The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Postcards in the (home) archive: 1938

a guest post by Stephen Grant

postcard of the Folger side-by-side with the reverse side, which has writing in pencil
Fig. 1. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1938
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D. C. 60063

Printed on address side:
THE WASHINGTON NEWS COMPANY
FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY. East Capitol and 2nd Streets. This important addition to the cultural wealth of the nation was the gift of the late Henry C. Folger. The collection includes more than 70,000 volumes, as well as pictures and other relics of the great poet’s life and work. The library has a $10,000,000 endowment fund, administered by the trustees of Amherst College. William A. Slade, librarian, and Prof. Joseph Q. Adams director of research.
COLORCHROME WNC WASHINGTON, D.C. POST CARD

Written message:
Dear Joe. Here’s the place for everything. Love. “Nibby” “8MT” “Kitty” “F10”
In pencil.

Postage stamp: 1c green Franklin, Scott #552 Regular Issue 1920

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 3 APR 19, 1938

Slogan cancel: BUY U. S. SAVINGS BONDS ASK YOUR POSTMASTER

Destination: Bethpage Long Island

Color type: Color

Dealer price: 25c

Commentary: Miss Joe in Bethpage would be able to crack the code of the quartet in Washington, D.C. sending love and raving about how the Capital has everything. USPS these days would be less happy with mail addressed without indicating the state.

postcard of the Folger side-by-side with reverse, writing in ink
Fig. 2. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1938
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D. C. 60063

Printed on address side:
THE WASHINGTON NEWS COMPANY
FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY. East Capitol and 2nd Streets. This important addition to the cultural wealth of the nation was the gift of the late Henry C. Folger. The collection includes more than 70,000 volumes, as well as pictures and other relics of the great poet’s life and work. The library has a $10,000,000 endowment fund, administered by the trustees of Amherst College. William A. Slade, librarian, and Prof. Joseph Q. Adams director of research.
COLORCHROME WNC WASHINGTON, D.C.

Written message:
Having a swell time. Dad & Mary Lynn

Postage stamp: 1c green Franklin, Scott #552 Regular Issue 1920

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 3 APR 29, 1938

Slogan cancel: BUY U. S. SAVINGS BONDS ASK YOUR POSTMASTER

Destination: Greer, S.C.

Color type: Color

Dealer code: 1749

Commentary:
Two writers a long way from home are reassuring as they divulge no detail.

1937 yielded no slogan cancels (at least in my collection), but we have two from April in the 1938 harvest, the same slogan as in 1936.

postcard of the Folger side by side with reverse, writing in pencil
Fig. 3. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1938
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
M523:–FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D. C. 39686

Printed on address side:

Published by B. S. Reynolds Co., Washington, D.C. 39686
THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY The Folger Library was bequeathed to the Trustees of Amherst College by Henry Clay Folger of the Amherst class of 1879, and has a $10,000,000 endowment fund. The white marble building is a treasure house; within the protecting walls is “the finest collection of Shakespeariana the world has known,” including more than 70,000 volumes, as well as pictures and other relics.
METROCRAFT EVERETT MASS M POST CARD. THIS SIDE FOR THE ADDRESS

Written message:
Dearest Buckhaid Oh me, there is so little time and sooooo much to do. Bill.

Postage stamp: 1c green Franklin, Scott #552 Regular Issue 1920

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 1 JUN 1, 1938

Destination: Bridgeville, Del.

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Bless Bill, who in one line captures the epitome of life!

On this card, another coil stamp has popped up, perforations on two sides and imperforate on the other sides.

postcard of the Folger, side-by-side with reverse, writing in pencil
Fig. 4. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1938
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
M523:–FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D. C. 39686

Printed on address side:
Published by B. S. Reynolds Co., Washington, D.C. 39686
THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY The Folger Library was bequeathed to the Trustees of Amherst College by Henry Clay Folger of the Amherst class of 1879, and has a $10,000,000 endowment fund. The white marble building is a treasure house; within the protecting walls is “the finest collection of Shakespeariana the world has known,” including more than 70,000 volumes, as well as pictures and other relics.
METROCRAFT EVERETT MASS M POST CARD. THIS SIDE FOR THE ADDRESS

Written message:
Dear Walter, The weather is killing us. Hasn’t rained here in 3 weeks. Jo & Myron.
In pencil.

Postage stamp: 1c green Franklin, Scott #552 Regular Issue 1920

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 1 AUG 9, 1938

Destination: Nutley, N.J.

Color type: Color

Commentary:
The month of August in Washington, D.C. before the era of air-conditioning in the nation’s capital is “killing us.” Because of excessive heat or high humidity? No, not at all. Because it hasn’t rained a drop, agree Jo and Myron.

postcard of the Folger side by side with the reverse, with writing in pencil
Fig. 5. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1938
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
M523:–FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D. C. 39686

Printed on address side:
Published by B. S. Reynolds Co., Washington, D.C. 39686
THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY The Folger Library was bequeathed to the Trustees of Amherst College by Henry Clay Folger of the Amherst class of 1879, and has a $10,000,000 endowment fund. The white marble building is a treasure house; within the protecting walls is “the finest collection of Shakespeariana the world has known,” including more than 70,000 volumes, as well as pictures and other relics.
METROCRAFT EVERETT MASS M POST CARD. THIS SIDE FOR THE ADDRESS

Written message:
Wilmington, Del. Tues. Eve. Dear Kids, Stopped here overnight Saw Washington D.C.
And Baltimore, Maryland today. Going to Philadelphia & Atlantic city tomorrow. Having a
swell time. See you sometime later on. Love Clifford & Dorothy

In pencil

Postage stamp: 1c green Franklin, Scott #552 Regular Issue 1920

Postmark: MARCUS HOOK, P.A. AUG 31, 1938

Destination: Urbana, Ohio.

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Clifford and Dorothy seem to devote one day per state and find it swell. Who knows when the Bensons will see them again? The inveterate travelers are on the move so much they had no time to write the postcard and mail it in Washington, D. C., as did 95% of the other correspondents in my collection of Folger postcards! They settled on a mailbox 120 miles away. “See you sometime later on” keeps the kids in suspense.

Both views of the Folger are from the same viewpoint, by far the most popular for Folger photographers, the northwest. The April and June/August cards represent different photos. All four display the large boxwood parterre. Only the April cards shows most of the Magnolia grandiflora.

1938 is the last year Americans will be able to buy a 1c green stamp of Ben Franklin in most post offices. 1939 will usher in a new Presidential Issue featuring a 1c green stamp of George Washington.

13 receiving states 1934–38
4 NY
3 PA
2 CT
2 ME
2 NJ
2 OH
2 WI
1 DE
1 MA
1 SC
1 TE
1 VA
1 WV

Receiving country:
1 France

Stephen H. Grant is a retired Foreign Service officer turned writer. He is the author of, among other things, several books about postcards, and Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger. He can be found on the web at https://www.stephenhgrant.com and on Twitter at @shgauthor.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)