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

Thanksgiving Greetings: (almost) Wordless Wednesday – Vintage Postcard #3

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.

“Hello, Donal,” says Ralph of South Connellsville, Pennsylvania.  “How are you.  I am well and go to school nearly every day.”  Ralph set down his Thanksgiving greetings in late November 1909, perhaps as a way of practicing his cursive.

The card he selected was printed in Germany, with the attention to detail and use of deep colors a collector comes to expect of German cards.  The trademark is an unfamiliar girl at the mailbox illustration; this greeting appears to be #2140 in a series.
On the front, a traditional Eastern Wild Turkey is pictured in front of a patriotic banner.  The embossed gold oval frames a still life of fruit and flowers.  The white lilies were considered symbols of majesty and honor, while strawberries were meant to recall the sweetness in life and character.

(almost) Wordless Wednesday – Vintage Postcard #1: Thanksgiving Greetings

I have posted vintage postcards from my grandfather’s 1906-1910 Postcard Collection on and off for the past year.   S L O W L Y  the collection is getting digitized.  But there are a great many of you who come to my site specifically for the postcards and I think y’all deserve a little system tweak.  Starting today I will diligently work to post the collection, making my (almost) Wordless Wednesday entries a simple prompt to keep the Donald C. Minor Collection coming.

Postmarked Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, November 24, 1909

This card was sent to seven year old Donald by cousins, Janet and Ivon, visiting from their home in Iowa.  “Hello,” they said.  ” How are you?  We have to hurry and go to bed so we can get up early and help kill the pigs.  Come over.”

I would have passed on THAT invitation.     ;)

But the turkey, in his white bow-tie and patriotic top hat, is just begging me to break into song!  I would love to accept that invitation.  Balancing on one leg, our Thanksgiving bird uses his other talon to crank the Victrola, an internal horn phonograph which first appeared in 1906.  Thanksgiving Greetings indeed!

Postmarked Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, November 24, 1909

Follow this link to listen to a 1909 recording by Reed Miller, “In the Garden of My Heart.”

Top Hat on the Turkey: A Vintage Postcard for Wordless Wednesday

In keeping with the tradition begun by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, President Theodore Roosevelt issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation in October 1908:

“Once again the season is at hand, when according to the ancient custom of our people, it becomes the duty of the President to appoint a day of prayer and thanksgiving to God.

. . . .Upon material well-being as a foundation must be raised the lofty life of the spirit, if this nation is to properly fulfill its great mission and to accomplish all that we so ardently hope and desire.  The things of the body are good; the thing of the intellect better; but best of all are the things of the soul; for in the nation as in the individual, in the long run it is character that counts. Let us therefore as a people set our faces resolutely against evil, and with broad charity, with kindness and goodwill toward all men, but with unflinching determination to smile down wrong, strive with all the strength that is given us for righteousness in public and in private life.

Now, therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt,  President of the United States, set apart Thursday the 26th day of November next as a day of general thanksgiving and prayer, and on that day I recommend that the people shall cease from their daily work, and in their homes or in their churches, meet devoutly to thank the Almighty for the many and great blessings they have received in the past, and to pray that they may be given strength so to order their lives as to reserve a continuation of these blessings in the future.”

This turkey donned a patriotic top hat and set out to wish six year old Donald C. Minor a Happy Thanksgiving.  Aunt Sarah Minor McClure attached a one cent stamp and sent the German-made card to R.F. D. 1, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania on November 3, 1908.   She signed the back “From Aunt Sarah”; the date 11-24-’08 was added later by another hand.

This card is the first in a series of Thanksgiving Vintage Postcards.