vintage and contemporary postcards and stamps from around the world

29 November 2019

grand house

The Grand House on the North Side was the hub of Chicago's social life in the 1890s
Once the largest private residence in Chicago, demolished in 1950.
Fun fact: the exterior doors had no knobs or locks — the only way in was to ring for admittance.

28 November 2019

merchandise mart

I accidentally bought two of the same (but slightly different) card.
Opened in 1930 with 4,000,000 sq ft of space!!

27 November 2019

sticks and blades

Melbourne Museum, opened in 2000 a natural and cultural history museum
The sweeping 'blade' canopy is a signature of the architectural firm Denton Corker Marshall.

26 November 2019


The Edersee is an 11,8 sq km reservoir in Walbeck-Frankenberg, Hesse with 199.3 million sq metres of storage space. Lake Edersee is surrounded by 50 hills which are covered be a sea of beech trees over 6,000 hectares.

25 November 2019


The Orchard Road district — one of Asia's most popular shopping areas.
It is a 2.2 km long full of high end retail, upmarket restaurants, hotels, with the president's residence at the eastern end and the Botanic Gardens on the western edge.
The name comes from the nutmeg and pepper plantations that the road once led towards.

24 November 2019

Children's Day

Every year, on November 14, India celebrates Children's Day and the postal department releases a special stamp.

The elephant in this illustration is known as Gajju. He is a 'dancing golden baby elephant' mascot for the International Children's Film Festival (which is popularly known as the Golden Elephant). It is illustrated by Sigrun Srivastav.

for Sunday Stamps - children

23 November 2019


photograph by Clive Webster
This 1984 stamp (75th anniversary of the Canadian Red Cross) shows a pin that is awarded to volunteers with 10 years of "meritorious" service.
From the Canadian Red Cross website I found an article describing a similar pin they have in their archives. I could not write anything better myself, so here it is in full

For 120 years, the Canadian Red Cross has relied upon the labours of millions of volunteers whose individual names and contributions are now lost to history. This small enamel “Service” pin is the only known clue telling us that Mrs. M.S. Bradley was one of these volunteers.
The pin fits easily in the palm of one’s hand, and was created as a form of official recognition for exceptional volunteer service. It was meant to be worn on the lapel of one’s coat, suit jacket, or blouse, and would have been recognized by others in the Red Cross as a mark of honour. Mrs. Bradley’s name is engraved on the reverse, along with the year 1949 – likely the year it was awarded to her.
Until the late twentieth century it was customary for married women to be known publicly by their husband’s name or initials, so we know that Mrs. Bradley was married to M.S. Bradley, but not what her own first name was. We do not know her age, when she first began working for the Red Cross, or where she lived. In this respect she symbolizes millions of women, similarly unknown, who worked diligently for local Red Cross branches and auxiliaries through periods of war and peace.
The date 1949 does give us a clue as to what Mrs. Bradley may have been doing. The years 1946-49 were a period of transition for the Canadian Red Cross, as it wound down its Second World War (1939-45) services and opened a new period of peacetime work at home and abroad. 
She may have been an active member of a branch supporting established programs like the outpost hospitals or community health promotion. Perhaps she was a skilled local fundraiser. Alternately, she may have helped spearhead a new post-war initiative in her area, like the Swimming and Water Safety program, Blood Transfusion Service, or Sickroom Supplies Loan Cupboard. 

22 November 2019

little church

A peaceful country oasis in the middle of Manhattan.
Officially it is the Church of the Transfiguration (Episcopal), Built in 1849.
When actors were considered outcasts, a neighbouring church refused to officiate funeral services and suggested that "there is a little church around the corner where they do that sort of thing" and it has since had a longstanding association with the theatre.

21 November 2019


Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizards, tearing a goat apart.
We all gotta eat.

20 November 2019


Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Imagine taking a boat trip through these massive limestone caves.

17 November 2019

a sweet insect

The Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) are native to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. But with some human intervention and interbreeding of the many subspecies, They are now found everywhere in the world except Antarctica.  The queens live for about 2-5 years but the workers lifespan is only a few weeks. The bees will forage within a range of about 3 km of their hive.
Whenever I go to a farmer's market, I will usually buy a jar of local honey, as each location will produce a slightly different flavour depending on what pollen and nectar they have found.

for Sunday Stamps - insects

16 November 2019

when everybody went to the fair

there aren't people on the rooftops, but there are crowds
at the Exhibition grounds in these old postcards from 1920s (above) and before 1910 (below)

In 1912, it became known as The Canadian National Exhibition and covered 350 acres

today, it is much smaller - when the Gardiner Expressway was built in the 1950s it cut the size down to 190 acres. In 1879, when the fair moved permanently to Toronto there were a recorded 100,000 people attending — in a city with a population of 86,000! By 1920 the population of Toronto had grown to 500,000. Today it is almost 3 million with only about 1.2 million attending over the 18 days of the Ex.

15 November 2019

13 November 2019

conical hats

The iconic conical hats, worn by school girls in Ho Chi Minh City are known as non la. 
A perfect protection from the sun and rain.

12 November 2019


An island in the Baltic where no cars are allowed. But there are lots of lovely hiking/walking/cycling trails.

11 November 2019

Lakeshore Hotels

The Rodeway Inn & Seaway Hotel
From the back of the card:
"Over-looking the Toronto Parklands and Lake Ontario, about 10 minutes drive to downtown or Toronto International Airport - 300 spacious, air-conditioned rooms - colour TV - free parking - outdoor pool"

Seaway Motel was demolished in 1993 to make way for an off ramp for the Gardiner Expressway

10 November 2019


designer: Rudy Kovach, 1975
The Canadian Legion was started in 1925 (it became 'Royal' in 1960) to "safeguard veterans and their dependents, to protect the families of the fallen, and to make sure the wartime sacrifices would be remembered".

Before becoming a veteran, one must get through the Military College (it became 'Royal' in 1878)
designed by Will Davies, 1976
The stamp on the left shows the Colour Party in front of the Memorial Arch and the stamp on the right has a Wing Parade in front of the Mackenzie Building which was the first purpose built building for the college (named for the Prime Minister at the time Alexander Mackenzie).

for Sunday Stamps - military, remembrance

09 November 2019

07 November 2019

in the palm of your hand

Designed by architect Raymond Moriyama and opened in September 1969 as one of the world's first interactive science museums

06 November 2019

steep streets

The Bica Funicular opened in 1892 and is still moving people up and down the steep stepped street of rua da Bica in Lisbon

05 November 2019


Iguazu Falls is a chain of hundreds of waterfalls stretching over 3km between Brazil and Argentina.

04 November 2019


Twenty-one stories (218 ft). Shows temperature by neon light tubes.
Sponsored by Indian Refinery Company, Lawrenceville, Ill., makers of WAXFREE HAVOLINE MOTOR OIL — best for all cars, winter or summer, because it contains no wax. 
Wax turns candle-hard with cold, water-thin with heat. Keep wax out of your motor! 
copyright, 1933 Indian Refinery Company

03 November 2019

singer and musician

In 1980 these stamps of Emma Albani, an opera soprano and Healey Willan, an organist and composer. Both were designed by artist Huntley Brown.

Marie-Louise-Emma-Cecile Lajeunesse was born on November 1, 1847. or 1848, or possibly 1852 as she claimed in her memoir. That last birthdate would make her eight years old when she made her debut in 1860 at a world premier in Montreal before the Prince of Wales. While in Italy to study italian opera she was encouraged to change her name to something simpler and chose "Emma Albani" which sounded more European. The stamp shows her as Violetta from La Traviata

James Healey Willan was born in England and emigrated to Canada at age 33 to the Toronto Conservatory of Music. He was an organist, composer, choir conductor, and teacher. He was the organist and choir master of the Church of St Mary Magdalene for four decades, until his death in 1968.  During his life he composed more than 8450 pieces of music, most of them sacral. The stamp shows him at the console of an organ.

for Sunday stamps - singers, musicians

01 November 2019


Union Station has been operating as a central rail station in Toronto since 1927. It has been under renovations since 2009.