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Immigrantâs Postcard Album - Compiled by Otto Wilhelm Umrath - 1900. 
St. Louis, 1890s to 1910s. Leather postcard album titled, GrÃ¼Ãe aus der Ferne (Greetings from Afar) with 50 leaves containing a total of 200 postcards primarily from Germany and Austria-Hungary with a few from Italy, Russia, and Switzerland. The album has some wear but is in nice shape overall. Almost all of the postcards are postally used and in nice shape. The name and address of the owner are written on the front flyleaf. This is a superb collection of German and Austrian postcards celebrating holidays, events, the military, and travel. Some of its highlights include * A demonic Krampus lifting French and Russian soldiers by the scruffs of their neck; * Several pig and clover New Yearâs cards; * A New Yearâs card showing a man firing a pistol in the air as two women cover their ears; * Several Easter cards with anthropomorphic bunnies and chicks; * A Christmas tree being decorated by dwarfs; * Three cards from the Exposition Universelle de 1900 in Paris, one showing the Eiffel Tower; * Kaiser Wilhelm on horseback reviewing troops; * Several Emperor Franz Josef cards; * A patriotic card showing ancient Germanic warriors; * Event cards for agricultural, industrial, and craft expositions; * A card for a hunting festival showing men and women in traditional hunting clothes; * Several humorous cards including an anthropomorphic Hippo gondolier and babies sitting amongst anthropomorphic mushrooms: * A Russo-Japanese War card with illustrations of soldiers from both countries, and * An advertising card for the Nordsee-Linie-Hamburg. Other cards include dogs, horses, pretty young women, children, a fencer, the renowned opera singer Geraldine Farrar, ships, currency, the physician-poet Justinus Kerner, the famous economist Ferdinand von Steinbeis, and âGrÃ¼Ãe ausâ cards from cities and towns throughout central Europe. This album and most of the postcards were apparently brought to the United States as a reminder of family, friends, and the home he left behind by Umrath when he emigrated from Prague via Hamburg in 1908 and settled in St. Louis, Missouri where he became a sales manager for the Steiner Electric Company, which manufactured meat choppers and coffee mills. No doubt this album was a comforting piece of the old country for Otto as he made a new life in America, and, as such, I hope that it remains intact, although that is doubtful as many of these cards would sell on for $20 to $100, and some, like the Krampus card (which does not have a red background and satirically portends the coming of World War One) could easily bring several hundred. Priced to sell at $5/card.
[Bookseller: Read 'Em Again Books, ABAA]
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