Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kicking off Halloween with a postcard mailed 100 years ago

OK, it's time to kick off the Papergreat Halloween festivities, with the holiday just days away.1 I have a few All Hallows' Eve posts planned, including a nod to last year's Halloween Countdown with some fresh Ephemeral Horrors.

(All of these posts, of course, are contingent upon southcentral Pennsylvania — and the U.S. Northeast in general — surviving the upcoming Frankenstorm.)

Today's cool vintage postcard features an illustration of two kids sitting atop a grinning pumpkin. It's not quite as awesome of some of the "21 Truly Bizarre Vintage Halloween Postcards" that I mentioned in this post last week, but I am quite fond of it. And the side of the card looks like it was gnawed by a werewolf or zombie, so this postcard has character.

And it's 100 years old.

According to the reverse side, this postcard was mailed (for a penny) almost exactly 100 years ago. It was postmarked at 10:30 a.m. on October 30, 1912, in Philadelphia.

The cursive note reads:
"Are you still the little artist you were when you called at 607 Bullitt Building a long time ago? R. Olive Mutchler. 10/29/12."

Bullitt Building was an impressive-looking structure in Philadelphia in its day. It was constructed in 1886 and was apparently one of the largest structures in the city at the time. It seems that a number of different engineering and architectural firms, including Mr. Mutchler's, had offices in Bullitt Building, which no longer exists.

The postcard was mailed to "Miss Mary Silliman" in care of Mr. Edward Silliman of Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania.

According to "Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania 1863-1963, A History," Edward Silliman was a coal operator who was the owner of Silliman's Colliery2, the third president of First National Bank and the president of Mahanoy City Water Company (which is mentioned in the address on the postcard).

I suppose we can assume that Mary was his daughter. And it seems she liked this postcard enough to keep it. Or at least stick it in a drawer.

1. Two previous posts have highlighted my Halloween costumes of the past:
2. The Underground Miners website has a short history and a few photos of Silliman's operation.

1 comment:

  1. I live in the house that was the summer home of the Silliman family and, eventually, Mary's home until her death.
    What a fun thing for me to find so long after you posted it!