Thursday, July 21, 2016

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 256


This C. T. American Art Colored postcard was sent from Palm Springs, California and is dated 1940.  There are two numbers in the lower margin, 237 at the left and 1671-29 on the right.  It has the Curt Teich logo on the reverse.

This evergreen plant is a Yucca, sometimes also identified as small soapweed, Spanish bayonet, Great Plains Yucca and beargrass.  The flower stalk grows to about 39 inches (100 cm) with the blossoms that hang downward a white or pale green color and long, narrow leaves.  The Yucca fruit is in the form of seeds found in capsules after the flowers have finished.  The plant is native to North America and is found from the Canadian Prairies south to Texas and New Mexico.  It has adapted to dry growing conditions.  

It is quite an interesting and attractive looking plant.  Although this is hardly a desert climate the Yucca seems to grow well in the Pacific Northwest as I have seen many in various parts of the city.  The picture on the card does not really do it justice.  Below are some of photographs of a local Yucca plant in bloom.  The flowers are large so it is not uncommon to find the heavy flower head leaning or drooping unless the stalk is staked up.


Native Americans such as the Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Lakota and other tribes have used this plant for medicinal purposes.  All parts of the plant are used in various ways
including the sharp, tough pointy leaves that can scratch exposed skin and hurt .  For example, the seedpods are boiled and used for food by the Zuni people.  The leaves have been made into brushes to use in the making or decorating of pottery and ceremonial masks.  They are also soaked and softened to aid in the making of mats, rope and other articles.  Dried leaves are split and woven to make water carrying head pads.  Peeled roots pounded make suds to use for washing hair, wool garments and blankets. 

Warren G. Harding, 1930 stamp

I found the stamp on this postcard to be interesting as I had never seen a United States stamp with a value of 1-½  cents before.  It is part of the Presidential stamp series this one featuring Warren G. Harding, who was the 29th President of the United States.  A two-cent stamp in his honor was issued in 1923 shortly after Harding died suddenly from a heart attack in 1923.  Two years later in 1925 1-½ profile stamp in a different color was issued.  In 1930 at the request of President Harding’s widow, Florence, who provided a photograph of her late husband for the design of this new 1-½  stamp, this full face version replaced the 1925 profile version. 

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