I recently began posting photos and ephemera on Tumblr and have found it to be one of the quickest and most rewarding ways to share content on the internet. Ephemeral Thoughts will continue to be the place for more in-depth content while my Tumblr blog will receive 3 to 4 posts a day!
You don’t need to join Tumblr to view my posts but if you do you can follow me and automatically view my posts on your dashboard. Also, I tweet every Tumblr post so you can click on the links in the “My Twitter Feed” section of the Ephemeral Thoughts home page. Alternatively you can browse my posts via these links:
A few recent highlights:
If you haven’t checked out Tumblr I strongly recommend you do.
An interesting little piece of horse racing ephemera from 1884. This 4.5″ x 3″ card promotes Belmont Star No. 1980‘s bloodlines and states him to be “one of the richest bred colts in the United States or Canada at the present time“. Belmont Star was “kept for service” by H. McKenzie at the Ashvale Stock Farm located 1.5 miles from Port Perry.
They might be riding llamas but if you were a bandito roaming the English countryside in the early 20th century you probably would have steered clear of these Federales. To be honest I can’t be sure if they are hunting gringos, canvassing on behalf of the Salvation Army or delivering the mail. What I can say is that when I spotted this battered old photo in the bottom of a bin I couldn’t resist adding it to my collection. I found the 4.25″ x 2.75″ photo on a recent trip to the UK. If anyone has a theory on which service these smartly dressed young men might belong to please post a comment.
Note: For an updated version of this story please check out 100 Years Ago Today: Canada enacts the War Measures Act on my First World War blog “Doing Our Bit”.
While most Canadians are aware of the Japanese internment camps established during the Second World War far fewer know of the 24 camps or stations that held 8,579 individuals, the majority of whom were civilians, during the First World War.
Although these “enemy aliens” were classified as having Austro-Hungarian origins many of them were recent Ukrainian immigrants. In addition to those who were incarcerated an estimated 80,000 were forced to report regularly to authorities.
A large number of these camps were located in Canada’s hinterland with a large concentration in Alberta and south-eastern British Columbia. However this series of six images, all mounted on card, are of the Kapuskasing internment camp in northern Ontario. Construction of the camp began on December 14, 1914 and it was the final camp to close when it shut its doors on February 24, 1920.
The internees were not only forced to work but also to clear the land and construct the camp itself. The camp was built next to the National Transcontinental Railway and not far from an abandoned surveyors’ camp at MacPherson Station. By the end of 1915 over 1200 prisoners were interred at the camp and working to clear 1282 acres of timbered land set aside by the Federal Government as an experimental farm. In the spring of 1916 a serious riot erupted at the camp leaving one dead and eleven seriously injured.
A May 30, 1917 article in the Pembroke Standard recorded the arrival of 400 prisoners of war from Fort Henry:
“The four hundred alien enemies who were transferred from Fort Henry are now safely installed in the new quarters. Kapuskasing Camp is the largest of any of the Canadian detentions camps and is said to be like a band of steel, escape being the next thing to an impossibility. The camp is located on the National Transcontinental line, beyond McPherson, but the train service is for those carrying proper credentials only. As to anyone riding the bumpers that is also impossible and as to anyone walking away there is no place to go, as there are no settlements east, west, north or south for many miles, and a man would have little chance of getting to a far-away settlement. The camp has its schools, stores, home and its own churches, which fact shows the gigantic nature of it.”
For more information I recommend this article on the We Will Remember website and the book In Fear of the Barbed Wire Fence (14.4MB PDF from the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association website) by Lubomyr Luciuk (from which the newspaper quote above was taken).
This letter, dated July 8, 1892, was written by Dora B. Peter from her home in Cordova Bay to her older sister Eliza (Isa) Grant in Bella Coola. In it she relates the sad news that their mother Marianne had passed away. She also reports on the Smallpox outbreak that had broken out in Victoria. She writes:
“There are nearly 100 cases of small-pox in town, the Empress of Japan brought it over and 150 Chinese were landed before it was found out. Bill and his family and Jim and John have all been vaccinated and Etta and her squad and the rest are all going to be as soon as possible, it is spreading like wild-fire as night before last there were only 69. I only hope it will not get up your length as you will be in a poor way as you cannot be vaccinated. I have been in town every day this week and have got to go tomorrow yet but after that will not go in more than we possibly can.”
The epidemic, which arrived on board the CPR steamship Empress of Japan, forced the closure of the port of Victoria and was a serious blow to the local economy. The complete letter is provided here: page 2, page 3, page 4.
This letter is one of several items I have that relate to the Peter family who emigrated from Scotland to the United States in 1880 and then moved to Victoria in 1890. Eliza (Isa) A Peter married Saumarez L. Grant and lived in Bella Coola for 40 years before moving to Seattle where she lived to the ripe old age of 104. In a previous post I featured an 1899 photo of members of the Peter family taking tea in Kirkland, Fife.
The first of the two photos shown below is of Dora Peter (holding the parasol) with her sister Bertha and would likely have been taken within a year or two of this letter being written. The second photo is of Eliza (Isa) Grant (nee Peter) with her second son Eddie, likely taken around 1900. Two of Isa’s three sons died in the First World War.
A wonderful real photo postcard sent by a teacher to his Aunt & Uncle shortly after he began teaching at Quarry Bank School in Leeds. It reads:
“Dear Auntie & Uncle,
I’m sending you this photo showing the football team at Quarry Mount School where I am now teaching. I have marked an X above me for fear you do not know me.
With Best Wishes from B & Ma. I remain your loving nephew,
The card is dated 13/3/14 and was sent from his home at 35 Grimthorpe Terrace in Headingley.
It’s a wonderful shot of the football club, many of the boys are sporting snake buckle belts.
I have placed my Historypin streetview opposite the windows from behind which I believe this photo was taken (the brick detailing is identical to that on the outside of the building).
This wonderful letter, written on Sept. 11, 1844 by Edward Fletcher, Esquire to his friend Mr. Lagarenne in France, gives us some insight into holiday planning in the mid-18th century, at least for those that could afford such luxuries.
The letter was folded and sealed with wax and so no envelope was required. I know very little about postal history but would be interested to know more about the marks on this letter should you have any information to share. I’ve read about a Uniform Fourpenny Post that was in place for a handful of weeks in 1839/40 which used a large written 4 to indicate payment. Could the large 10 written on this letter be a similar designation, used on a letter posted to the continent?
The contents of the letter are quite interesting. Edward Fletcher penned the note, beautifully I might add, from his brother-in-law’s country residence in Croydon and described in detail how he would make his way to the continent. The Brighton Railway, which was in service for less than 10 years, was only a mile and half from this residence and Fletcher estimated 3 to 3.5 hours should suffice for the journey to Shoreham (the same journey today would take just over an hour and involve several changes, but of course the mile and half carriage ride to the station might take a bit longer). He goes on to say that from Shoreham there was a good steamboat service every Friday to Harve.
Fletcher devoted much of the letter to describing his requirements for an apartment, should his friend be willing to enquire on his behalf. “A bedroom for Madame et moi — one for Mademoiselle Emilie, and one for her Bonne, will suffice for sleeping apartments. One salon will be sufficient, but if there were a small second room, to use as a study, when requiste, it would be preferable“. One french female servant was also required (frankly I never travel without one).
Edward Fletcher was a man of means and explained to his friend that he had given his carriage to his cousin, the young Captain Elliott, and so he would hire or purchase a carriage on arrival — “If you hear of a good strong horse, fit to ride or drive, please keep your eye upon him“.
Intrigued by Edward Fletcher, Esq. I did some digging on Ancestry where I found his baptismal record, showing that he was born in Ealing on April 25, 1798 to Joseph Fletcher, Esq. and Frances. In 1851, six years after this letter was written, the census shows he was living with his wife Mary Ann at 19 Park Street in Bath and was described as a “Proprietor of Houses”. Interestingly enough, they had visitors the night of the census, a George and Ellen Elliott, presumably the young cousin to whom he gifted his carriage.
By 1861 Edward was living in Kensington with his wife, his daughter Emily (now Emily Luther) and his grandson Martin F. Luther. He died only months later, on Dec. 12 1861, and left an estate worth nearly £4000 (over £2 million today).
I love collecting photos of vintage vehicles, especially when I have the opportunity to research where and when the photos were taken. I’ve uploaded half a dozen photos to a new Vintage British Buses set on Flickr. While I can date these bus and coach photos to the early 60’s I have no idea where in the British Isles they were taken.
These half dozen photos are postcard size (3.5″ x 5.5″) and are printed on a similar thickness of card stock. The backs are blank although I have many more photos to add that contained detailed information on the vehicle, including date and sometimes location. Stay tuned for those.
If you know anything about these vehicles please add a comment.
I picked up this little 2.5″ x 3.5″ snapshot last week as I was intrigued by the long row of cars and trucks neatly lined up on what might be a baseball field. When I did a high resolution scan of the licence plate on the nearest vehicle it appears to be a Saskatchewan plate from the 1930’s.
There’s an advertising sign on a building just above the trucks which looks to read “Stage Park Theatre“. Do you recognize this name or the buildings in the background? Could this be Saskatoon, Regina or Moose Jaw? If you know please add a comment below.
I’ve added a new Mystery Photograph category to my blog. As I add new mystery photos they will appear on the category page linked to in the “Photograph” menu at the top of the page.
This is a rent book from 1928 printed by the Ashton & District Property Owners’ Association in Ashton-Under-Lyne. At the time the property was owned by Ben Riley and was situated at 136 Chapel Street, Dukinfield. It was let out to a Mr. Hawes for 10 / – per week.
This 4″ x 6.5″ booklet, constructed of card stock, features advertisements from local businesses on the front and back cover. The inside of the rent book provides a space to track payments over the year and also state the terms and conditions, including:
* Slop Water Only to be used in Waste Water Closets.
* No wireless apparatus must be attached to any premises without the consent of the Landlord or his Agents
* No Pigeons or Hens allowed to be kept on the Premises.
The terms end with the stern warning that “Tenants removing their Goods before the Rent be paid, and any person who may assist in so doing, are, by Act of Parliament, liable to be committed to the HOUSE OF CORRECTION FOR SIX MONTHS“.