Saturday, September 2, 2017

Real photo postcard with a distressing lack of information

Labor Day Weekend Postcard Blogathon #5


As longtime readers of this blog know, I'm as enthusiastic as anyone about ephemera mysteries — old photos and postcards and inscriptions that leave us with very few clues to go on. But sometimes the mysteries get tiring. Sometimes there are too many mysteries, and you wish that someone, a century ago, had taken 30 seconds to jot down a name or a location or what phase the moon was in that night.

This real photo postcard is utterly lacking in identifying information. All I know is that it's an AZO postcard that was produced sometime between 1904 and 1918, based on the four upward-pointing triangles in the stamp box. I bought the postcard in Pennsylvania, so there's a reasonably good chance that this house was in Pennsylvania. But that's it. There's so little hope that this mystery will ever have a resolution.

I'm half-tempted to be an Ephemera Prankster.1 To get some black ink and write — in an old style of script I think I can replicate — some fake identifying information. Then I'd tuck the postcard inside an old book and donate it to a used-book sale.

What would I write? Should I go for something realistic enough to fool future historians?

ME AND MILLIE AT
HOUSE BY SHERMANS CREEK
1910

Or, if I really wanted to throw someone for a loop...

ME AND MILLIE AT
HOUSE BY SHERMANS CREEK, 1910,
BEFORE SHE GOT POSSESSED


Footnote
1. Prior to the publication of this post, a Google search returned the following: No results found for "ephemera prankster". I'm glad we've rectified that.

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