Thursday, September 28, 2017

1942 postcard: "Everything is peaceful & quiet here"

Here's a beautiful linen postcard featuring the "World's Largest Bandshell and Open-Air Theater" in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The printed caption on the back of this Genuine Curteich-Chicago "C.T. Art-Colortone" postcard states:
"This majestic structure, built of beautiful coquina shell-rock, towers the Atlantic Ocean, the world's most famous beach, and borders the concrete boardwalk. Late model sound devices are used for staging and broadcasting musical, dramatic and other entertainment programs during both winter and summer seasons."
The bandshell, a Works Progress Administration project, was completed and opened in 1937 and is still around, having celebrated its 80th anniversary this past summer. It is now part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. This weekend, the bandshell is hosting a tribute show to the music of Led Zeppelin.

This postcard was dated May 16, 1942, and mailed to Joseph Barth in Bloomfield, New Jersey. The short note states:
"Everything is peaceful & quiet here. I will hate to leave here, but it will be good to be home again.
Life was hardly peaceful elsewhere in the world on May 16, 1942. Earlier that week, a Royal Navy ship was torpedoed and sunk by German forces off the coast of North Carolina; the Second Battle of Kharkov, which would claim nearly 200,000 lives, was underway; and the Sobibór extermination camp became operational in occupied Poland. An estimated quarter-million Jews would be murdered there.


  1. I love that you include what the sender wrote on the post card :)

  2. There's a decent chance that the recipient of this postcard was:

    Joseph was a widower by 1942 -- his wife Mary had died in 1930 -- so receiving a card signed "Love, Catherine" would not have been scandalous.

    You might wish to inquire with his descendant David Barth:

    Source of the above-listed e-mail address:

    And by the way: "were be murdered"...?

    -- M.F.