H. Bankhead, Tallulah Bankhead's grandfather. 

This E.C. Kropp card has that one-cent George Washington stamp and was postmarked at 12 noon on December 13, 1947. As the card notes about the Birmingham-Southern College Library, it "contains many volumes of interesting reading material and is greatly used by the students."

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