Minor Photographs and Memories Surnames

Vintage Photo Postcards of Southwestern Pennsylvania — Wordless Wednesday —

This post is prompted by the ongoing series, Wordless Wednesday, at Geneabloggers.

From the sleeves of my grandfather’s postcard collection come these wonderful examples of early 20th century photo postcards.  These notes were sent to Donald C. Minor of Carmichaels, Pennsylvania by his sister, Helen Minor, (1910) and his cousin, Laura Stephenson (1909).  All these individuals were living in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania.  Donald lived with his parents and grandfather on the Ceylon Road farm outside of Carmichaels and Helen attended school in nearby Waynesburg, a town north and west of the farm’s rolling hills.  Cousin Laura Stephenson lived in Uniontown, a large town just a short distance to the east, across the Monongahela River.

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Minor Photographs and Memories Surnames

Me and Teddy: Wordless Wednesday with Vintage Postcards

From the Donald C. Minor Post Card Collection, 1908

The eyes had me at first glance.

Just look at those eyes.  Both sets of soul’s windows invite joy and love into your day!

The sender of this card, Helen Ruse, declared that this photograph was of Teddy and herself, though the only Helen Ruse I can find in 1908 Greene County, Pennsylvania is a full grown woman, a neighbor who may have helped on the Minor farm.  At any rate the farm dog pictured must have strongly resembled a shaggy pal that my grandfather, Donald Minor, would have known and loved.

The message of Helen’s greeting is as playful as the photo front:

Dr. Faustus was a good man.
He whipped his scholars now and then.
When he whipped them, he made them dance.
Out of Scotland into France,
Out of France into Spain,
And then he whipped them back again . 
This is my speech.  We are all well.
Helen Ruse

Makes me chuckle.

I just dated myself to the era of “Spare the rod, spoil the child!”, when birthdays were occasions for playful spankings, school teachers carried rulers for the occasional knuckle rap and poems about whippin’ were meant to be funny yet instructive.  Ah, well.  There’s my bias.  What is your take on this card?


The Prudential Post Card and Novelty Company printed this postcard in Leipzig,Germany.  The company is listed in the 1908  Trow CoPartnership and Corporation Directory of the Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx.  Messrs. Lewis Levy, Isidor E. Schlecsinger and Richard Rudlinger had their New York City offices at 82 Dunne Street, Room 32.

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Wordless Wednesday with Vintage Postcards: Easter Greetings


Easter Greetings from Mama

What a fascinating card!  This study in early 20th century greetings was among the postcard collection of my grandfather, Donald C. Minor, of Carmichaels, Pennsylvania. The print assembles several Easter symbols into a Victorian tableau.  The young girl leads a Paschal lamb to a garden terrace.  There a Victorian lady sits on a balustrade, holding a basket of eggs and a (very subdued) rabbit–both symbols of new life.  The space is framed by an urn which depicts spring as a young child happily reclining and as a youthful face surrounded by the season’s bounty. Donald’s mother, May Laura Stephenson Minor, sent him the German card around 1910.

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Hearty Easter Greetings: Wordless Wednesday with Vintage Postcards

When the postcard album was first entrusted to me, I was most interested in reading the notes scrawled to my granddaddy, Donald C. Minor, a young child while collecting the 1906-1910 cards.  My head just buzzed with research fever as I tracked names and postmarks. With each read of the cards, I noticed new details about the notes and the cards themselves–their designs, cryptic publisher symbols, the artistic renderings.  Before I knew it I had joined the ranks of international deltiologists who collect and preserve these beautiful postcards.

Over the weekend I finally completed the task of sorting the collection into protective acid-free sleeves.  With a satisfied sigh, I thumbed through the thick portfolio, plotting my next scan and publish strategy.  I was drawn to the cryptic symbol found on several Easter cards, and went googling for some explanation of this publisher’s trademark.  Fortunately I it was a EUREKA! kind of day, and I stumbled upon a German site run by Helmfried Luers, The Postcard Album.  Mr. Luers has a whole section of his site dedicated to uncovering the meaning of this symbols!

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These chromolithographic cards were published by Paul Finkenrath, Berlin, Germany in 1909 and 1910.  Mr. Finkenrath, a successful chromolitho printer, established his postcard publishing house in 1897, successfully exporting quality chromolith cards that met the consumers’ demands for affordable postcards. He closed his business around 1911 as competitive forces and protective tariffs made the production of postcards less lucrative.

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!–a postcard to Donald C. Minor, 1910

From the Postcard Collection of Donald C. Minor

Ethel from Morgantown, West Virginia sent this H. Wessler postcard to seven year old Donald C. Minor of Carmichaels, Pennsylvania in 1910.  Her message read:

Ethel’s identity has yet to be determined, although she is sure to be a relative!