Monday, August 15, 2016

"The Toboggan Girl" and a message from a "P.C. Friend"

During each of the past two winters, I meant to write about this postcard, as that would have been the season-appropriate time to do so. But things kept getting shuffled and other pieces of paper kept grabbing my attention instead, and I never got around to this piece of ephemera. But it's a really cool piece. And I don't want to end up forgetting about it again next winter. So I'm presenting it tonight. Perhaps it can serve to give some cool thoughts to those of you who are suffering through the same hot and stifling conditions that we've had here in the Northeast U.S. for many weeks now.

Autumn will be here soon. Promise!

Anyway, this is a really striking postcard. The little blue blobs — which most would call a blemish and flaw — add to its appeal in my eyes.1 This is a hand-colored card, and the artist did a really fine job. There's not much bleeding or sloppy work to be noticed by the naked eye.

The caption at the top states: "Canadian Winter Sports — 'The Toboggan Girl.'" Underneath that, someone has written: "M. Edna Rourke, Montreal, Can." The back of the card has a long message and an addressee, but no evidence that there was ever a stamp or postmark. Perhaps it was mailed in an envelope or hand-delivered. There is no year or dated noted anywhere.2

The postcard is addressed to Mr. or Ms. A.S. Leid in Adamstown, Pennsylvania (a borough in Lancaster County). The message is partially obscured because the blue blobs bleed through. But here's what I could make out:
"Panama. I had quite a number of foreign cards before I joined [?] the P.C.H. [?] I often wear the costume the Toboggan girl has on during the [blobbed out — winter, perhaps?] when I go snowshoeing or any of the winter sports. We have great fun here in winter time. Hoping to hear from you soon. Sincerely,
Your P.C. Friend
M. Edna Rourke"
Postcard exchange clubs were very common in the early 1900s, especially among women. It appears as if this card might have been a part of one of those exchanges, though it remains unclear whether it was ever mailed and/or delivered. Given that the addressee is in my neck of the woods, I'm betting it was delivered, though.

1. See Papergreat's Water-Stained Works of Art series:
2. We do know that the postcard was published by The Valentine & Sons' of Montreal and Toronto.

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