Loving Christmas Wishes – on a Vintage Postcard

Among the postcards in my grandfather’s collection is this lovely set of bells.  They look to be mounted to a doorway, to jingle merrily whenever someone comes in from the snowy cold.  This  card is lightly embossed to give the holly sprigs a bit of dimension. It was sent to six year old Donald Minor by his Aunt Sarah McClure from her home in Carmichaels, Pennyslvania on December 23, 1908.  

One of the most fascinating designs on this card appears in the upper left hand corner – on the back.  The publishers trademark of the International Art Publishing Company is itself a work of art: an eagle sits atop a globe, which is ringed by a painter’s palette and a quiver of paintbrushes.

In the words of Aunt Sarah, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bells Are Pealing A Merry Christmas!

What a captivating smile this little boy has!  Across the century I can still feel its warmth.  Silhouetted against an embossed gold bell, the child’s Christmas outfit looks snug and warm, with a red shirt peeking from beneath the green corduroy coat. I would love to have that matching hat with its neatly trimmed brown fur.  

The card was sent from a Morgantown friend or relative to my grandfather, Donald C. Minor.  On December 12, 1909,  Genevia B. wrote:

“Hello, Donald.  This is my Merry Christmas greetings to you. I hope Santa will be good to you.”

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

May Good Luck and Christmas Greetings Fall Upon You!

Two red-breasted songsters perch on a sprig of holly, which is decorated with a sprig of mistletoe and a golden horseshoe.  This brightly colored card is meant to bring the recipient great cheer, that is for certain.  Published by the New York-based Samuel Langdorf and Company*, number 841 was one of several designs the company printed in Saxony, Germany in 1910.  

Donald C. Minor received this card from his cousin Ralph December 20, 1910. 

“Hello Donal. How are you? What do you want Santa to bring you? I want a gun but mama says i can not have it so I will haft (sic) to take what ever I get. Your friend, Ralph”

There are other postcards from Ralph and his younger brother, Blair, in my grandfather’s postcard collection.  Using the search engine of Ancestry.com I entered Ralph as living in South Connellsville, PA in 1910 with a sibling, Blair.  The return included a interesting match: Ralph Younkin, 10, son of Milton R and May Waychoff Younkin, living with Blair, 8, and grandmother, Jennie Waychoff, in Connellsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania.  I have researched the Minor family fairly well, and the Younkin surname is unfamiliar.  Donald’s mother is a Stephenson, and I wonder as I research her background if Younkin/Waychoff will show up.  Interesting how a fascination with Christmas postcards intertwines with a family history.  Merry Christmas, indeed!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

*The winged orb on the back of the card is identified by the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City as the trademark for Samuel Langford and Company, publishers from 1906-1918.  Accessed on December 16, 2011.

Christmas Presents of Christmas Past: 1960

If safe-keeping is any indication of what we value, then a Santa gift from 1960 must be one of my most important treasures.  Both the doll and the doll bed, complete with original bedclothes sewn by my mother, are stored in my attic, saved for some distant day when a grandchild comes to visit.  

Christmas For The Birds

Born in Greene County, Pennsylvania in 1902, Donald was the youngest son, youngest grandson and youngest cousin of the Francis Marion and Mary Jane Gwynn Minor clan.  His parents, Robert and May Stephenson Minor, sent cards from their travels; his older sister, Helen, sent cards while she was attending school in nearby Waynesburg; aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends sent photocards and holiday greetings from all over the United States with great regularity.  The resulting Postcard Collection is both a family puzzle and a cultural window to the world of Donald Minor during the first decade of the twentieth century.  Today’s card comes from the Christmas Collection.

These American Robins are perched in a shrub, heads turned to some sound – perhaps someone is throwing out a pan of bread crumbs.  Helen Minor, age 17, sent this flock to her eight year old brother, Donald, in 1910.

Dear Brother, How many sleigh rides have you had? Do you slide down hill and skate at school?  I am busy getting read (sic) for examinations now.  Will be through next Wednesday at noon.  So will be home Wed. evening if nothing happens.  

Loving, Helen

This slideshow requires JavaScript.