The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Postcards in the (home) archive 1942-43

a guest post by Stephen Grant

Fig. 1. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1942
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
PUB. BY GARRISON TOY & NOVELTY CO. WASHINGTON, D. C. THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14436 “COLOURPICTURE” PUBLICATION CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD

Written message:
Dear Adah—Now are you surprised to learn I’m away up here? Bernie said for VB to come at once to his job and I hopped on the train and came along on 2 hr. notice. How are you my dear and let us know how Mr Jay is. Maxine & the baby will come up later. VB is now in training. Has work in same company as Bernie. Earline has a civil service job. Will write letter later & tell you where all I’ve been etc. Address to Ethel when you write, Mrs L Roy Ross 3707-10th St. N.E. apt 3. Best love Ira Z

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 26 JAN 26, 1942

Destination: Ft. Scott, Kansas

Color type: Color

Dealer price: $0.50

Dealer code: CLD

Commentary:
It is wartime and many civil service jobs open up related to the war effort. It’s a big deal to travel by train from the Midwest to the nation’s capital—half way across the country—at such a time. It’s quite common for a postcard correspondent to take up a few words by promising to write more in a letter; Ira did squeeze a lot of info into his card, at any rate. Probably wins the prize for the largest number of individuals mentioned: Adah, baby, Bernie, Earline, Ethel, Irs, Maxine, Mr. Jay, Mrs Gould, Mrs Ross, VB, a whopping eleven!

Adah is a girl’s name of Hebrew origin meaning “ornament.” It’s the first female name in Genesis after Eve.

Fig. 2. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1943
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
PUB. BY GARRISON TOY & NOVELTY CO. WASHINGTON, D. C. THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14436 “COLOURPICTURE” PUBLICATION CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD

Written message:
We arrived here about 2 A.M. We over slept this morning which shows you we are not used to late hours. Mabel stayed stayed [sic] off to-day. We certainly did enjoy our trip. Love, Agnes.

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 24 APR 5, 1943

Slogan cancel: NOTIFY YOUR CORRESPONDENTS OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS

Destination: Chambersburg, Pa.

Color type: Color

Dealer prices: $0.50, $4, $4

Commentary:
How can Agnes see straight after so little sleep? But she’s in Mabel’s good hands.

Purple stamp “Not for city carrier, not for rural carrier. To Route #1.

Fig. 3. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1943
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
PUB. BY GARRISON TOY & NOVELTY CO. WASHINGTON, D. C.
THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14436 “COLOURPICTURE” PUBLICATION CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD

Written message:
Sunday, I am sitting in the front of this building where I marked * on beautiful marble – the sun is nice and warm and the surroundings are beautiful and inspiring. I’m thinking of you and send my Best Love, Anna Freedman

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 26 MAY 9, 1943

Destination: New Bedford, MA.

Commentary:
How evocative to have Anna Freedman sit in front of the Folger and write a postcard showing where she is sitting! Many correspondents mark an x or an * indicating where they visited or stayed.

Fig. 4. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1943
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
PUB. BY GARRISON TOY & NOVELTY CO. WASHINGTON, D. C.
THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14 436
“COLOURPICTURE” PUBLICATION CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD

Written message:
“Dear Nancy:- hope you are having as nice weather there as we are here. we have the doors and windows open and the sun is shining, but the next day after we arrived it was downright cold. I took a cold either on the train, coming or after I reached here, but am better now. love, Grandma

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

Postmark: ARLINGTON VA MAY 19, 1943

Cancellation on face

Destination: Farmington, Mich.

Color type: Color

Commentary:
How sweet to have a three-generational card, from grandmother to granddaughter! A third location besides Arlington, Va. and Farmington, Mich. is implied, as Granny took the train to the nation’s capital. Another message where weather is the predominant concern.

Fig. 5. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest, 1943
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:
MON. A.M. Made our train O.K. Was here in bed about 12:30. – My fever is
much better; bothered me some on the way down. – It was nice to have everybody together
again. Sorry I couldn’t do more justice to your good spread, but this fever affects my appetite. –
It’s gloomy and cool here today; no holiday in any sense. – Time to go to breakfast. Love to all,
Bill. –– W. L. Hickling – PHNM 2/c

Postage stamp: “FREE” for the military

Postmark: WASHINGTON, C.C. 15 MAY 31, 1943

Destination: Bucks Co, Pa.

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Bill Hickling comes straight from a family reunion in Bucks County, but feels punk with a fever.

“PHNM 2/c” stands for Pharmacist Mate second class. An Act of Congress on Mar. 27, 1942 allowed armed forces to send mail gratis. They wrote “FREE” in the upper right corner.

Fig. 6. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest, 1943
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:Dear Saul, I do envy you being on the beach every day. It is very hot in Washington. Love to all, [illegible]”

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. JUL 15, 1943

Destination: Long Beach, N.Y.

Color type: Color

Commentary:
The theme of weather again, with the canicular summer so many tourists deplore when visiting the nation’s capital. The recipient, Saul Z. Brenner, applied a name stamp to this postcard on the address card. Saul also may have been the one to have placed the Folger postcard in a photo album that contained adhesive, obliterating several letters.

Fig. 7. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1943
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
PUB. BY GARRISON TOY & NOVELTY CO. WASHINGTON, D. C.
THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14 436
“COLOURPICTURE” PUBLICATION CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD

Written message:
Dear Ruth, I have not received the Babies pictures you promised me after the 4th I hope you have not sent them I am still half sick have so much pain in my back Love to all, Aunt Sidney

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 4 SEP 27, 1943

Destination: Audubon, N.J.

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Sidney is suffering from back pain and needs to see her niece Ruth’s baby pictures to cheer her up.

This postcard looks as though it has been through the war. It is wartime, and this selection of postcards certainly revealed many folks under the weather.

20 receiving states 1934–43
6 NY
6 PA
5 OH
5 WV
4 CT
4 MD
4 NJ
2 MA
2 ME
2 VA
2 WI
1 CA
1 DE
1 IL
1 KS
1 MI
1 MN
1 NC
1 SC
1 TE

Receiving country:
1 France

N = 52

 

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.

One Comment


  • Are you sure the name of the sender of the card in figure 1 is not ‘Inez’? Does the style of the message perhaps suggest a female sender?


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