Thursday, November 02, 2006

Could This be Cousin Rebecca Fogg*?

Or, Pattie's long-lost relative?

Kman and I are avid flea market treasure hunters. Duh. No news flash there. Recently, I've gotten hooked on old postcards, especially those that have actually been posted and mailed. Some have the most wonderful scenes on them; the best ones contain a few sentences - personal glimpses of everyday life, usually written in very flowery longhhand. Relatively inexpensive, most antique malls and weekend flea markets are good sources for these old cards. Occasionally, I come across some really good ones at estate sales.

Oh, the stories I weave in my imagination about these brief authors!

This card was posted from Steubenville, Ohio, at 8:00 PM on September 5, 1911 (on Labor Day holiday?). Note the one cent stamp on the upper corner. The card is addressed to a Mrs. J. L. Loughhead (?sp), A.F.D. No. 1, Hanlin Station, Pennsylvania. As best I can decipher, here is the card note:

Dear Mama,

I am having a fine time. Thursday is going to be a wonderful day. Thursday at 4 or 5 PM is the last day of airship flights. Thurs. night they are going to have a wonderful display of fireworks. Annie wants John to see them. Will you be over Thurs.? They have excursion rates good until Sunday. $.30


Airship flights? For 30 cents? Wow. So, naturally I have to Google a bit here...found this
wonderful site
with excerpts from The Ohio Press, Steubenville, Ohio
1879-1890. Lots of fascinating reading, and I had to point this one out:

Reed's Mill~There are some bad boys who come to this place on Sundays to bathe at which the citizens are becoming highly incensed and are going to see if there is any law against such wickedness.

And check this out - how funny! Such delicious words; "depravity" and "licentiousness":

January, 1890–The ladies of the Social Purity society have scored a victory if they have not vanquished the foe. On Saturday they called upon the manager of the Rose Hill Folly company and requested that the obnoxious posters on the bill boards about the city be removed or covered, and if their request was complied with they would not prosecute. The manager complied with their request and the boards were covered. They then notified the gentlemen that they would attend the performances and if the entertainment was in violation of the law they would enforce it. The result was that as Mrs. Brownlee and Webb took their places in the gallery, they were greeted by a storm of applause from the audience and the entertainment passed off with the obnoxious parts left out. As a little retaliation, however, one of the comediennes was attired in an unappropriate and unrefined costume, but otherwise the show was rather meritorious in the way of a good variety performance. If the ladies succeed in banishing the indecent and immoral shows from exhibiting in this city they will be appreciated by the entire community. It would be no great loss if such companies never came within our borders, and surely there are enough pure and refined entertainments to amuse the people without looking on the hideous monster of depravity and licentiousness.

Now, back to Alta, Annie, and John and those airship flights...

While further Googling for 1911 airships, I found this Wikipedia reference full of information about zepplins. Did you know who the first inventor of zepplins was? David Schwarz, a Croatian ( hey DarkoV!), was the creator of the first operational rigid airship.

And all this from a few lines on the back of an old postcard.

*Phileas Fogg was Jules Verne's mentor--an English gambler who had won the world's first dirigible airship in a high-stakes game of blackjack. He then used it to travel round the world in search of more high-stakes games, to say nothing of beautiful women, with his manservant Passepartout and his cousin Rebecca Fogg, who was the world's first female secret agent.


Anonymous said...

One thing I've noticed from looking at old postcards and letters is that most peoples' handwriting prior to c. 1920 is almost incomprehensible today. Presumably, however, it was easy for people to read at the time. It must have been the way schools taught writing.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

Karen said...

That's an awesome story! And Rebecca Fogg must have been quite a woman. Kinda like Emma Peel, you know, of tv show fame!

Trace said...

My gosh Pattie gal, what a resemblance of both your pictures! (you and Ms. Fogg)

Thanks for all the informative very cool!

Anonymous said...

Ms Fogg has an enviable hat.

My grandma ran away from a Zeppelin in Edinburgh in 1916. Every time I cut through Advocate's Close I think of her clattering down the steps in her little button boots.

Lae said...

Hi there! Welcome to my new blog, lets exchange links let me know, if u agree, thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Those Pure Society ladies would just about die if they watched anything on primetime TV. Might have been worth it just to watch their heads kind of explode.

- Texas T-bone

joared said...

Well...wonder what she looked like?

"... one of the comediennes was attired in an unappropriate and unrefined costume ..."

Certainly am glad no one dresses like that in this day and age.

joared said...

Hey! Thanks for adding my blog to your Herd -- you done me proud, girl! I just hope I can keep up the pace you and your Herd set.

SpookyRach said...

This is so cool, Pattie. I'm betting the offensive performer must have flashed a couple of ankles at the audience, don't you?

Love the postcard!

DarkoV said...

CP, from your link, the following "Zeppelin's name unjustifiably entered the history books worldwide, while Schwarz was completely forgotten." Yes, Croatians are the designated nationality to be forgotten. We take pride in that unique status, but, unfortunately, people seem to forget to remember to forget.

Cowtown Pattie said...

Spookyrach- your comments reminded me of a post I was going to do...shhh.

Joared- you're more than welcome, and I am sure you can easily keep up on this trail ride!

DV - Remember to forget to remember? Is that the Butterfly Effect?