Wednesday, June 5, 2013

#24-26: Men getting in trouble (Postcard Blogathon 2013)

As we near the end of this Blogathon, here are three vintage postcards with similar themes. And I'm not talking about the hats these guys are wearing.

Title: "Waiting and watching"
Publisher: There's a tiny logo in the lower-right corner on the front. It has the initials J.K. on top of a sideways crescent with the initials N.Y. inside.
Year: Not listed. Pre-1907, though, because it's not a divided-back postcard.
Used: Yes. It was postmarked on July 20 in Philadelphia, but, maddeningly, the year is unreadable. The postmark contains the designation "STATION C." It was mailed to Frank Eben in Reading, Pennsylvania. The note on the front states: "Have sent you a suit case by Express 'prepaid' today be on the lookout. R.E."
Comments: Gulp. The stern-looking redhead has a flyswatter, black cat and candle at her disposal as she awaits the drunken mess coming in the door. I don't think she needs any of those things, though. I suspect one laser-eyed look from her is going to sober that guy up with the realization that he's going to be in the doghouse for a long time.

Title: "The average income of a Married Man is 3 A.M."
Publisher: Unclear. There is the following notation on the back of the card: "Ser. 1007-12 Des. Drunks"
Used: Yes. It was postmarked in October 1919 and sent to Mrs. Emma Eben in Reading, Pennsylvania. The message simply states: "I hope this is not the case with my hubby. Violet." Were people trying to tell the Ebens something?
Comments: This has the funniest wordplay of the three postcards. And it also has the least-scary wife. She doesn't look like someone who is going to berate him too badly. She just looks concerned. And maybe it's not even his fault. Maybe he had to wade into shallow water to save some drowning kittens and he took off his shoes so he wouldn't get them wet. Yeah, that's what happened. And then some onlookers gave him a nip of whiskey so that he wouldn't catch a chill. He's a hero, you see!

Title: "PEACE at any PRICE"
Publisher: None listed.
Year: Not listed.
Used: No.
Comments: Did this man even do anything to warrant being in trouble and handing over his pay? Why does she have that rolling pin? Clearly, this respectable fellow is in an abusive relationship. He should seek help immediately.

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Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

1 comment:

  1. With reference to the card postmarked in October 1919, you asked, "Were people trying to tell the Ebens something?"

    By 1919, Ebens (in the plural) would have been sadly inaccurate. Frank Eben died in 1912 at the young age of 29. Source:

    This is substantiated by this 1914 newspaper in which Emma E. Eben is listed as the "administratrix of Frank W. Eben":

    Perhaps this explains the use of the title "Mrs. Emma Eben", as opposed to "Mrs. Frank Eben", a form of address which would have been common in the day.