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!

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