A Jolly Old Fashioned Christmas to You

Mrs W. L. Philpott

…and to me if you get my shirt

Carrying a postmark from November 1909, this vintage postcard features Santa Claus with snow falling around him, holding a sign that reads A Jolly / old Fashioned / Christmas / to you / and to me / if you get my / shirt. That last part was added by the sender of the card. In tiny text on the front reads Copyrighted 1908 by Julius Bien & Co NY. Julius Bien was a famous lithographic artist prolific in the 19th century and it seems, mostly known for cartography, not greeting cards. Bien was born in Germany in 1826, emigrated to the US in 1849, and opened his lithographical business in 1850. He enjoyed great success and his maps are treasured for their detail and beauty. He died in 1909, and one can assume it was his company that was responsible for his greeting cards.

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Here is the reverse of the card, showing the intact 1¢ postage stamp, green of George Washington, and the postmark of November 11, 1909 in Englewood, TN. Addressed to Mrs. W. L. Philpott, the card reads as follows:

Hello how are you

I am all ok

Have you seen

anything

of my shirt

pass your house

I have lost one

Yours truly

S??yerilant — no clue

Answer soon

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Four men and a tintype

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This fine image is a tintype I found in the great Tennessee vacation haul at the World’s Longest Yard Sale. There was another woman and I who seemed to be on the same route, each of us rushing to find the photos at each individual stall. I felt lucky to find this great piece, because look at all the character here!

We have a stringy beard and hard, hard gaze on our seated fellow; a bowler hat hiding at the side of the young gent to the left; a droopy mustache on the standing fellow to the right; and oh, so much angst in the face of the kneeling dude.

These characters make me wonder and imagine what they were up to…was it no good? Did they go on to rob a bank or help the poor? They sure look like a group of vintage bad boys to me! It is impossible to know, but these great old pictures make us consider just who they were, don’t they?

Top Hats

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Fabulous top hats!

As we arrive closer to the end of this wonderful little album of gem tintypes, we find two spectacular examples of gentlemen’s top hats. The top left image has the distinct sheen of silk on that hat. It is glossy and impressive. Note the fine tinting of his cheeks to give a more “lifelike” appearance to the image. The lower right image also sports a sheen, but more muted, making me wonder what this hat might have been made of. I know very little about hats, so hopefully some helpful visitor will comment to educate us!

We cannot ignore the delightful derby hat in the upper right, nor the wizened whiskers in the lower left. Each man has his version of fashionable facial hair as well. Click on each miniature below to enlarge for detailed viewing.

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Ello, gov’na

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One of these faces is not like the others

You must have thought I forgot about you! And, well, I sort of did. We had some upheaval around the homestead, and I had to focus there instead of here. Thanks for bearing with me. Your reward is another fine page from this Haberdasher’s gem tintype album. Being as men were often coiffed and whiskered in the 19th century, it is all the more obvious in a group when one man is the odd man out. Who knows why he did not wear a mustache or beard. It is a personal choice that is also influenced by fashion trends. Maybe his wife didn’t like it. Click each image below for greater detail.

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Doing a double take

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Didn’t I just see you?

Here’s the next page in our bowler hat extravaganza, with three more wonderful hats. Or are they new? The bottom left image is a repeat from a previous page with the high bowler hat. The top left and lower right look like the same person at first glance, but are two distinct faces. I imagine if you were looking for a man in a crowd of men wearing these hats it would be difficult to find the exact one you wanted!

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Top hat, bowler hat, slicked hair

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More fabulous hats

Here is the second page of the wonderful Haberdasher book and just look at these wonderful chapeaux! The one at top right has the look of a top hat, but I believe it might be a high bowler. Frankly, I don’t know much about men’s hats…ladies bonnets, now I could talk for a while on those! I shall have to do some research on these toppers to find out more about them. Anyone who knows more is welcome to comment! Note that while all three hats shown have a dip in the center front, the men each wear their hat to their best advantage, and thereby result in a different bit of flair. Top left looks a bit dour, top right looks formal and lower right looks dapper. Not to be left out, lower left looks very glossy. Hair was handled so very differently by 19th century people than it is today! Hair oil was encouraged so the shiny hair would look healthy. Can you just imagine running your fingers through that hair? I sure can’t. Ick.

Click the images below for a bit more detail.

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Bowler

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Bowler, mustache and wavy hair

Today’s CDV shows us a later 19th century image of a handsome man, posed in front of a faux baluster. These types of scenes were designed to set the mood as pastoral, elegant, and otherwise affluent. He is wearing a fine coat, buttoned only at the top. This is a known style for menswear in certain periods of the era. He also has a neckcloth and vest visible beneath his coat, and even a chain for his watch just visible at mid torso. I particularly like his wavy hair, so I’m happy he chose to hold his bowler hat instead of wear it! Also notice his mustache, a fine specimen if ever there was one.

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Birtles, Northwich and Knutsford

The photographer who made the image was T. Birtles of Northwich and Knutsford.

 

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