Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Old Postcard WednesdayPostcard with Forest Breeze, J.C. Schmidt, Erfurt, Germany

"Postcard with forest breeze
 J.C. Schmidt, Erfurt, total protected"

 "a range
Fragrant Postcards
as a bonus
for proper Lälung
the price - in Räthiels
J.C. Schmidt's
Tear-off Calendar 1901:

The seeds Belts
has Flowers Schmidt
in Erfurt.' "

I will not even attempt to translate the words written in that beautiful cursive script, but did run the printed words through Google translate and came close. Because this is such an old postcard it uses one of the many Fraktur fonts in Old German print. Of course, that set me on a crash course reading about the topic and, in the process, I collected some links and tidbits for you:
Prior to 1941 Hiter viewed Fraktur as a "german alphabet" and Fraktur was widely used in Third Reich" propaganda publications.
Yet 1941 Hitler outlawed it, for all the wrong reasons, probably in the course of a lunch at his Berghof.  Unwittingly, Hitler forever spared the Germans and many others the confusion of dealing with the wonderful yet confusing Fraktur alphabet.
What Does This Blasted Thing Say?
Stein collectors, be they novice or old-hand, understandably want to know what is written on their steins. Translation to English is difficult in its own right, but simply transcribing the words written in old German print (in one of many Fraktur fonts) can be daunting. If you don't think this is a problem, just look at the questions asked in SteinTalk, or in the listings of steins for sale on eBay. It's really no wonder that figuring out what those letters actually are is so difficult - use of these alphabets was being discontinued in German schools in the late 1930's, and completely ended in the 1940's. Consequently, your 50-year old German cousin or brother-in-law is quite possibly not familiar with this alphabet.

This article uses the FetteFraD font to illustrate the old German lettering. This type of font is most commonly found on hand-lettered regimental steins, but is also occasionally found in verses or banners on other types of steins. . . [article continues at link above]
Almost all applications support German accents. Guidelines for typing and using accents are given . . .[click link above for all the info]

I was not having any luck in finding information about J. C. Schmidt, whose name is copyrighted on the front of the postcard, so I gave up and searched the name at Google Germany. Perhaps there is much information but a quick look brought up a page with a book review at and I knew I was onto something because Erfurt is noted on the back of the postcard. The vintage book, Horticultural enterprises J.C. Schmidt, is pictured at the link, and the review is written in German that Google translated as such:
Horticultural enterprises J.C. Schmidt
Contribution of the series in the Thuringian town of flowers myth General Dr. Steffen Raßloff (14.04.2007)

"Flowers Schmidt"

Myth Flower City (4): The horticultural enterprise JC Schmidt

Founded in 1823, horticultural firm J.C. Schmidt became known as "flower Smith" in the story. With economic success and many innovations they contributed significantly to the worldwide recognition of the "Flower City" at Erfurt. The Palm House at the Anger evoking the splendor of the golden age of horticulture in Erfurt in 1900.

Company founder Johann Christoph Schmidt (1803-1868) had first worked in his father's footsteps as Wachsbossierer. From the raw beeswax, he designed inter alia popular waxworks. By way of the flowers growing on his bees made Schmidt and his descendants finally all in flower. Founded in 1823, "J.C. Smith "quickly got the nickname" Flower Smith. "

Johann Christoph Schmidt, one of the founding members of the Horticultural Society active (1838), which provided for professional exchanges, exhibitions and prepared in the establishment of "Horticulture Thuringian newspaper 'was involved. Hardly a major innovation in the industry happened without Schmidt's intervention, such as the initial Sent from dried flowers (1853), and fresh cut flowers (1854), in a sense the forerunner of today's Fleurop system. Specialties of flowers Schmidt was also the bouquet and wreathmaking and the production of wax flowers.

Heinrich Schmidt (1841-1890) led his father's company more successful. The outer expression of the economic success was in 1888 at the corner of Castle Road / Lawrence Church was built next to the green sales pavilion. With its sleek, glass architecture of the "Palm House" sat down "Schmidt flowers" in the heart of the city a lasting memorial.

Partner, Ernst Mueller took over after the death of Henry Schmidt, 1890, the company as sole owner. The smart and successful businessman helped "Schmidt flowers" to a new upswing. However, he died in 1900 at the age of 45 years. Later took his son Alfred and Alfred Müller Wentscher the company. The really influential character for decades was the widow of Ernst Mueller, senior director Marie Bauer. She was highly regarded and played in the social life of the city an important role. Her memory is perpetuated in the First World War after the Ringelberg built Marienhof. There they had set up a sheep and foals with Saatguthof breeding. The Krämpferfeld on the northwestern outskirts of the city had long been the "area" of "Flowers Schmidt." Large industrial plants were located at the Leipzig road opposite the old North Station houses.

However, among "Schmidt flowers" to those horticultural companies that did not survive the great damage through the First World War and crisis of the Weimar Republic. In 1926 the company was forced to declare bankruptcy and merged with the horticultural company Benary.

Learning about that long-ago merger of "Schmidt flowers" with the horticultural company Benary made me want to know a bit about the outcome. I'll close with this from the Company Profile page at the extensive and interesting Benary website: 
   * Benary is a traditional, Family owned Business in its 6th Generation

   * Benary is specialized in breeding innovative Seed raised Ornamental Bedding Plants

   * Benary stands for "Quality Made in Germany" since 1843

Benary was founded in 1843 in Erfurt (former Eastern Germany), which was the center of the European Ornamental Industry.

After World War II our family business was completely disowned by the socialist government and was relocated by Friedrich Ernst Benary to Hann. Münden, Lower Saxony, in 1946.
Friedrich started from scratch and traveled all over Europe with his bike to collect seed for his new business.

Now specializing in Ornamentals, Benary produces premium quality flower seed for efficient young plant production and extraordinary garden performance.
Today Benary is one of the leading Ornamental Breeding companies worldwide.
Our exports account for more than 85 % of our sales quota, catering to 120 countries worldwide.

Benary's professional quality products are offered to growers through our wide network of distributors and brokers around the world.

With our company divisions: Breeding, SeedTec, Production, Sales and Administration, Benary has a 160 employees worldwide.



Don't Feed The Pixies said...

well, its a great postcard anyway

on the subject of deer, well on a tangent from it anyway, i was booked onto an art course a year or so ago to do landscapes, but managed to turn up the wrong day and ended up painting an Iris instead.

Since the point was to learn to paint i wasn't that bothered, but i called the end result "Stag At Bay" as a joke to remind me to pick the right day in future

Kutamun said...

Gday Lydia, i like the way you have approached rhis, like a magical working, uncovering many angles, truths, connections and opposites, you have converted it to quite a powerful little Portal, thanks, Kutamun

Lydia said...

Pixies~ Only you would wind up in an art class painting iris hoping to paint deer and then name your work "Stag at Bay"! I love it!

Kutamun~ Wow, thank you for your complimentary comment; means a lot to me that you liked it.

Rob-bear said...

You've done quite an amazing piece of research and writing! It's quite fascinating.

But, I must confess, what I liked most was the art of the deer and the tree. Sometimes I'm simply delighted by the simple.

Lydia said...

Rob-bear~ Silly Bear, you are supposed to be most delighted by the postcard, else what is truly the reason for Old Postcard Wednesday? ;)

Rob-bear said...

I sit corrected, as usual.

Lydia said...

Rob`bear~ Air in delight this summer day.



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