The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Postcards in the (home) archive 1944-1945

a guest post by Stephen Grant

Fig. 1. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1944
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on address side:
THE WASHINGTON NEWS COMPANY THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14 436
‘COLOURPICTURE’: PUBLICATION, CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD

Written message:
“Hello Little Chum, Haven’t seen this building as yet. Honestly Pat this Wash. gets me – Guess I’m just a country girl. Hope everything is going along smoothly at the office and with all your men –– Say hello to Paul for me! I’ll write soon and in your free moments drop me a line –– Love ‘Ele’ Just in case – 4768 – 21st Rd. N. Arlington, Va.”

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

Postmark: ARLINGTON, VA. MAR 11, 1944

Destination: Rochester, NY.

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Ele, the “country girl,” laments to office mate Patty there’s something about Washington, D.C. that gets her down. We hope she’ll visit the Folger before long.

Fig. 2. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1944
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 is librarian, and Joseph Q. Adams director of research. 65827 UNCO THE UNION NEWS COMPANY TRADE MARK REGISTERED

Written message:
“Have been having a delightful 2 days visit with Magie & Frank Perham. Frank has grown old & looks lots like his mother. They have a charming antique shop. Had lunch this morning with “Fluffy” Kimball & she hasn’t changed a bit. Love Mary.”

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 12 APR 13, 1944

Destination: Lowell Mass.

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Old-home week for Mary visiting the Perhams in Washington, D.C and reporting back to Flora in Lowell, Mass. about how her host has aged. Lunch with Fluffy and a tour of the Perhams’ antique shop picked her up.

Fig. 3. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1944
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
THE WASHINGTON NEWS COMPANY THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES
14 436 ‘COLOURPICTURE’: PUBLICATION, CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD

Written message:
“Dear Maudie, I got here OK. Been having a wonderful time. I saw Wang, he & Johnnie met me at the depot. Johnnie wants me to stay here and get a job. Gee I sure would like too. I’ll see what turns out by the end of the week. Johnny had to go back to camp last night but will be here this week end, we hope. I’ll write later Love Pauline.”

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. SEP 11, 1944

Destination: Eau Claire, Wis

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Pauline coming from Wisconsin may be job hunting in Washington, D.C. She’ll give it a week. Maudie will certainly be interested in how it turns out.

A depot is a railroad or bus station.

Another coil stamp (imperforate on two sides) on the 1938 Washington stamp.

Fig. 4. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1944
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
THE WASHINGTON NEWS COMPANY
THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14 436 ‘COLOURPICTURE’: PUBLICATION,
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD

Written message:
“An hour wait in W. Greetings & best wishes from Nita.”

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 12 OCT 5, 1944

Destination: Milledgeville, Ga.

Color type: color

In pencil

Dealer price: $2

Commentary:
Margaret in Georgia got very little news from Nita. Did Nita manage to find a Folger postcard for sale and buy it during her hour’s wait?

Note cutter error left margin, picture side.

Fig. 5. Fountain with Puck figure by Brenda Putnam 1944
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side: Nothing

Printed on address side:
POST CARD The Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, Administered by the Trustees of Amherst College. The Fountain, with the figure of Puck by Brenda Putnam. A Midsomers Night Dreame, Act III, Scene 2 “Lord, what fooles these mortals be!” Photograph by Horydczak Printed by the Meriden Gravure Company, Meriden, Conn. THIS SIDE FOR CORRESPONDENCE THIS SIDE FOR ADDRESS

Written message:
“10-15-1944 Left the office early yesterday and came home and doctored up and so was not disappointed today. I would have been much [sic] I have gone to infirmary again and not been able to go on Sunday. Went to Cong. Church and this P.M. went over to the Shakespeare Library. It is indeed beautiful and most interesting. Reading room roped off but we could see in cases containing so many books, plays, music, boxes of every sort made from wood of mulberry trees planted by Shakespeare, china figures, and oh so many pictures to be seen. The ceiling of the theatre had this inscription ‘All the world’s a stage and all men and women merely players.’ Love, Alma O. Andersen”

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 26 OCT 16, 1944

Destination: West De Pere, Wisconsin

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Yay, Alma O.! Three cheers for your lengthy, detailed, and moving tribute to the Folger of 1944, 12 years after it opened. And you worked in a church service to boot. A legible lot on a small card.

Fig. 6. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1945
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 THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14436 “COLOURPICTURE” PUBLICATION CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD

Written message:
“Thanks for the nice card hope you will like this one, Ans. again.”
MRS. SARA WOLF, 724 Cumberland St. Lebanon, Penn.
(name & address stamp)

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

Postmark: LEBANON, PA JAN 6, 1945

Destination: New Albany, Indiana

Color type: Color

Dealer price: $1

Dealer code: 1/8 = one in a set of 8 similar postcards

Commentary:
The two ladies, Sara in Lebanon, Penn. and Virginia in New Albany, Ind., have a steady deltiological relationship. The two eagerly exchange postcards—one at a time—to boost each other’s collection. More power to them! Who knows how they met? There is nothing to lead us to believe that Sara went to Washington or the Folger. She mailed the card from Lebanon, Pa.

Fig. 7. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1945
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY. WASHINGTON, D.C. 14

Printed on address side:
PUB. BY CALVERT NEWS CO., BALTIMORE, MD.
The Library was a gift of the late Henry C. Folger, and the collection includes more than 70,000
volumes as well as pictures and relics of the poet’s work and life. 10014 POST CARD

Written message:
“Mar. 13-45, My dear little Rebecca and E. G. Ann Grandmother thinks of all of you so much. Wish we don’t live so far away from each other. You two and Brenda would have a nice time playing out. Aunt M. hasn’t heard from Bob since the 9th she knows he has gone to Sea she will not know what she can do until she hears from bob again as to where he will be, but K. and baby R.L. are doing fine I am real well we keep busy all the time, wish you could come to see us. Love to Mother, Daddie, and each of you in turn Grandmother B. 4563 Quaker St. N.E. Washington D.C.”

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 8 MAR 14, 1945

Destination: Hampton, Virginia,

Color type: Color

Dealer price: $3

Commentary:
A doting Grandmother B. from Washington, D.C. has a hand difficult at times to read. But without a doubt she has a huge heart! Would you believe, it; I found three postcards from Grandmother B. sent to Barhams?

Curious flourish to put a comma after the name of the state in the address. Zip codes would not be introduced until 18 years later.

Fig. 8. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1945
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side:
115––Folger Shakespearian Library, Washington, D.C. 4A-H1791

Printed on address side:
SCENIC ART SERIES, B. S. REYNOLDS CO., WASHINGTON, D.C.
GENUINE CURTTEICH-CHICAGO “C.T. ART-COLORTONE” POST CARD (REG. U.S.OFF.PAT.OFF.) POST CARD

Written message:
“June 7 – Had a fine trip to the airport – it was wonderful watching the ships come in & go out – We are now settled in a room with Mr. Chase & are very comfortable. Love, R&E”

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 19 JUN 7, 1945

Destination: Milwaukee 3, Wisconsin

Color type: Color

In pencil

Dealer price: $1.50, $6 (note the markup)

Commentary:
The General (Billy) Mitchell International Airport gave R&E a superb view of ships coming and going on Lake Michigan. The ménage à trois with Mr. Chase in Washington will hopefully keep R&E’s spirits raised.

Some of you will have noted that this is one more copy of the Curt Teich postcard we admired earlier.

A curious fountain pen ink stain on two sides of the card.

Fig. 9. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1945
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14 436 UNCO POST CARD

Written message:
“Greetings and best wishes. Hope you are enjoying your rest. James C. F. Gengo.”

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 11 JUN 25, 1945

Destination: Brooklyn, N. Y.

Color type: Color.

Dealer code: 32395

Commentary:
Pretty penmanship by Gengo to Regalbuto resting up in Brooklyn. Uncluttered address side of the postcard conveying simple sentiments, no reference to the weather, no sense of observation or sharing of exploits.

Fig. 10. Folger Theatre foyer, Photograph by Horydczak 1945
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side: Nothing

Printed on address side:
POST CARD Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, Administered by the Trustees of Amherst College. Theatre foyer, Photograph by Horydczak THIS SIDE FOR CORRESPONDENCE Printed by THE MERIDEN GRAVURE COMPANY, Meriden, Conn. THIS SIDE FOR ADDRESS

Written message:
June – 30 was here yesterday & felt you might like one for your collection – It has been warm but I’ve been having so much fun seeing all my important friends & being entertained and carefree Stella”

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 12 JUN 30, 1945

Destination: La Porte, Indiana

Color type: Color

Commentary:
Fun-loving and carefree Stella has another virtue: thinking of Mrs. McLane’s postcard collection when she’s on the road. Let’s hear it for two more female correspondents and deltiology in the 1940s.

Stella is adamant about not writing smaller on the address side. This is the only postcard I know of the Folger downstairs. This foyer often contains coat racks; it leads the main restrooms for theatre-goers. I love this image Horydczak took! I’ve never been there when the theatre foyer’s been empty and quiet. It’s so bustling during theatre intermission.

Fig. 11. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1945
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

Printed on picture side: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C. 109 14436

Printed on address side: Sold by Washington tobacco Co., Washington, D.C. THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES “COULOUR PICTURE” PUBLICATION, CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD

Written message:
911 Maryland Ave., N.E. Oct. 22 Dear Edith, I have just returned from N.Y. Found your “sweet” card. ??? your ex picked me to be back here on my birthday which was Sat. I had nearly a week in N.Y. perfect weather. Went up the Hudson one day, so beautiful up there Emma.

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

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D. C. 16 OCT 23, 1945

Cancellation on face

Destination: Utica, N.Y.

Color type: Color

Dealer price: 75c

Commentary:
Nice that a Folger postcard helps to keep the touching friendship between Emma and Edith alive. “Cancellation on face” does not occur often. It signified that the cancellation machine was applied to both the picture and the message side of the postcard perhaps by advertence.

Fig. 12. Folger Shakespeare Library from Northwest 1945
Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant

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

Printed on address side:
THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14 436 “COLODRPICTURE” [sic] PUBLICATION, CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. UNCO POST CARD

Written message:
“Dec 3rd My dear Willie and Marcus, I call you last night over Phone but no answer sorry not to talk to you but glad you could go out. I’ll call you collect and then send you the money because I don’t want to charge calls to this phone and cannot get to pay phones. I always try to call you on Thurs. that way. I know you are busy now getting ready for Xmas Ruth and Bob expect to go to Winchester Va. very soon. I’m getting on nicely with my work will stay here for a while I’d like to know what the children want for Xmas. pocket book glass or toy. Am on my way to meet Ruth in town today We’ll try to shop a little. Lots of love to all, Mother B. Waverly Sanitarium Rockville M.D.

Postage stamp: 3c purple Jefferson, Scott #807 Presidential Issue 1938

Postmark: WASHINGTON, D.C. 13 DEC 3, 1945

Postal slogan: MAIL EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS

Destination: Hampton, Virginia

Color type: Color

Dealer price: $3

Commentary:
One of the longer and more difficult messages to decipher comes from Mother B., a noble, loving Waverly Sanitarium resident in Rockville, Md. It describes the ordeal folks in the 1940s went through to reach each other by phone when most families had no telephone in the home, let alone the pocket. You used pay phones and for convenience called “collect,” where the receiving party is charged.

Just as the three generations are figuring out which Xmas gifts would please, the post office has gotten out from a crowded box in a closet its seasonal cancel, MAIL EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS.

Mother B. was ahead of her time. Postcards did not require 3c postage until Aug. 1, 1958. The 2c charge for a postcard stamp went into effect on Jan. 1, 1952.

This is the first postcard in the Folger collection sent after the end of the Second World War on Sept. 3, 1945.

22 receiving states 1934–45
9 NY
6 PA
5 OH
5 WI
5 WV
4 CT
4 MD
4 NJ
4 VA
3 MA
2 IN
2 ME
1 CA
1 DE
1 GA
1 IL
1 KS
1 MI
1 MN
1 NC
1 SC
1 TE

Receiving country:
1 France

N = 64

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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