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Postcards from the Early 1900’s

Updated on September 3, 2016
Canita Pro profile image

Canita - has been a secretary/receptionist, bookkeeper, teacher and retail store manager. I love writing about the things I'm curious about.

View of Canobie Lake

Mrs. Ella M. Pike East-Hiram, Maine 1909
Mrs. Ella M. Pike East-Hiram, Maine 1909 | Source

Mrs. Pike and L & J

Every letter or postcard tells a story. These are three antique postcards that tell stories.

To: Mrs. Ella M. Pike
East-Hiram, Maine (Portland)
From: L and J
Lawrence, Massachusetts

Postmark September 11, 1909 Lawrence, Mass.
1 cent stamp of Benjamin Franklin
View of Canobie Lake
Postcard printed in Germany. E. 207 Mason Bros. & Co., Boston, Mass.
Color Print
3 3/8” x 5 3/8”
Material: cardboard

Dear Mamma

“Dear Mamma, got your next letter we are great and would be glad to be at home but don’t know what to do. We shall get through here before long. It is so dry there it not much work now and I suppose we shall hurry to go where there is work. Will write a letter tomorrow. Love and best wishes to both, from L. and J.”

Mason Bros. & Company of Boston, Mass.

There is no information on the internet about the Mason Bros. & Co. of Boston, Mass. In 1901 we know the word “Post card” was allowed to be printed on the backs of the cards. Germany companies were printing U.S. postcard starting in 1907 and this continued until WWI when the printing companies were bombed. This postcard was produced in Germany between 1907 and 1915.

East-Hiram, Maine (Portland, Maine)

East-Hiram, Maine was a wood milling town in the 1909. They say the principal crop was Hay. They also made men’s clothing. It was a town where the railroad stopped. There is a stage stop and hotel called Mt. Cutler House in pictures of the area from 1909. The town is so small there is no street address to get the postcard to Mrs. Ella M. Pike.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

East Hiram or Portland, Maine is the home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His father owned the property in which this city was eventually birthed. Henry and his seven siblings were raised in this countryside. Mrs. Ella M. Pike may have known Mr. Longfellow since we do not know her age. Mr. Longfellow lived from 1807 to 1882. She would have needed to be over 27 years old to have known him.

Canobie Lake in Salem, New Hampshire

The postcard is from Canobie Lake in Salem, New Hampshire. From Lawrence Mass. to Salem, New Hampshire is a 8 mile trip to the Northwest. It may have been a day trip to visit or a stopping point on the train trip to Lawrence Mass. Canobie Lake was a trolley park for the Massachusetts Northeast Railway. Co. from 1902 to 1930. The trip from East Hiram, Maine to Laurence, Mass. is 87 miles.

Hurry to go where there is work?

There is no noted drought or unusual weather noted for these cities during this time. The rain fall averages were normal. With them living near railroads there was generally work. It was the end of the agriculture era and the beginning of the industrial era. L. and J. may not have wanted to be workers in a mill, sewing, maid or food service.

"The Turn of the Road" Postcard 1909

The Westbrook Family Postcard 1909
The Westbrook Family Postcard 1909 | Source

The Westbrooks

To: Mrs. Frank Westbrook

Peabody, Kansas R.F.D.
From: Lena
Topeka, Kansas

Postmark Topeka, Kan Oct. 20, 1909 6:30 p.m.
1 cent stamp of Benjamin Franklin
“The Turn of the Road”
Color Print
3 3/8” x 5 3/8”
Material: cardboard

Lena has a lot to say

We know it from after 1901 because it has “Postcard” printed on the back, otherwise there are no clues to it origin.

On the front written along the road it says, “Follow this and you will find it is Harris St.” Over

“Dear Mother, Rec’d your letter yesterday am getting along all right. Why didn’t you and Uncle Si come up here before he went home. And why didn’t you go with him. Well, I am not goin to take other German as I cannot arrange my programme. Mr. Ross went away Monday night. You don’t need to be in any hurry about sending those things any time. Ta-Ta Lena Love to all.”

Other side of the card, “ Tell kids hello - (62) highest in class also one in Trigonometry 56 on last test and in botany got 93 he hi ho hum.”

She continued writing on the front of the card, “Am studying this afternoon also studied yesterday afternoon. All are well Babe is pretty good and Marian same little girl and can say “look down there” and wait for me to get, “what kind of a coat you want to get?” How is Florence getting on with school?”

Lena and school

There were three Colleges or Universities in Topeka, Kansas in 1909. Washburn Univ. founded in 1865, University of Kansas founded in 1826, and Baker University founded in 1858. Miss Lena possibly Westbrook could have been attending any of these three college/universities. She was doing well in botany and struggling with math. She could have been going to school to become a teacher. During that era there was definitely a demand for teachers.

Lena and slang

Ms. Lena was really into slang “he hi ho hum,” and “ta-ta.” Ta-Ta is Swahili and ho hum did not make a hit till around the 1930’s. Not sure where she would have picked these up. Unless, he hi ho hum is Swahili also and she was around someone who spoke Swahili. She was educated for she knew how to use abbreviations. For the word received was abbreviated correctly. She seems like a happy go lucky type person for both of these slang words mean “no worries.”

"The Turn of the Road"

The cover of the postcard could be “The Turn of the Road” which is the title of a book by Eugenia Brooks Frothingham published in 1901. There seems to be very limited information on this book.

It could also be a picture similar to one done by the artist John Atkinson Grimshaw of England (1836-1893). He has a picture named “The Turn of the Road” which is landscape and many of his pictures have turns in the road. Although it is not an exact match of that picture titled “The Turn of the Road.” She appears to be well read and up on the latest of things culturally. This girl from Peabody, Kansas.


New Year's Poem

1910 Postcard Dean-Berger
1910 Postcard Dean-Berger | Source

Dean-Berger

To: Miss Katherine Berger
New Washington, Ohio
From: Rudolph Dean
Cleveland, Ohio

Postmark Cleveland Ohio
1 cent stamp of Benjamin Franklin
New Years greeting
Postcard copywriter 1910 by Leubrie and Elkus, NY
Color Print
3 3/8” x 5 3/8”
Material: cardboard

1910 New Year's Greeting

The printed side of the postcard reads:
“May New Year pay you honor at his Court,
Nor stint his measure.
May all your Ships come riding into port,
Laden with treasure.
Sorrow be far where your lines are cast,
Fearless your laughter.
May joy be years, from the first day to the last,
And ever after.”

Back of card reads: “ Lots of Love from Rudolph Dean”

Chipmunk and the Dutchtown

The city of New Washington, Ohio was founded in 1826 by George Washington (Chipmunk) Meyers. It was a railroad town. It was home to 15 hatcheries for chickens in the early 1900’s. It is said, “that the local post office shipped 80,000 chicks by post in a single day.” The town is nicknamed “Dutchtown” due to a large population of German descents. In 2010 there were 967 people living in this town.

Was it Romance or Puppy Love?

The postcard was hot off the press. It was copywriter 1910 and this card is mailed December 23, 1910. The cost of the post card in 1910 was $1.10.

We know that she is a single woman or girl because the card is addressed to Miss. There does not appear to be any marriages or death in Ohio of a Rudolph Dean and Katherine Berger. There is a Rudolph Warren Dean who lives to 102, but is married to a Elaine. There is one suggestion of a ten year old boy. If it was a mature couple there was no marriage. If it was a young crush or a letter to an relative, the name do not seem to connect at a future date.

Glimpses into 1909 and 1910

Two Mothers and one young lady from Maine, Kansas and Ohio. Receive postcards from people who love them in 1909 and 1910. We get a glimpse into their lives from these postcards.

Comments

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    • Canita Pro profile imageAUTHOR

      Canita Prough 

      3 years ago from Texas

      I enjoyed researching them. Thank you for reading them.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 

      3 years ago from australia

      This is thought provoking, thinking of the people who penned to post cards.

      Almost detective work. I love postcards and have written about them. The famous Sotheby's in England have post card auctions, some are worth considerable amounts of money. I enjoyed reading these post cards - than you.

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