Thanksgiving Joys: (almost) Wordless Wednesday – Vintage Postcards #4

This series digitizes a set of postcards collected by my grandfather Donald C. Minor from 1906-1910. 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.

Thanksgiving Series No. 7

The scan hardly does this beautiful card justice.  The pumpkin and its vine are both embossed and outlined in reflective gold, accentuating the impression that the vine is in front of the fence.  The Eastern Wild Turkey is also embossed, though less so than the pumpkin, and is accurately illustrating this species – its face flushed blue from excitement, the beak’s long fleshy snood and throat’s wattle a brilliant red.  Finally, flat with no embossing, a lane leads from the turkey to a distant farmhouse.  Such depth of field!

Thanksgiving Joys were sent from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania to eight year old Donald by his sister, Helen,  on 22 November 1910 :

This turkey looks as if it would make a pretty good Thanksgiving dinner.  Don’t you think.  How are you?  Bye! Bye!  Helen

Postcard Advent Calendar, December 23: The Blue Boy’s Best Christmas Wishes

On this tenth day of the Postcard Advent Calendar I share a card sent by Helen Stephenson Minor to her 7 year old brother, Donald Corbly Minor. At first glance I was struck by the resemblance of the child to Thomas Gainsborough’s portrait of  The Blue Boy, 1770. Note the similarities in the Victorian illustration and the Gainsborough painting;  in each a boy is depicted wearing a blue suit, edged with lace, and paired with white stockings and knickers.  A hat is festooned with feathers and the shoes tied with ribbons.  The object of each child’s concentration differs, but the position of the legs is identical.The costume predates The Blue Boy by about 130 years, leading many art experts to wonder if Gainsborough created this painting as a tribute to the great master painter Van Dyke.

Did this Victorian postcard artist pay homage to Gainsborough or Van Dyke?  Whether Helen appreciated the resemblance or not, she sent the blue boy postcard from her school in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania on December 13, 1910:

How are you getting along at school by this time?  I am just ready to go to class. What do you want for Xmas?  Tell mamma and papa I will write a letter soon.  Have you had Billy hitched to the sleigh yet and how does he go?  How much vacation do you have Christmas?  Is there anything going on down there Xmas.  With love to all from Helen.

Ditto, Helen.  With love to all–Best Christmas Wishes!