The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Postcards in the (home) archive: 1939

a guest post by Stephen Grant

Front and back of a postcard. Front is image of Folger Shakespeare Library and back contains handwritten message
Fig. 1. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1939
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
THE 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:
Ellen, made the train with time to spare. It was lovely to see you again and your babies are precious. Will write you from home. Frances Reid

Postage stamp: 1c green Washington, Scott #804, Presidential Issue 1938

Postmarked: BLOOMFIELD, N.J. MAY 1, 1939

Cancellation on face

Destination: Bethesda, Md.

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Frances Reid might have acquired the postcard in Washington, D.C., and traveled to Bloomfield, N.J to send it back to Bethesda; an unusual itinerary. It is not clear where her home is. Frances and Ellen carry on a faithful correspondence.

Note that the image of the Folger is somewhat marred by cancellation marks that have strayed from the address side; it’s called “cancellation on face.”

Front and back of a postcard. Front is image of Folger Shakespeare Library and back contains handwritten message
Fig. 2. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1939
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
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 is librarian, and Joseph Q. Adams director of research POST CARD

Written message:
To Henry Harvey an all the pack so they can get some book learnen [sic]. Doing fine and hopping to see you all soon, Brother Alfred.
In pencil

Postage stamp: 1c green Washington, Presidential Issue, Scott 804, issued in 1938

Postmarked: WASHINGTON, D.C. 15 MAY 4, 1939

Destination: Reading, Penna.

Color type: Color

Dealer price: $1

Dealer code: 994

Commentary:
Brother Alfred is thoughtful to think of his family in Reading, Pa, by sending a postcard of a library and suggesting they educate themselves by reading books. We wonder whether their spelling is like Alfred’s. This is a remarkable message on a Folger postcard.

Front and back of a postcard. Front is image of Folger Shakespeare Library and back contains handwritten message
Fig. 3. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1939
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
W7. THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D.C. H. H. Rideout.

Printed on address side:
The Folger Shakespeare Library, an important addition to the culture 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 famous poet’s life and work.

PUBLISHED BY THE CAPITOL SOUVENIR COMPANY, WASH. D.C.

MPCo MADE IN U.S.A. POST CARD. THIS SIDE FOR THE ADDRESS. MADE IN U.S.A.

Written message:
Sat. eve Dear Boys, I wish you could be here. Martha E, JMP, Marilyn, and I are rooming together. We expect to sleep tonight. I haven’t lost anything yet, and my pillow was a life saver. Love MEB

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

Postmarked: WASHINGTON, D.C. 17 MAY 27, 1939

Destination: Washington C.H., Ohio.

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Regarding the message, MEB has a reputation for losing things but on this trip to Washington, D.C., so far so good. Four to a room will test their ability for a good night’s sleep.

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

Front and back of a postcard. Front is image of Folger Shakespeare Library and back contains handwritten message
Fig. 4. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1939
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
Published by B. S. Reynolds Co. Washington, D.C.

39686 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

Written message:
Dear Ruth & Stan, We have had an especially long day. They are on standard time here. Hope you can see this city some day. It’s beautiful. We managed to see two rooms of the Capitol. Most huge and lovely things I have ever seen. Love Ernie & Carl.

Postage stamp: 1c green Washington, Presidential Issue, Scott #804, issued in 1938

Postmarked: ARLINGTON, VA. JUNE 5, 1939

Destination: West Haven, Conn.

Color type: Color

Dealer price: $1

Dealer code: 325 36 Gift Noma 3/15/82 #173M

Commentary:
Why would standard time in Connecticut and Washington, D.C. be different? Fatigue and seeing lovely things are common postcard themes.

Front and back of a postcard. Front is image of Folger Shakespeare Library and back contains handwritten message
Fig. 5. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1939
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
W7 THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D.C. H. H. Rideout.

Printed on address side:
The Folger Shakespeare Library, an important addition to the culture 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 famous poet’s life and work.

PUBLISHED BY THE CAPITOL SOUVENIR COMPANY, WASH. D.C. MPCo MADE IN U.S.A. POST CARD. THIS SIDE FOR THE ADDRESS.

Written message in Finnish:
Terveisiä mailman näyttelystä ja meidän pää kaupungista.

English translation:
Greetings from the World’s Fair and our capital. Sincerely, Taimie

Postage stamp: 1c green Washington, Presidential Issue, Scott #804, issued in 1938

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 1 JUNE 9, 1939

Destination: Floodwood, R.1. Minnesota

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Finnish immigrants settled in northeastern Minnesota starting in the late 1800s. I wondered why the correspondent used the English word “mailman.” Turns out it was a misspelling for the Finnish word “maailman” which means world. An officer from the Embassy of Finland who kindly provided the translation noted that Taimie’s Finnish had gone downhill. The New York World’s Fair began on Apr. 30, 1939 and ended on Oct. 27, 1940. Taimie was one of the early visitors. The message to her aunt and uncle was simple, “Greetings from the World’s Fair and our capital.”

So far, we have seen postcard messages in Russian, French, and Finnish.

Front and back of a postcard. Front is image of Folger Shakespeare Library and back contains handwritten message
Fig. 6. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1939
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
M523:-THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D. C.

Printed on address side:
Published by B. S. Reynolds Co. Washington, D.C.

39686 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 Miss Mingo Ines Sproull and I are having a great trip. Two days here in Washington. I will leave Sun. for N.Y.C. to see the World’s Fair- will be there a week or more. I got your card before leaving Berry. I was worried about you taking that trip sick. Hope you are well now. Lots of love, Alice Bami.

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

Postmarked: WASHINGTON, D.C. 24 JUNE 17, 1939

Destination: Montreat, North Carolina

Color type: Color

Dealer code: 12730

Commentary:
Out of 8 postcards from 1939, this is the second where correspondents are on a two-destination voyage: World’s Fair in NY and Washington.

Front and back of a postcard. Front is image of Folger Shakespeare Library and back contains handwritten message
Fig. 7. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1939
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.

Printed on address side:
THE UNION NEWS COMPANY FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D.C. 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 is librarian, and Joseph Q. Adams director of research. 65827 UNCO TRADE MARK REGISTERED POST CARD

Written message:
Wash – Sun. p.m. Dear Ewing, I started to write this yesterday but Mary’s brother came for us, so here I am in Washington again – first to finish this – incidentally on my way to Balto. The trip has been grand, & I’m in love with the East again. Please welcome your mother & sister for me, and tell them I am very anxious to meet them. My best to “Brownie.” Take good care of the diocese for me, won’t you? As ever, Fran

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 8 JULY 3, 1939

Destination: San Francisco CA

Color type: Color

Dealer code: 7/7/39

Commentary:
In writing to Ewing, Fran is ebullient regarding her return to the East and to Washington. They appear to be colleagues and close friends in a San Francisco diocese.

Front and back of a postcard. Front is image of Folger Shakespeare Library and back contains handwritten message
Fig. 8. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1939
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
115 FOLGER SHAKESPERIAN LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D.C. 4A-H1791

Printed on address side: SCENIC ART SERIES, B. S. REYNOLDS CO., WASHINGTON, D.C. THIS SIDE FOR WRITING MESSAGES. POST CARD. THIS SPACE FOR ADDRESS ONLY. C. T. ART-COLORTONE REG. U. S. PAT. OFF. MADE ONLY BY CURT TEICH & CO., INC., CHICAGO

Written message:
Dear Evelyn, I have had a most delightful trip so far. Washington has lived up to all my expectations. Am planning to visit Mt. Vernon tomorrow. Miss Meyer
Part in pencil by child

Postage stamp: Removed

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 1 AUG. 30, 1939

Destination: Cleveland, Ohio

Color type: Color

Dealer price: 25c

Commentary:
Perhaps the upbeat Miss Meyer is a teacher on summer vacation addressing one of her pupils? It looks as though in Miss Evelyn Brasch’s household in Cleveland, Ohio there might have been a young child practicing penmanship on some free address space. This is another Curt Teich postcard.

Note the spelling “Shakesperian” on the picture side caption! Shame on Curt Teich.

While the 1939 bumper crop of eight Folger postcards are all of the library’s north and west sides, they reflect four different photographs. Three are the same photograph (M523) produced by the B. S. Reynolds Co. Two are the same photograph (W7) by Rideout. Two are the same photograph (60063, one is Union News. Co. and one is not) and show a bed of red flowers. One is a Curt Teich photograph (115 4A-H1791) produced in 1934, that precise information according to the Curt Teich postcard dating system made available by the Newberry Library in Chicago.

17 receiving states 1934–39

4 PA
4 NY
4 OH
3 CT
3 NJ
2 ME
2 WI
1 CA
1 DE
1 MA
1 MD
1 MN
1 NC
1 SC
1 TE
1 VA
1 WV

N = 32

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.

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