Friday, December 7, 2012

Edward Drosback's 1932 Christmas card to John Bryant

Eighty years ago — with the United States in the early years of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt preparing to take office and Buck Rogers hitting the airwaves on CBS radio — Edward Drosback of Maplewood, New Jersey, mailed this elegant silver Christmas card to John Bryant of Annandale, New Jersey.1

The front of the card (above) is not at wide as the interior, which looks like this:

I wonder how many of these cards Drosback had printed? Is this the only one that still exists?2

The Christmas card is still paired with its fancy envelope, too...

The stamp is for the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. According to the terrific website, which covers the history of U.S. postage, this purple 3¢ stamp featuring a sprinter was issued on June 15, 1932. There were more than 168 million copies of this stamp released. Here's more from

"The 3¢ denomination reflected the anticipated increase in first class letter rate from 2¢ to 3¢, which actually took place on July 6 of that year and was printed in the purple of the contemporary three cent stamps. ... The stamps were very popular as souvenir items and as with all of the commemorative stamps of 1932, sufficient numbers were saved that an adequate supply of both stamps exists today."

1. In New Jersey, Annandale is about 35 miles due west of Maplewood.
2. I could not find much online about Edward Drosback and John Bryant. (One of these days, I need to splurge for an subscription.) It appears, though, that Drosback might have been born around 1915-16, which would have made him just a teenager when he mailed this Christmas card. (Obviously, a well-to-do teenager for 1932.)


  1. Ed Drosback was my grandfather. Where did you find this Christmas card?

    1. That's a great question, after all these years. Most likely it came from a lower-end antiques store here in southcentral Pennsylvania. There's one in York New Salem that I frequent, and I know I've purchased Christmas items there. It might also have been purchased for me as a present, by someone who knows I love ephemera, in which case it still probably came from this general part of PA. Sorry I can't be more specific after all this time.