Thursday, July 24, 2014

Signs on Hennepin Avenue

Although "signs" is one of my favorite postcard collecting topics, I don't have any postcards with building signs advertising signs like the one in this week's Sepia Saturday prompt. I chose this postcard for my post because of  the "Business is better in Minneapolis" sign (which advertises both Minneapolis business and advertising itself) and the Orpheum Theater signs. This postcard is probably from the early 1930s.

Hennepin Avenue is one of the main streets in downtown Minneapolis. The Orpheum Theater is located between 9th and 10th Streets. The State Theater, also seen on the postcard, is located between 8th and 9th Streets. Both of these theaters opened in 1921 and have been restored. RKO, appearing at the top of the old sign, was one of the biggest movie studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The Orpheum Theater presented both vaudeville acts and movies. The names at the bottom of the sign — Richard Dix, Jackie Cooper, Burns & Allen — were all popular well-known entertainers.

I was somewhat surprised that I couldn't find more old photos of the Orpheum Theater. The one below is dated approximately 1925 (source). The theater sign appears to be much shorter in this photo, and the marquee isn't clear enough to read. What really surprised me is what is next to the theater in this photo — a building with signs advertising signs!

Below is an enlarged view of the "signs" building. On the side of that building is a sign advertising Holsum Bread, and next door is a shoe shine shop with with signs advertising the prices for dyeing shoes black or brown.

For More Vintage Images

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Paintings on Soviet Postage Stamps

This postcard pictures four paintings from the The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is the largest museum of European art in Moscow.

The two stamps with the yellow border were issued in 1974. The painting on the top row is a market scene by Joachim Beuckelaer (1533–1574), a Flemish painter specialising in market and kitchen scenes. Below that is “Woman Selling Fish” by Pieter Pietersz (1540-1603), a Dutch Renaissance painter.

In the center of the bottom row is a 1971 stamp with “Girl Fruit-seller”  by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), a Spanish Baroque painter. .

On the left side of the postcard is a 1970 stamp with a painting of Actress Jeane Samary by French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919).

This is a post for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Friday, July 18, 2014

1939 World's Fairs

This year is the 75th anniversary of two important world's fairs (expositions) held in the U. S. One was held in San Francisco and the other in New York. Both fairs were held a second year in 1940. To celebrate the 75th anniversary, I am going to feature postcards from these fairs on my blog on Fridays.

The San Francisco fair was called the Golden Gate International Exposition and was held on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. It celebrated the completion of San Francisco's two large new bridges--the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge (opened in 1936) and the Golden Gate Bridge (opened in 1937).

The 1939–40 New York World's Fair was held at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (also the location of the1964–1965 New York World's Fair). This exposition was based on the future, allowing visitors to view "the world of tomorrow."

Look for more World's Fair Postcards on the Postcardy Blog on Fridays.

To view past World's Fair posts, click here or on the exposition label.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Terrace Garden Ice Skaters

The postcard above shows an ice skater performing at the Terrace Garden Restaurant at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago. It is the only postcard I have of the ice skating show there, but there are others including the two shown below (source: Roy Blakey's IceStage Archive). The postcards below show an ice-skating carnival (left) and a skating act (right).

The Terrace Garden Restaurant had a tiered dining area curved around a large area that could be used as a dance floor or stage. The dance floor could be converted to an ice rink for performances by professional skaters. The small portable ice stages were called "tanks." The first permanent ice tank was installed in the College Inn of Chicago's Hotel Sherman in 1914. This type of show became popular and was copied by other hotels, including the Morrison. My postcard was mailed in 1922. Hotel ice shows seem to have died out during prohibition, but were revived later.

The following is an except from a 1917 description of a show at the Terrace Garden (source):
The first part of the programme was devoted to a high-class cabaret programme in which the entire Terrace Garden company took part . . . When this was over the rugs and sylvan scenery disappeared, giving place to a surface of glittering ice and a background of wintry scenery, which was the setting for a wonderfully graceful and fascinating skating show. The stars [a man and woman] . . . were backed by a duo of feminine skaters hardly less agile and attractive, and a whole skating ballet of pretty girls who coasted down onto the ice on sleds and performed numberless figures in the ice carnival . . . It was a Mardi Gras Carnival on ice . . .

For More Vintage Images

Monday, July 14, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

New York Hot Dog!

These are two "World's Fair Comics" postcards from the first New York World's Fair.

2014 is the 75th anniversary of the 1939 New York World's Fair, and July is National Hot Dog Month.