Saturday, March 19, 2016

Happy birthday to Master Robert Jones of York, Pennsylvania

This ornate postcard was mailed to Master Robert Jones of 433 South Duke Street in York, Pennsylvania. It was postmarked on September 5, 1922 — nearly 94 years ago. The message on the back, in flowery cursive, states: "May you live too [sic] enjoy many more happy Birthdays. From Mrs. Shaffer Supt. of Cradle Roll."

Cradle rolls are lists of the babies and toddlers of a church's members and have often been used for precisely this purpose — to send out birthday greetings.

While it was mailed in 1922, the postcard itself is copyright 1913 by artist C.M. Burd. That's Clara Miller Burd, who lived from 1873 to 1933. More of her work can be found at, Pinterest and this website by Denise Ortakales.

Here's the full text from the front of the postcard, which was published by The Westminster Press of Philadelphia:

"First Birthday
Member of
The Cradle Roll

Dear little burden,
light and warm,
So soft against
my shoulder curled;
Strange, I should bear upon one arm
The weight — in love —
of all the world!"

The verse portion of that is attributed to Nancy Byrd Turner.

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