Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving: Enjoy vintage anthropomorphic vegetables

Please don't look to me for guidance or deep insight on what's going on with these vintage Thanksgiving postcards. I'm as flummoxed as you are.

"I salute thee, Miss Onion"
The gallant radish said.
"Let us have one more round
Ere our spirits are dead
Ere our charms shall
The Thanksgiving table enhance
O grant me, fair onion,
This last Harvest dance."

We're tripping the light fantastic toe
Our growing days are over
No more we'll nod and beckon
To our neighbor fields of clover.
But at the festive table,
Spread for Thanksgiving Day,
Mid sauce and soups and seasoning,
Our smiles shall fade away.

* * *

These split-back cards were published by F.A. Owen Company of Dansville, New York. According to, that company was in business from 1915 to 1927.

The top postcard was addressed — but never stamped or mailed — to Miss Pearle Fitch of Falls, Pennsylvania, an unincorporated riverside community in Wyoming County that I had never heard of and is now on my list of Pennsylvania places to check out. It was "sent" from Margaret Johnson.

Pearle Fitch is listed as being 8 years old in the 1900 census and was likely the daughter of native Pennsylvanian Joseph H. Fitch (1860-1931) and Christine "Chrissie" Sives Fitch (1867-1927), who was born in England.

Final note: The phrase "tripping the light fantastic" is way, way older than you might imagine. Most say its first appearance in print came in Milton's "L'Allegro," circa 1645:

Com, and trip it as ye go,
On the light fantastick toe.

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