Dolde, Laupheim and Who On Earth?

Category: What on Earth!?

Alert readers Beth and Chuck helped us to solve some of the mystery of WHO were the Dolde's and WHERE is Laupheim and WHY do these postcards have a now non-existant street number from Lincoln Avenue in Chicago on them?

We still don't know why they are in the house. Or what they say.

I was able to confirm Beth's suspicion on the street numbers and the 1910 Census Information when I found THIS postcard (click to enlarge images):

To Miss Elsie Dolde at 2836 North Lincoln Avenue in 1910. Go Beth!

We did find a postcard from Laupheim in English (?!) and it appears a Chicago friend visited Germany to call upon Frank's family. He writes:

Dear Friend (Mr. Dolde),

Am now in Laupheim and having dandy trip. Saw Mr. Dolde and wife, they are feeling fine, especially your father, he looks like a man of 50. Received a letter from Elsie, many thanks. Will leave for Schwietz (spelling?) tomorrow.

Best regards to all, from father, mother & Max.

We don't know much else about the Dolde family because these postcards are in German. If you can decipher any of them, please let us know. Or if you know anyone who is from Laupheim, please let us know. It would be so interesting to know if the town still looks like these beautiful depictions of it. (I guess be careful for what you wish for...10 minutes later and...LINK and LINK.)

I did find this postcard/photo with no writing in with these postcards but I don't know if these are Frank's parents or some other unidentified family.

(And we aren't sure why there are holes punched in the card below card...also a mystery. Or perhaps someone trying out a new hole punch. Sigh.)

Do I wish I could go back in time? You bet! At the very least to 1996 when I backpacked through Europe and was so very close to Laupheim...I traveled from Munich to Freiberg (well, Staufen) and took the train through Ulm. Ulm is 15m from Laupheim. :( Argh. Life.

But I do know that the Dolde's lived here or in the building next door. Ah, the magic of the Internet.

And Carl Laemmle is also a native son of Laupheim who, within a few years of these postcards, made it "big" in Chicago by founding the Independent Motion Picture Company (which later became Universal Studios) and has unintentionally brought this entry all the way around to The Acamedy Awards tonight.

Not pre-meditated. Such weird "six degrees" happenings here this evening.

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Hey Jean,

I was reading about your postcard situation, here's some advice: my father once found a post card at an antique show from his great aunt written to someone in (current) Germany written in German. In looking for a translator, we found that German script was changed after WWI to modern German.The person we found was able to read it because she was convent educated and they continued to teach old script into the 1950's. Your best bet may be among older native speakers, if you're really into it, perhaps the consulate office in Chicago?

Mike! What a great idea! The Goethe Institute in Chicago may know of someone. And I do know someone who is originally from Austria. she may know someone as well.

Thank you.

Hi, Jeanne!

I read German, but am not very good at deciphering that fancy script, unfortunately. "die Schwietz" that you reference above, however, is pretty easy -- it is the German word for Switzerland.

You might also think about calling the German dept at Northwestern. Some of the older professors might enjoy taking a look at them and could likely help you as well. Let me know if you'd like to do that. I was a work-study student there eons ago and I still keep in touch with the dept assistant in the German dept.

Take care!

Joanna! Thanks so much for your deciphering skills. We've got two layers here...the handwriting and the language. We'll try to keep working on it...argh.



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