Thursday, August 2, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 50

Novelty postcard used as party invitation

Novelty postcards such as the one shown above were popular in the early 1900s.  They were used as advertisements, holiday greetings, sometimes in place of smaller traditional calling cards, and in this case as a hand delivered invitation to a birthday party. 

Edw. Stern & Co., Inc. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania published the card identified and numbered as Art Series No. 227.  The front of the card has the title:  “In Disgrace” with the copyright by R. Hill dated 1903.  Undivided cards like this were in use in the United States from the end of 1901 to 1907.  Until 1907 messages were written on the front across the picture side of the card with the backside or verso reserved for the address and stamp only. 

At the bottom the invitation says “Cards without Music.”  The Lees were well known for entertaining, often played cards, bridge or whist primarily, with music an important part in the activities—I.C. Lee, Harald Landaas and Didrik Thompson were members of the Norwegian Male Chorus.  Both Petra Lee and Wilhelmina Landaas were members of the Helpmates the organization for the wives of the chorus members.  Several other members of the extended family played musical instruments, piano, violin and guitar.  The invitation suggests that after the party for one-year old Hans the adults would retire to play card games but in this instance no musical entertainment was to be expected. 

Helpmates:  front row:  3rd from left, Petra Lee; middle row, 1st on right, Wilhelmina Landaas

I can remember my grandmother going downtown to play cards when she lived with us.  She would have been in her late seventies at the time.  She often won small jackpots and was delighted whenever she did.  Note that Miss Topsy, the Lee’s well beloved dog, is also included in the invitation.  I think I mentioned in a previous post that Topsy was a great favorite among the family and friends of the Lees.  She went everywhere with them, even birthday and card parties it seems. 

Miss Topsy

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