Friday, June 29, 2012

From Fritz to Gillita

Recently I posted another card that was sent to Gillita Workman. We know that she worked in the book department at Bullocks in Los Angeles. It appeared that she never married, but she may have been romantically involved with someone named Honoré.

In August 1913, Gillita was staying at the Pension Frank in Partenkirchen, Germany. There she received a peculiar postcard from Fritz Pfaffenzeller, owner of the Oriental Museum in Partenkirchen. The card is addressed to Miss Gillita Workman from Los Angeles, Pension Frank Partenkirchen. The written message says only:  Best Greeting, Fritz Pfaffenzeller. On the other side of the card, he has attached a newspaper clipping.

The newspaper clipping is a death announcement for Adolphus Busch! Here's the English translation:

News of the Day
Adolphus Busch, the American industrial brewer and philanthropist from St Louis, died in Langenschwalbach. Busch was the president of the largest brewery in America, the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Co., as well as many other important ventures. Above all, Busch was a devoted facilitator of American-German understanding. The construction of the Germanic Museum at Harvard University was made possible through his financial support. Busch had an estate in Langenschwalbach and went there every year for a cure.

Langenschwalbach (now known as Bad Schwalbach) has been a spa resort for centuries. Busch's mansion, Villa Lilly, is now used as a drug rehab facility. Anyway, the question that comes to my mind is "Why did Fritz Pfaffenzeller send this to Gillita with no further explanation or note?" I guess we'll never know, but I did find a little more information on Fritz. He was a world traveler and wrote a few travel books. Someone, perhaps Fritz himself, saw fit to print postcards of him on a camel in front of a pyramid in Egypt.  I found this image of one for sale at


  1. Fascinating! Maybe there was a connection between their museums, and then between Fritz Pfaffenzeller and Gillita a literary connection, perhaps her bookstore sold his books? Did he visit her in the US?

  2. intriguing! i imagine that this is the equivalent of forwarding a link or tweeting the death of a well-known person today. gillita was away and fritz thought she should know this news!



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