When my kids were little (and I needed an antique store shopping fix) I would give them each a few dollars and tell them to ‘go crazy’ (not literally, though Chase did do that a few times).
My daughter, Bryn, however, found that she could buy pretty postcards with kittens playing with yarn printed in pastels- so cute and quiet (Chase probably was hoping for matchbooks and pocket knives).
One October afternoon, on just such an outing, I joined my children in the plunder of a bin of ephemera and was struck by the beauty and colors and content of mass produced sentiment, otherwise known as, vintage Halloween postcards!
Most were bought for $2, some as high as $8 (all worth 10x that much today).
They have postmarks from as far back as 1906 and beautifully scribed notes, though some are seriously spooky (one informs a grandmother that her grandchild has died of a ‘cough that just wouldn’t go away and the doctor said there’s nothing we could do. But the other hasn’t caught it…yet.”
Such was the way of the world in the early 2oth century- sickness, child labor, the first use of bio-chemical warfare (WWI Mustard Gas) but Americans dreamed big and marched on- sure of the greatness of a future still unknown (and some talented Americans provided a very needed dose of frivolity).
Thank God for Ellen Clapsaddle, Bernhardt Wall, and Frances Brundage (among others) who made a living creating incredible illustrations for ‘nickel stock and a penny’ which could transport across long distances good wishes…
|‘Would You Believe It!”
My first purchase
|“In the Pumpkin Patch”
|“Fortune Telling Cabbages”
|A spooky sampling of my