Vintage Postcards

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I spent a lovely and long day yesterday – 8:00 am ‘til 5:30 pm – tramping around the acres and acres of antiques, junque, architiques and vintage stuff at the Brimfield Antique Show. Billed as “the largest outdoor antique show in the world” it has 6,000 vendors and a festive flea market vibe. It is virtually impossible to see the entire thing in one day.

This was my first Brimfield experience so I hooked up with a fellow designer friend who knows the ropes. The show is divided into multiple sections, each having their own flavor and days of operation. We chose to go mid-week, even though all the shows weren’t yet open thinking it would be less crowded. Being a week day we called it “inspiration work”.

It was fascinating to see what people were selling (piles of rusty old faucet handles, vintage vending machines, plastic toys from the ‘70’s, old industrial lighting) and to see what people were happily toting away (taxidermy creatures, fixtures from old factories, wooden packing crates, chairs without seats). Regardless of how lowly, all this stuff had value to the buyers and the sellers. We never made it to the area selling Chippendale furniture and Chinese export porcelain, if there even was one.

There was so much stuff to look at we decided early on to focus our attention on textiles, paper, and ski related objects allowing ourselves the occasional sidetrack to check out free standing signage letters from old gas stations and super market signage. Here’s a sampling of the fruits our treasure hunting.

If you want to see it all for yourself, the show is open through Sunday.

Ribbon with skiers

Vintage silk scarf

3/4″ sterling snowflake skier pin

Lampshade made from vintage barkcloth from Lake’s Lampshades. My favorite find!

Detail from embroidered hankie

Silk scarf from the 70′s

Sweet Tyrolean themed ribbon

Vintage postcards from Snoqualmie Pass, Magic Mountain and Aspen

And here are some things that we passed on…

Vintage skis

In hindsight I should have bought this exquisite wooden flask covered in animal fur and decorated with tooled and braided leather and embroidery. The dealer had no idea of its origin or intended use. Do you? I’d love to know.

And am I crazy to have passed on an original of Lou Hechenberger’s New Hampshire ski poster for $1,200? Unfortunately the crispness of the design and clarity of color is lost in this image. It was a beauty.

An assortment of wooden skis and ski boots – various eras

Plastique. Antique?

More skis

This guy bought his Tyrolean hat for a steal minutes before we met him – darn! It was covered with beautiful souvenir pins from all over the the alps and is in mint condition.

Enjoy your weekend! (And Thank you A.N. for sharing your pix.)

 

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I take the jumps,

And do them right,

But my heart jumps

only

when you are in sight!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

For more Vintage Skiing Inspiration on my blog click here, and on Pinterest.

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Bromley, “the sun mountain”, founded by brewery mogul Fred Pabst, turns 75 years old this winter. I love this mountain because I grew up skiing there.

These postcards were old when I got them as a kid. I wasn’t born yet when they were taken, but Bromley was enough the same when I was young that they make me nostalgic. They must be from around WWII as a skier on the Sun Deck in the top postcard is in uniform.

“Flags of Skiing Nations – The flags of the United States, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Norway and other skiing nations make a colorful display on the Sun Deck at Bromley’s Wild Boar Restaurant. Located in the heart of the Green Mountains, the Manchester, Vermont ski resort is only 197 miles from New York City and 143 miles from Boston.

Most ski areas at the time hired instructors from Austria or Switzerland, many who stayed on and enriched the fabric of our communities.

When I was a kid the Wild Board lodge was jammed with taxidermy antlered beasts hung on pine paneled walls and above the stone fireplace. There was an old wooden telephone booth in the back corner where everyone ate their bagged lunches.

In this postcard season passes were $75 and a week ticket was $21. Sig Buchmayer’s Sportshop is beneath the deck. Wooden ski patrol toboggans are lined up along the front of the building. The lodge has undergone some change but it remains red, if not quite that fire engine shade.

“The Lord’s Prayer at Bromley – This popular novice slope at Bromley, Manchester, Vermont attracts thousands of skiers every winter.”

You could park your car right along rte. 11 and walk to the lift.  Metal J-bars and a surface Poma lift moved skiers uphill in those days. By the time I started skiing at Bromley, “Number 1″ chairlift had been installed at the bottom of The Lord’s Prayer slope to haul skiers to the top . Each chair was painted a different color.  Old Number 1 and all the J-bars, except the Lord’s Prayer J, have been replaced with newer chairlifts. I’ll never forget being hollered at by the lifties for bouncing on the J-bars.

Notice the sunbathers sprawled on the red adirondack chairs along then side of the lodge building. Bromley skiers always have a tan because the slopes face south.

A special exhibit of professionally enlarged black and white vintage photos from the 1950′s and 60′s are on display in the Bromley base lodge this winter. If you can’t stop in to see the show, you can view a slideshow  here . The photographers and skiers are mostly unidentified. If you know either, drop a note to the aforementioned website.

This wonderful video splices together clips of 1960′s vintage Bromley skiing antics and nightlife made by Bromley skier Bob Ellis. Does anyone recognize these swinging skiers?

For more vintage skiing inspiration click here or follow my Vintage Winter boards on Pinterest

 

 

 

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Love this vintage Swiss postcard of feline bicycle racers from the 50′s. The astonished looks on the faces of the contenders and spectators at #15′s blow out, #13′s cool shades, and the mice on the course make it priceless! Have a wonderful flat-free weekend!

Sprinting Felines

For more 2-wheeled inspiration click here.

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Bathing suits sure have come a long way in 40+ years! Have a nice weekend!

You might also like this postcard.

MogulMate-1963

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I am particularly fond of this vintage French ski postcard. Not so much because of the disorganized nutty mademoiselle, but because of her Standard Poodle. We’ve had a sixty-year succession of Standard Poodles in my family. My parents were introduced by the first, my mother’s “Fleur”. As the story goes, Fleur used to hang around the bottom of the chairlift at Aspen while my mom skied. One day as she slid into the liftline she discovered a tall handsome man feeding Fleur hotdogs. The rest, as they say, is history.

The loose translation on the card reads “Even when I do sport I still Swing“. (If anyone has a better translation please let me know!)

ski poodle

For more vintage ski postcards click here.

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thanks

Mr. and Mrs. Turkey driving to their Thanksgiving destiny.

I hope your Thanksgiving excursions won’t land you on a silver platter! Safe travels to wherever you may be headed to celebrate! See you next week.


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I’m off to the Adirondacks for a few days of R&R after a busy couple of weeks. Last week I visited with old friends and clients at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City. It was fun to see some of the things I’ve designed unveiled at the Chums (sporty eyeglass retainers) and Darn Tough Vermont (colorful patterned socks) booths.

For the most part, I design products twelve months before they are shown at trade shows and then it’s another six months before they are available in stores. This makes it a bit tough to show off Poppy Gall Design Studio work right at the time of creation! It’s always exciting to see the polished finished product.

This short work week, I’ve been following up with people that I met at the show and working on project deadlines. I’m putting the finishing touches on my new studio so I can move in next week – if all goes according to plan! I’ve got to find some time to pack for a much anticipated retreat with my family on a remote Adirondack lake.

For those of you who follow my blog know, I’m a sucker for vintage ski postcards, fashions, equipment etc. This silly summer ski postcard makes me smile. The caption on the back reads,

“The scrapings from the artificial ice sheet at the world famous Olympic Arena, Lake Placid, N.Y., furnish a few moments of fun and thoughts of the ski season to come.”

Yes! Bring on the snow – but wait until I have a final dip in that mountain lake !

Enjoy your weekend!

LakePlacid


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One evening, when I was a student of skiing at UVM, I called my mom from my dorm and casually told her that friends and I were heading the next day to Mt. Washington to ski Tuckerman’s Ravine.

I wasn’t surprised to hear her enthusiastic response to my upcoming weekend plans. My mom was an avid and seasoned skier having been a ski bum in Zermatt and Aspen. She’d skied at Tuckerman’s. She clearly outlined the different lines – Headwall, Left Gully, Hillman’s Highway etc. and continued to recall her times skiing there. She figured I’d learn about the beer drinking on the Lunch Rocks soon enough.

In the fifties she and her skiing buddies would cap off their ski season at Mt. Washington. There they would meet friends they’d skied with earlier in the season out west or in Europe. She explained that the skiing community was small back then and that most skiers knew each other and that they followed the best snow around the country.

I couldn’t help think of her spirit when boot packing up the Headwall for the first time. My pretty young mom had climbed this same steep pitch shouldering heavy 220 cm skis with long thongs. If she could do it, so could I!

On Monday morning when I returned to school, sunburned and exhilarated, I found that my mom had mailed me a bundle of old postcards from Tuckerman’s. Including one dated May 6, 1951 that read:

Postmark

Snow report: Headwall, Hillmans, Upper Sherborn – Excellent.

Lip – OK if you like that sort of thing.

Weather – Blue sky & sunshine yesterday – overcast (but no rain yet) today.”

With this last snowstorm which dumped over 2 feet of snow on New England’s higher elevations, thoughts turn toward Tuckerman’s. Now, just need to keep an eye on the snow conditions and wait for a bluebird day before dashing over for one more day on snow.

Headwall Winston Pote

Over the Headwall – Tuckerman Ravine Mt. Washington, N.H. Photo by Winston Pote

LittleHeadwall

Little and Main Headwalls, Tuckerman Ravine. Photo by Winston Pote.

MtWash Bradford Washburn

Air photo eastern slopes of Mount Washington. New Hampshire. Photo by Bradford Washburn.

NorthSide

North side and summit, Mt. Wasington, N.H. Photo by Winston Pote.

If you like this post, you might like this and this and this.

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I’m so sad to see the snow melt. The ski season has been way to short. Big brown patches are blooming at the mountain the way the daffodils are blooming in my field.  It’s becoming increasingly difficult to connect the snow dots.

There’s a snow stake near the summit of Mt. Mansfield that measures the depth of the natural snow. It’s in a lovely sheltered hollow, protected by ledge and trees. The “official” reading somehow never truly coincides with what we are experiencing on the slopes.

This vintage postcard is from my collection. Needless to say, most ski areas exaggerate the truth about the snow depth.

Snow Level

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The Elusive Jackalope
Today is my wedding anniversary; Mike and I have been married ten fast years. If you’d told us on our wedding day that today we’d be spending our evening in Las Vegas we’d have said, “you’re crazy, absolutely not! We’ll be celebrating in some snowy place like Chamonix or Zermatt, not in some glitzy, cheesy, mega-illuminated, drain on natural resources like Vegas.” But we’re on our way there right now and I have to say that I’m really excited that we have tickets for a Cirque du Soleil show tonight!
How this all came about is that Mike has been called in to restore a rotting historical structure in Death Valley. Las Vegas is the nearest airport hence the reason we’ll be celebrating our anniversary there. We’ll be splitting town as early as possible tomorrow morning and heading into the wild blue yonder.
We’ve got our tent and sleeping bags, hiking boots and sunscreen and we’re going to spend a few days exploring and hiking before Mike starts work. The desert should be starting to bloom and the temperatures shouldn’t be too hot. It will be nice to get my feet out of ski boots and fuzzy slippers and expose more than my face to the sun.
I know that I’ll be inspired by the colors and landscapes of the desert. I’ll try to post on my blog while I’m here, but have no idea about internet connections or cell service. Maybe I’ll just be unplugged and you’ll hear about my discoveries and inspirations when I’m back home.
My main objective for this trip is to sight a Jackalope. I know they must exist because I have photographic evidence in my postcard collection. Does anyone have any tips on how to find one?

Today is my wedding anniversary; Mike and I have been married ten years. Wow, that was quick! If you’d told us on our wedding day that we’d be spending this evening in Las Vegas we’d have said, “you’re crazy, absolutely not! We’ll be celebrating in some snowy place like Chamonix or Norway, not in some glitzy, cheesy, mega-illuminated, drain on natural resources spot like Vegas.” But we’re on our way there right now, and I have to say that I’m really excited that we have tickets for a Cirque du Soleil show tonight!

How this all came about is that Mike has been called in to restore a deteriorating historical structure in Death Valley. Las Vegas has the nearest airport, hence the reason we’ll be celebrating our anniversary there. We’ll be splitting town as early as possible tomorrow morning and heading into the wild blue yonder.

We’ve got our tent and sleeping bags, hiking boots and sunscreen and plan to spend a few days exploring and hiking before Mike starts work on Monday morning. The desert should be starting to bloom and the temperatures shouldn’t be too hot. It will be nice to get my feet out of my ski boots and fuzzy slippers, and to expose more than my face to the sun.

I’ll try to post on my blog while I’m here, but have no idea about internet connections or cell service. Maybe I’ll just be unplugged and you’ll hear about my desert discoveries and inspirations when I’m back home.

My main objective for this trip is to sight a Jackalope or a giant jackrabbit. I know they must exist because I have photographic evidence in my postcard collection. Does anyone have any tips on how to spot one?

Jackalope1

Jackalope2

Jackalope3

Jackalope4

Jackalope5

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Vintage Ski Postcard – Bushwacking Skis
My season pass at the mountain is blacked out on Saturdays so my husband and I often explore – or bushwack – the backcountry around where we live on skis. Mind you, this is eastern backcountry, not the glorious photogenic backcountry of the Wasatch or Bugaboos. I mean backcountry where sometimes the brush is so dense you need to wear goggles to protect your eyes. Backcountry where roots and windfall lurk beneath the innocent looking surface of the snow ready to grab your skis without notice. Backcountry where smooth soft rolling mounds of snow turn out to be gigantic hidden boulders or ice bulges or dens of sleeping bears.
It’s the times that we get into hideous and extreme tangles of brush and saplings that we wish we had “bushwacking” skis like the ones on this postcard – skis with sharp chainsaw blades along the edges. With skis like that you’d be able to pick your line and clear it as you went along – no fuss, no muss.
I love the humor in this card; it speaks to generations of woods skiers. As with many of the vintage ski postcards in my collection I don’t know who the artist is or the year it was published. Anyone have an idea?

My season pass at the mountain is blacked out on Saturdays so my husband and I often explore – or bushwack – the backcountry around where we live on skis. Mind you, this is eastern backcountry, not the glorious photogenic backcountry of the Wasatch or Bugaboos. I mean backcountry where sometimes the brush is so dense you need to wear goggles to protect your eyes. Backcountry where roots and windfall lurk beneath the innocent looking surface of the snow ready to grab your skis without notice. Backcountry where smooth soft rolling mounds of snow turn out to be gigantic hidden boulders or ice bulges or dens of sleeping bears.

It’s the times that we get into hideous and extreme tangles of brush and saplings that we wish we had “bushwacking” skis like the ones on this postcard – skis with sharp chainsaw blades along the edges. With skis like that you’d be able to pick your line and clear it as you went along – no fuss, no muss.

I love the humor in this card; it speaks to generations of woods skiers. As with many of the vintage ski postcards in my collection I don’t know who the artist is or the year it was published. Anyone have any ideas?

BushwackingSkis

Have a nice weekend!

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Vintage Postcards – Alta, Utah
It’s nice to be back in the Wasatch mountains! I am in Salt Lake City attending the Outdoor Retailer Show for the next few days drumming up work for my design studio and visiting old friends and suppliers.
Today I’m sharing some vintage postcards of Alta from my personal collection. Alta is my all-time favorite ski area, perhaps because it is so low key, and the terrain and snow are so spectacular. The cards are from the 40’s-early 50’s. No photographer is credited on the cards. Does anyone know who might have taken these beautiful shots?
Now that you’re inspired, get out and take some runs!

It’s nice to be back in the Wasatch mountains! I am in Salt Lake City right now attending the Outdoor Retailer Show for the next few days drumming up work for my design studio and visiting old friends and suppliers. For more about my studio see www.PoppyGall.com

Today I’m sharing some vintage postcards of Alta from my personal collection. Alta is my all-time favorite ski area, perhaps because it is so low key, or because the terrain and snow are so spectacular. The cards are from the 1940’s-early 50’s. No photographer is credited on the cards. Does anyone know who might have taken these beautiful shots?

Alta

CorniceRidge

MtSuperior

PeruvianLodge

Now that you’re inspired, get out and take some runs!

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I have long been captivated by the artwork of French artist Samivel (1907-1992). As a mountaineer, skier and environmentalist, Samivel’s paintings capture the ethereal beauty and light of high alpine environments in winter. The skiers in his landscapes evoke the exhilaration and grace of being one with the snow. His mountaineers convey a sense of solitary contemplation. Elements of humor can be found in his depiction of tangled ropes, face plants and beginner skiers as shown in this sweet Christmas card from my vintage ski postcard collection.

Samivel_Noel

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