Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Cards to the Howe Family, circa 1900 - 1935 (Part 3)

Finally! Christmas is almost here. It's a perfect time to look through the last batch of holiday cards received by the Howe-Salyers family of Carrollton, Kentucky, mostly in the 1920s and '30s. At the end of the post are "happy New Year" cards that may be the most charming in the entire collection.

History abounds in these cards and seals. These early Christmas Seals from 1933 remind us that even at Christmas, people were fearful of one disease over all others: tuberculosis. In 1904, the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis (now the American Lung Association) began a unified, nationwide fight against the disease. Three years later, in what is thought to be the first direct-mail fundraiser in the U.S., a volunteer named Emily Bissell designed and sold the first Christmas Seals. The successful program continues to this day, 110 years later.

Another reminder of health issues of the day is this image (right), a cartoon of a little girl dressed as a nurse. My research of the image didn't turn up specific information, but I found enough info to develop a theory:
I believe the illustration is by Grace G. Drayton, creator of The Campbell Soup Company's iconic "Campbell Kids" and "Dolly Dingle," who gained popularity in storybooks and as paper dolls, figurines, and toys. The style of the cap seems consistent with caps worn by nurses around the time of World War 1. Then there's the flaming plum pudding, a.k.a. Christmas pudding. Such a British tradition! Could this be a nod to the alliance between the U.S. and England during the war? These are just my musings. Do you have ideas about the image?

Below are some traditional cards that I think date to the 1930s.

(The writing says "For Will and the boys, meaning William Levi Salyers and his sons Bob, Jim, and David.)
The initials at the top right stand for William Levi Salyers and his wife Sarah Howe Salyers. I'm unsure about the reference to "your Scotch cousin – Ruth R." I'll be researching that soon.

Last but not least, a few cards specific to New Year greetings. These were in the same scrapbook with the cards from the 1930s, but (with the one exception dated 1912) I have no information on when they were printed or received. The art on these cards makes me think they date to pre-1920.

So concludes the holiday card posts for this season. To see cards Sarah Eva Howe and her parents received in the 1890s and early 1900s, please view the post dated December 18, 2016.

Best wishes to all for a happy holiday season. May 2018 bring you only good surprises!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Cards to the Howe Family, circa 1900 - 1935 (Part 2)

Today we take a look at more Christmas cards delivered to the home of Will and Sarah Howe Salyers in Carrollton, Kentucky.

First, two cards with a Santa theme. My best guess is that they arrived in the mailbox between 1925 and 1935.

Next, three charming cards featuring dogs. The Howe-Salyers family had several dogs during the years their children were growing up.
 This dog-themed card is so unusual that I'm included both the cover and the inside. The sender, "Snapp," was a friend of the family's first-born, Bob.

 Another popular theme for Christmas cards: snow!

Businesses sent or gave Christmas cards in the 1930s, just as they do today. Eldest son Bob got this card at a holiday party hosted by his employer, Moore Brothers Company, distributor of stoves and furnaces. Bob noted on the card that Mrs. Moore gave him (and probably every male employee) a necktie. Bob's dad, also a Moore employee, no doubt got one, too.

In the third and final part of this series, I'll post the last of the 1930s-era holiday cards, including some Happy New Year greetings.

Best wishes for a wonderful week leading up to Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas Cards to the Howe Family, circa 1900 - 1935 (Part 1)

Among the most popular posts in this blog have been those featuring antique and vintage greeting cards. Between now and December 25, I'll post Christmas cards and letters from the collection of Sarah Eva Howe Salyers of Carrollton, Kentucky. Few of the cards are dated, but I believe the cards in today's post date from the first quarter of the 1900s.

First, an advertising card sent from Wolf Wile's, a department store in Lexington. On the inside are directions for transforming the card into a kazoo-type toy.

Next, a letter from Santa, addressed to Sarah's son Bob (Robert King Salyers, 1907-1977). This is one of the few items we can date a card not only to a year but to a specific day: Dec. 12, 1911. Note that in those days, the recipient's name and city were a sufficient address on an envelope in a small town. The post office staff likely knew everybody in town. The stamp has disappeared, but research indicates that the cost of sending first-class mail in 1911 was 2 cents (comparable to 51 cents in 2015).

Now, cards to the Howe-Salyers family from friends and relatives.

 I hope you enjoyed these old cards. I'll be posting more cards and holiday notes between now and Christmas Day. In the meantime, I hope you're enjoying these busy days leading up to Dec. 25.