The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Postcards in the (home) archive: 1941

a guest post by Stephen Grant

Fig. 1. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1941
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:
Hows everything I better not have had a miss. went to a stage show Wed. Night Going to Mt.
Vernon today, Me, Talor Smity and LeSneur have one room together Tommy Randles
Basayado
Pussy

Postage stamp: 1c green Statue of Liberty, Scott #899 National Defense Issue 1940

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 2 FEB 2, 1941

Destination: Col(umbus), Ohio

Color type: Color

Commentary: I’m guessing that Tommy is a youngster from Ohio on a class trip to D.C. A stage show and visit to Mt. Vernon might have been eye-opening, but he does not let on. What strikes him is rooming together with three other boys. Some of the references would likely be understood only by the people involved. Might this have been the first postcard Tommy ever sent? The “side for the address” is filled in way at the top, leaving more than half of the space empty. Tommy does not succeed in putting the whole stamp in the corner; it’s missing several teeth top right. The abbreviation “Col.” for Columbus might induce a postal clerk to frown.

 

Fig. 2. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1941
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

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.
65827 COLORCHROME WNC WASHINGTON, D. C

Written message:
Having a Swell time Jack.
In pencil

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

Postmarked: WASHINGTON, D.C. 25 MAY 10, 1941

Destination: Huntington, W.Va.

Dealer code: #10/$2-/PC

Color type: Color

Commentary: Homer might have desired a few details, but just the fact of Jack’s writing a postcard would have been appreciated. Another horizontally “rotary press” coil stamp, with perforations on vertical side, for use in a dispenser to save time in affixing stamp to postcard.

 

Fig. 3. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1941
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

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.
65827 COLORCHROME WNC WASHINGTON, D. C

Written message:
5-13-41 Dear Mother, Brother, Sister and all Have been visiting Stanley over Sunday. Thanks for your letter. Best wishes for everybody, Clarence.
In pencil

Postage stamp: 1c green Statue of Liberty, Scott #899 National Defense Issue 1940

Postmarked: WASHINGTON, D.C. 10 May 13, 1941

Destination: Clarence, N.Y.

Color type: Color

Commentary:

Well-wisher Clarence is writing to more Folgers than you can shake a stick at. This is a postcard of the Folger written to a Folger! Only more exciting would be a postcard of the Folger sent by a Folger.

First postcard I have ever come across where the sender’s first name is also the name of the receiver’s town. The sender also includes in the address the county (Erie). The P.O. would not appreciate this addition.

On Ancestry, I found out the recipient of this card was W. De Witt Folger, who worked in real estate insurance. His mother was named Alma P, his wife, Elizabeth. His daughter was Abbie F.

 

Fig. 4. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1941
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

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, librarian, and Prof. Joseph Q. Adams director of research.

Written message:
Am spending the weekend with the Close’s and visiting with the Potter’s. Louis III is a darling. We are anxiously awaiting to hear how you are progressing. Mother has improved greatly since I have been home. Love May

Postage stamp: 1c green Statue of Liberty, Scott #899 National Defense Issue 1940

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 13 JUN 16, 1941

Cancellation on face

Destination: Berkeley, W.Va.

Color type: B&W

Commentary: May is writing to Miss Jean Porter at a post office box in Berkeley, West Virginia. May is spending the weekend somewhere in or near Washington, D.C., where she knows at least two families. This is essentially a health-based message, where May is concerned about Jean’s state of health but reports that May’s mother is doing better. We have no idea how the Folger Shakespeare Library fits into the picture.

I am amazed by this postcard! Not because of the message, the stamp, the postmark, or the photo of the Folger from the northwest; but because of the color: black-and-white. A rarity.

 

Fig. 5. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1941
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:
Wondering if you have it? Won’t know for a while. Leave here in A.M. May see you about Wed.- or sooner than I expected. Wis[h] her all the Best of luck. Helen & Julia

Postage stamp: 1c green Statue of Liberty, Scott #899 National Defense Issue 1940

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 13 JUN 20, 1941

Destination: Charleston, W. Va.

Color type: Color

Dealer price: $1

Commentary: What might Mrs. Woodward Hardin have, referred to as “it”? Fig. 1. above also contained a mysterious “it.”. And who is “her”? Murky. Green ink is rare.

 

Fig. 6. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1941
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
Published by B. S. Reynolds Co. Washington, D.C.
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.
THIS SPACE FOR WRITING POST CARD Metrocraft Everett, Mass. M THIS SPACE FOR THE ADDRESS

Written message:
Dear Mrs. Dorrah, I arrived here July 8 Am under Dr.’s care & am feeling some better. Rest a great deal. I will let you hear from me again soon & tell you how I am getting on. Thank you for being so nice to me. Sincerely, Mrs. Schuyler 101 N Highland, Arlington, Va.

Postage stamp: 1c green Statue of Liberty, Scott #899 National Defense Issue 1940

Postmark: ARLINGTON, VA JUL 17, 1941

Destination: Los Angeles Calif.

Color type: Color

Part in pencil (forwarding address, “not here”)

Commentary:
A very sweet use of a Folger postcard by an ailing Mrs. Schuyler to send a thank-you message. Google says her husband was assistant chief of naval personnel. They lived in a home one mile from my own in Arlington.

The card was forwarded to another Los Angeles address.
Note trimming error on upper and lower margins on picture side.

 

Fig. 7. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1941
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

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.
65827 COLORCHROME WNC WASHINGTON, D. C

Written message:
Will be seeing you soon keep in Practice Pardner 1717 E. Capital St. – Apt – 201 Mrs. Smith.
In pencil

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

Postmarked: WASHINGTON, D.C. 7 AUG 30, 1941

Destination: Libertytown, Md.

Color type: Color

Commentary: Post Office did not like Libertytown as a designation, perhaps because it was an unincorporated community in Frederick County.

In 5 months, Pearl Harbor will have been attacked and America will prepare for war.

 

Fig. 8. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1941
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

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.
65827 COLORCHROME WNC WASHINGTON, D. C

Written message:
8-30-41 Hello Herb: – Some place down here. Great city. So much to see. Haven’t seen F.D.R. or Ickes yet. See you later Bud

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

Postmarked: WASHINGTON, D.C. 7 AUG 31, 1941

Slogan cancel BUY DEFENSE SAVINGS BONDS AND STAMPS

Destination: Norwich, Conn.

Color type: Color

Commentary: Very few people traveling to see Washington, D.C. are not impressed. If it’s anything unpleasant it’s the weather. Going to “see FDR?” The FDR? Really? Another coil stamp with vertical perforations, to be used in a dispenser.

 

Fig. 9. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1941
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
THE UNION 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 is librarian, and Joseph Q. Adams director of research.
65827 UNCO TRADE MARK REGISTERED POST CARD

Written message: None

Postage stamp: 1c green Statue of Liberty, Scott #899 National Defense Issue 1940

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 4 NOV 5, 1941

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

Destination: Moline, Ill.

Color type: Color

In pencil

Commentary: With no message, one can only guess at what is going on here. Did Mrs. Estes Kessel send a postcard to herself on 18th St. D. in Moline, Ill, on the Iowa border? Was it for her children? Does the sender collect postcards of libraries? I know people who do; they are librarians.

So far, no other year has harvested as many as 9 Folger postcards. I haven’t gone out of my way to collect 1941 cards because it’s the year of my birth. When I turned 80 over a year ago, someone sent me a “BACK IN 1941” poster, a “best choice” product. It’s the last image on this post. Check it out: M&Ms invented; top movie Citizen Kane; Duke Ellington writes Take the “A” Train.

Fig. 10. BACK IN 1941 poster, a “best choice” product

The pen-ultimate thought I leave you with is that 9 of the 9 postcards in this year’s crop are of the Folger from the northwest perspective. We are only in the first decade of the Library’s existence, but variety does not appear to feature in the decision to make postcards from the photographs taken of the building.

This marks my 25th blog post on the site.1

18 receiving states 1934–41
5 NY
5 OH
5 WV
4 PA
4 CT
4 MD
3 NJ
2 ME
2 VA
2 WI
1 CA
1 DE
1 IL
1 MA
1 MN
1 NC
1 SC
1 TE

Receiving country:
1 France

N = 45

  1. Editor’s Note: We thank Stephen for his prolific and enthusiastic contributions to this blog. You can find all of Stephen’s postcard-related posts under the #postcards tag on this site.

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