Sep 19, 2011

Introducing Miss Gertie Millar

This is one of my favorite vintage postcards. I just love the bright red color and I think she is very cute! Before I bought this postcard, I didn't know who Gertie Millar even was!

Gertrude "Gertie" Millar (later Countess of Dudley) (21 February 1879 – 25 April 1952) was one of the most famous English singer-actresses of the early 20th century, known for her performances in Edwardian musical comedies.

Gertrude Millar was born in Manningham, Bradford, where her father, John Millar, was a mill worker, and her mother, Elizabeth (née Miller), was a worsted-stuff worker and dressmaker.
As a child, Millar performed in London pantomimes, beginning with Babes in the Wood at the St. James Theatre in Manchester, at the age of 13. She started out as a singer and dancer in the music halls of Yorkshire. Later, she moved to London where she was soon earning good notices and better pay appearing in variety show bills. By 1897, she was playing the role of Phyllis Crosby in A Game of Cards at Shodfriars Hall, Boston, England. Next she toured in The New Barmaid in the role of Dora; in The Silver Lining; and as Sadie Pinkhose, the "other woman", in The Lady Detective. In 1899, she played Dandini in Cinderella at the Grand Theatre, Fulham.
Millar and husband Lionel Monckton

Sep 14, 2011

Trinity College

This is another postcard found in a house that was going to be demolished. It shows the great court of Trinity College at Cambridge.

The history of Trinity goes back to the reign of Henry VIII and most of its major buildings date from the 16th and 17th centuries. The beauty and size of Trinity's courts attract visitors from all over the world, but the College is also a thriving, modern community.

Trinity College was founded by Henry VIII in 1546, combining Michaelhouse and King's Hall. Michaelhouse had existed since 1324; King's Hall had been established by Edward II in 1317 and refounded by Edward III in 1337. Trinity's flag, flown on special occasions, has as its design the royal standard of Edward III.


The oldest parts of the College date from the time of King's Hall, including the range behind the Clock Tower, which are medieval, and the Great Gate, which was built at the beginning of the 16th century. The clock strikes the hour twice, first on a low note and then on a much higher one. The tower once stood about 20 yards from where it is now and was moved to its present site when Great Court (shown in postcard) was laid out.

Sep 11, 2011

Monemvasia, Gibraltar of the East | Greece

Monemvasia is a unique place. It is a small island connected to the mainland via a narrow bridge. It is a perfect getaway for a weekend!

Monemvasia (Greek: Μονεμβασία) is a town and a municipality in Laconia, Greece. The town is located on a small peninsula off the east coast of the Peloponnese. The peninsula is linked to the mainland by a short causeway 200m in length. Its area consists mostly of a large plateau some 100 metres above sea level, up to 300 m wide and 1 km long, the site of a powerful medieval fortress. The town walls and many Byzantine churches remain from the medieval period. The seat of the municipality is the town Molaoi.
The town's name derives from two Greek words, mone and emvasia, meaning "single entrance". Its Italian form, Malvasia, gave its name to Malmsey wine. Monemvasia's nickname is the Gibraltar of the East or The Rock. [wikipedia]

Skiathos island

This vintage postcard shows Skiathos, a small Greek island

Skiathos (Greek: Σκιάθος, pronounced [sciˈaθos]; Latin forms: Sciathos and Sciathus) is a small Greek island in the northwest Aegean Sea. Skiathos is the westernmost island in the Northern Sporades group, east of the Pelion peninsula in Magnesia on the mainland, and west of the island of Skopelos.
In Ancient times, the island played a minor role during the Persian Wars. In 480 BC, the fleet of the Persian King Xerxes was hit by a storm and was badly damaged on the rocks of the Skiathos coast. Following this the Greek fleet blockaded the adjacent seas to prevent naval invasion and provisions for the enemy of 300 Spartans who stood heroically at Thermopylae pass. The Persian fleet was defeated there at Artemisium and finally destroyed at the Battle of Salamis a year later. Skiathos remained in the Delian League until it lost its independence. The city was destroyed by Philip V of Macedon in 200 BC.
In 1207 the Gyzi brothers captured the island and built the Bourtzi, a small Venetian-styled fortress similar to the Bourtzi in Nafplio, on an islet just out of Skiathos Town, to protect the capital from the pirates. But the Bourtzi was ineffective in protecting the population and in the mid-14th century the inhabitants moved the capital from the ancient site that lay where modern Skiathos Town is to Kastro (the Greek word for castle), located on a high rock, overlooking a steep cliff above the sea at the northernmost part of the island.
In 1704 monks from Athos built the Evangelistria monastery which played a part on the Greek War of Independence as a hide-out for Greek rebels. The first flag of Greece was created and hoisted in the Evangelistria monastery in Skiathos in 1807. Several prominent military leaders (including Theodoros Kolokotronis and Andreas Miaoulis) had gathered there for consultation concerning an uprising, and they were sworn to this flag by the local bishop.
After the War of Independence and demise of piracy in the Aegean, Kastro became less important as a strategic location. In 1830s, the island's capital was moved to the original site — where it still remains. Today, ruins of Kastro are one of tourist attractions.
During the 19th century Skiathos became an important shipbuilding centre in the Aegean due to the abundance of pine forests on the island. The pine woods of the island were then almost obliterated. This was brought to a halt though, due to the emergence of steamboats. A small shipwright remains north of Skiathos Town, which still builds traditional Greek caiques.
The film Mamma Mia was partially filmed on Skiathos and nearby island Skopelos. This has increased it's popularity as a tourist destination since the release of the successful movie. [wikipedia]

Breathtaking Mani

Another stop of my Summer vacations was Mani. I believe it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I like it because it is always nice to be there throughout the year! Apart of the amazing scenery, it has very interesting architecture.

The Mani Peninsula (Μάνη in Greek), also long known as Maina or Maïna, is a geographical and cultural region in Greece. Mani is the central peninsula of the three which extend southwards from the Peloponnese in southern Greece. To the east is the Laconian Gulf, to the west the Messenian Gulf. The peninsula forms a continuation of the Taygetos mountain range, the western spine of the Peloponnese.
Mani is home of the Maniots. The terrain is mountainous and inaccessible. The name "Mani" is thought to have originally meant "dry" or "treeless." Until recent years many Mani villages could be reached only by sea. Today a narrow and winding road extends down the west coast from Kalamata to Areopoli, then south to Akrotainaro (the pointy cape which is the most southward soil of continental Greece and continental Europe) before it turns north until Gytheio.

Vatheia (Greek: Βαθειά, also Vathia) is a little town in Laconia, Greece, on the Mani Peninsula. It is part of the municipal unit Oitylo. It is famous for its grand towers (pyrgoi). The hills and mountains dominate the northern part, farmlands are within the valley areas, forests are rare and are only situated in and around the valley area. On the hilltops are abandoned homes, which are colored with earth and topaz along with its rooftops which are like fortresses and were built out of stone south of the place (plateia). Modern buildings exists in the centre. Now Vatheia is a tourist attraction in spring because of its wild flowers that cover the nearby hills and its breathtaking views. [wikipedia]

Macedonian women and Tsolias

Lately I'm started to get more and more interested in vintage postcards and especially the ones showing people and/or national costumes. The first postcard shows two Macedonian women in national costumes. 
Macedonians (Greek: Μακεδόνες, Makedónes) are a regional population group of ethnic Greeks, inhabiting or originating from the region of Macedonia, in northern Greece. They are largely concentrated in the capital city of Thessaloniki, but many have spread across the whole of Greece and in the diaspora.

The second postcard shows a man (Tsolias or Evzonas) dressed in Greek national costume. 
The Evzones, or Evzoni, (Greek: Εύζωνες, Εύζωνοι) is the name of several historical elite light infantry and mountain units of the Greek Army. Today, it refers to the members of the Proedriki Froura (Presidential Guard), an elite ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Άγνωστος Στρατιώτης), the Hellenic Parliament and the Presidential Mansion. The Evzones are also known, colloquially, as Tsoliades (Greek: Τσολιάδες; singular: Τσολιάς - Tsolias).

Gytheio and Marathonisi

For my Summer vacations I went to a couple of Greek islands and me  and my husband made a small tour of Peloponnese. We stayed a couple of nights at Gytheion, a picturesque small town by the sea. 

Gytheion or Gytheio (Greek: Γύθειο) is located in middle south of Peloponnese at the center of the Laconian Gulf. It is a lively, charming little harbor town. The most of its houses are two- or three-storey neo-classical mansions, stuck to the steep side of the Mt. Koumaros. A long sea-side promenade, the colorful fishing boats, the narrow streets and stairways produce the typical Greek environment which fascinates every visitor.

There are not really mentionable ancient objects to be studied in Gytheio. From its ancient past only a small Roman theater was left by an earthquake that destroyed the city in the 4th century. So, every visitor is free to enjoy just Greek present life.

Gythio is protected by spurs of the mighty Taygetos mountain range. Its highest "Profitis Ilias", with 2.407 m the highest mountain on the whole Peloponnese, makes a marvelous background scene. From November to May, the snow-white peaks are a magnificent sight behind the deep blue sea.

Sep 7, 2011

Russian Barbie | Russia

This postcard was sent by Dinara from Russia via postcrossing [RU-335996]. It shows Matryoshka dolls, or "Russian Barbies". I also own a set of babushka dolls, but I didn't know their history!

A matryoshka doll, or babushka doll is a Russian nesting doll (Russian: Матрёшка) which is a set of matryoshkas consists of a wooden figure which separates, top from bottom, to reveal a smaller figure of the same sort inside, which has, in turn, another figure inside of it, and so on. The number of nested figures is traditionally at least five, but can be much more, up to several dozen with sufficiently fine craftsmanship. Modern dolls often yield an odd number of figures but this is not an absolute rule; the original Zvyozdochkin set, for instance, had an even number. The form is approximately cylindrical, with a rounded top for the head, tapering toward the bottom, with little or no protruding features; the dolls have no hands (except those that are painted). Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan. The figures inside may be of either gender; the smallest, innermost doll is typically a baby lathed from a single small piece of wood (and hence non-opening). The artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be extremely elaborate.
The word "matryoshka" (матрёшка), literally "little matron", is a diminutive form of the Russian female first name "Matryona" (Матрёна).

Sep 3, 2011

Orang Asli playing a nose flute | Taiwan

This is one of my favorite postcards so far! It was sent by Angel from Taiwan and it shows an Orang Asli (aborigine) playing a nose flute!! I didn't even know there was such an instrument!!

Orang Asli (lit. "original people", "natural people" or "aboriginal people" in Malay), is a generic Malaysian term used for people indigenous to Peninsular Malaysia. Officially, there are 18 orang asli tribes, categorised under three main groups according to their different languages and customs:
  • Semang (or Negrito), generally confined to the northern portion of the peninsula
  • Senoi, residing in the central region
  • Proto-Malay (or Aboriginal Malay), in the southern region.
There is an orang asli museum at Gombak, about 25 km north of Kuala Lumpur.
Orang Asli kept to themselves until the first traders from India arrived in first millennium AD. Living in the interior they bartered in land products like resins, incense woods and feathers for salt, cloth and iron tools. The rise of the Malay sultanates, coinciding with trade in Orang Asli slaves, forced the group to retreat further inland to avoid contact with outsiders. The arrival of British colonists brought further inroads in the lives of Orang Asli. They were the target of Christian missionary and subjects of anthropological research.
During the Malayan Emergency of 1948 to 1960, the Orang Asli became a vital component of national security, as with their help, the Malayan army was able to defeat the communist insurgents. Two administrative initiatives were introduced to highlight the importance of Orang Asli as well to protect its identity. The initiatives were the establishment of the Department of Aborigines in 1950, and the enactment of the Aboriginal Peoples Ordinance in 1954. After independence, the development of Orang Asli become the prime objective of the government where the government adopted a policy in 1961 to integrate the Orang Asli into the wider Malaysian society.

Voronezh | Russia

This postcard was sent by Nataly from Russia via postcrossing [RU-534341]. It shows Voronezh.

Voronezh (Russian: Воро́неж) is a city in southwestern Russia, the administrative center of Voronezh Oblast. It is located on both sides of the Voronezh River, 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) away from where it flows into the Don. It is an operating center of the Southeastern Railway (connecting European Russia with Ural and Siberia, as well as Caucasus and Ukraine), as well as the center of the Don Highway (Moscow—Rostov-on-Don). Population: 889,989 (2010 Census preliminary results). The city is divided into six administrative districts: Kominternovsky, Leninsky, Levoberezhny, Sovetsky, Tsentralny, and Zheleznodorozhny. [wikipedia]

Sep 2, 2011

Point No Point Lighthouse

This beautiful postcard was sent by Paula from Washington via postcrossing [US-1273841]. The image on the card is actually one of her photographs!!She turns some of her photos into postcards and sells them to the local gift shop! What a great idea :)

This Lighthouse is situated at Hansville at a place called Point No Point - pretty weird name, huh?

Point No Point is an outcropping of land on the northeast point of the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington, the United States. It was the location of the signing of the Point No Point Treaty. It was named by Charles Wilkes during the United States Exploring Expedition of Puget Sound in 1841. Named after Point No Point on the Hudson River (which is also called Dietrick's Hook), the point is home to the Point No Point Light. Wilkes gave the point its name because it appears much less of a promontory at close range than it does from a distance.
Local residents wanted the lighthouse located further north on Foulweather Bluff. When the Point No Point location was agreed upon, the owners of the land were reluctant to sell. Finally, the owners agreed to sell 40 acres for $1000. Construction of the lighthouse began in April 1879. The first light used was a kerosene lamp. As 1879 drew to a close, the lens and a glass for the lantern had not arrived, so the first lighthouse keeper, J.S. Maggs, a Seattle dentist, hung a canvas over the south window openings to break the wind and keep the kerosene lamp from blowing out.
Upon completion of the light station in February 1880, the lantern room held a fifth-order Fresnel lens. The original masonry structure was 27 feet (8.2 m) high. The present 30-foot (9.1 m) brick and stucco tower is square and situated between the office and fog signal building. A fog signal, formerly used at New Dungeness Lighthouse, was installed in April 1880. There were no roads to the Point No Point Lighthouse for the first 40 years, so supplies had to be brought in by boat.
Lightning struck the lens in 1931, cracking a prism. The tower was also damaged which required patching and replacing the copper tubing. In 1975, a 90-foot (27 m) radar tower was built on the west side of the lighthouse. The tower is used for the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS). In 1977, the Point No Point Lighthouse became fully automated, and only required one man to be assigned to the station. In 1990, the fog bell was replaced by a Daboll trumpet. The lens in the tower was changed to a fourth-order Fresnel lens, which is still in place today.
In 1997, the last U.S. Coast Guard personnel left Point No Point and it stood empty until the Coast Guard leased the property for Kitsap County Parks and Recreation. [wikipedia]