Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's the Story?

As an Ephemeraologist, every once in a while I encounter a piece that I just can't believe exists.  Today, I want to show you just such an item:

Isn't it marvelous?  If you can't read the handwriting it says, "Little Miss Breezy of the Eickhof Flappers".  It came in a box of incredible ephemera that I got about five years ago.  I've already posted about the insanely cool luggage and steamer tags that also came in this lot - there was a huge amount of stuff and the whole box only set me back around $15.  I also got this nearly full note pad from the Hotel Batavia, which I adore.  All of the aforementioned ephemera is dated from the 1920s, and most of it bears the name Charles Eickhof, owner of the Hotel Batavia (and a seemingly wealthy gentleman).

This particular piece, though - WOWIE!!  Wouldn't you LOVE to know the story behind this?  Here's the back of it - an invoice or bill for the Hotel Prenford.  I tried doing a quick search to see if the Eickhof Bros. owned this hotel as well - my search was for naught except this marvelous photo of an old postcard from the hotel and a brief history from a Google Book called "Detroit's Historic Hotels and Restaurants".  The author, Patricia Ibbotson, says that the Hotel Prenford opened around 1925 and "catered to bachelors".  According to one post on the message board where I saw the postcard, the site now houses the Normandie, a "notorious flophouse".

It staggers the mind, doesn't it?  I mean, who IS this "Little Miss Breezy"?  Notice the initials in the lower right - a stylized C.E.  Could it have stood for Charles Eickhof?  Did this young lady catch his eye one evening?  Was this a clandestine affair?  Or was she a dancer in a revue?  Do you think he could've married her, eventually?  Or was this a fling, or maybe nothing at all?  What do you suppose was her real name?  And what were the circumstances surrounding the event that called for a drawing?  Was the young lady around when he drew it, or was she admired from afar?  One could write a novel based on all these questions!

Even though I have no emotional attachment to this drawing I just can't use it.  It's a really nice sketch and it's just too cool to cut up.  I have another piece from the same lot, which I was going to trade as an ATC and then decided to keep for myself:

I hand-colored it, which I sort of regret.  My friend Carolyn assured me that the phrase on the front is indeed as "naughty" as one imagines (I naively thought that people wouldn't think such things in the Twenties!).  Seems to me there was much frivolity and ever so many "misunderstandings" going on in the heady world of hotel living lo these 85 years ago!


  1. Amazing! I would l love to know the story, especially after your questions. I am so thankful for FB and the opportunity to share with people like you. Just a few years ago this would have been difficult if not impossible and now I get to see your stash like you are next door. Thanks for your amazing posts.

  2. Bev, it truly is amazing how the Internet (and Facebook in particular) has brought like-minded souls together, isn't it?! I may enjoy visiting the past often but I love the time we're living in! It's so much more fun to share our ephemera with others rather than to silently appreciate it. I'm so glad you enjoy my posts, and thank YOU so much for your readership! :D