Welcome in 2022! Vintage New Years Postcards.
Just before the end of the 2021, I was hunting in an antiques mall in Annapolis, Maryland when I came across three displayed New Years Postcards. 'Hello, please and thank you!' I said to the universe as I plucked the three -- $4 each! -- from the display. Read on for what these treasures from 1909 and 1911 tell us in both message and symbolic meaning about the dawn of a New Year -- over 110 years ago!
"Best Wishes for the New Year"
In this brightly colored card from December 20th, 1909 we see Holly and Berries decorating the frame. The Winter season is ripe with Holly and Berries. The Celts venerated the plant for its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions while later Christians used the thorns and red color as teaching tools for Christ's suffering. Either way you interpret the meaning this is a beautiful early 20th Century example of a New Years Postcard.
On the reverse we have a postmark dating the letter to 1909 from Wilmington Delaware to a Ms. Rs. Miller in Pennsylvania (PA). The message reads:
"Blanche has been very bad. The doctor was no good and did not take the proper care of her. We have a good Dr now. He operated and on her breast and it has a hole in in it 3 inches long and 3 inches deep. I got my raise on Dec 13. Give my regards to all. Phoebe was here with us. Mother and Geo coming for Xmas.
"A Joyous New Year"
Here again on this card dated December 28th, 1909 we see the Holly & Berries motif but this time accompanied by three rotund Bells! The ringing of Bells to represent a union or celebration dates back to Pagan times and is still practiced in contemporary times. The ringing of New Years Bells marks a beginning, rather than an end -- a rather fitting, and optimistic design choice I think!
This sparse card tells us little but we do know from the postmark the date and its departure from a Post Office in Maryland. It was sent to a Mr. Stewart Oliphant in Vienna, Maryland "in care of Mrs. Ella Oliphant" by a Hilda and Yoode. While we get little of the penmanship, what we do see is a treat!
"Jan 1st With Best Wishes New Year"
Not that I'd play favorites but of the three I am most drawn to this third and final example dated December 30, 1911. Again we see the Holly & Berries, yet this time we're treated to a concert of sorts from a number of larks! The confusing typography at the bottom of the card while somewhat inelegant now was likely the height of sophistication when our little writer chose this card.
The note on this 1911 gem might be one of my favorites in the archive. Written to a Mr. G.W. Bloxom in Virginia and posted from Salisbury, Maryland this little card tells the intended:
"Dear Pa, We arrive all O.K. I am going to the moving pictures we are all swell. From Perry."
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