This illustration of the Easter Bunny was found in the postcard collection of my grandfather, Donald C. Minor, and is one of my very favorite Easter Greetings.
This white rabbit sets out to spread Easter joy bearing an egg-shaped knapsack full of violets, a Victorian symbol of faithfulness and love. Dressed for hiking long distances, our rabbit pairs woolen breeches tailored for his tail with a white shirt and vest. A Fedora and cravat sets off his jaunty suit. In one hand paw he holds a walking stick, and in the other a German porcelain pipe, as if he just removed it from his mouth and is now set to burst into song:
I love to go a-wandering
along the mountain track.
And as I go I love to sing,
A knapsack on my back.
Here comes Peter Cottontail.Hoppin Drivin’ down the bunny trail
Hippity hoppety Hurrying, hurrying,
Easter’s on its way.
Eight year old Ralph sent this card to his friend, my grandfather, Donald C. Minor, in April of 1908. Driving one of those new-fangled automobiles, Peter Cottontail could spread his Easter joy at speeds of up to 45 mph. This snazzy red roadster sports full bicycle fenders and oil lamp headlights; its simple design suggests that the artist is depicting the 1907 Model R, the precursor to the Ford Model T.
I imagine Henry Ford enjoyed the implicit endorsement of such a greeting card–Fords are so affordable at $750 and easy to use even the Easter Bunny wants to drive an automobile!
What a fascinating card! This study in early 20th century greetings was among the postcard collection of my grandfather, Donald C. Minor, of Carmichaels, Pennsylvania. The print assembles several Easter symbols into a Victorian tableau. The young girl leads a Paschal lamb to a garden terrace. There a Victorian lady sits on a balustrade, holding a basket of eggs and a (very subdued) rabbit–both symbols of new life. The space is framed by an urn which depicts spring as a young child happily reclining and as a youthful face surrounded by the season’s bounty. Donald’s mother, May Laura Stephenson Minor, sent him the German card around 1910.
This pretty card was sent to eight year old Donald C. Minor of Carmichaels, Pennyslvania by his cousin, Leora Black of Fort Dodge, Iowa on 20 March 1910. There is no publisher’s trademark on the back, but the message more than makes up for that lack of information.
Dear Cousin: Recieved (sic) your card sometime ago so will send this —– Write again soon. How are you. I am well. We are having just fine weather here. Your lovingly Leora Black
As a postscript Leora added in the top left corner:
R. F. D No 4.
Leora Black was the daughter of Eva Stevenson Black, the sister of May Laura Stevenson Minor, my grandfather’s mom. Born in 1897 Leora communicated with her younger cousin (b. 1902) quite frequently as evidenced by the many cards I am finding in this collection. Perhaps this specific address will lead some cousin to new information about this branch of our family!