Saturday, October 6, 2018

Saturday's postcard: The Munsey Building for Master Albert

This old postcard, which has been trimmed slightly across the top and the left side, features the Munsey Building and Battle Monument in Baltimore, Maryland. The year "1932" has been written across the top.

According to an article on, the Munsey Building was completed in 1922 and named after publisher Frank Munsey (1854-1925), who had added the Baltimore News to his publishing empire and wanted to move its offices there. The newspaper was later bought by William Randolph Hearst, eventually became the Baltimore News-American, and saw its offices move again, to a few blocks away.

The renovated Munsey Building now features "loft" apartments catering to city dwellers who want a bit of luxury.

Meanwhile, the Battle Monument on Calvert Street in Baltimore was constructed in 1815 and commemorates several War of 1812 skirmishes, including the Battle of Baltimore. According to Wikipedia, "it is an unusually democratic monument for the time in that it records the names of all who died, regardless of rank."

Because of the trimmings, some of the original information is gone from the back of the postcard. We know that it was mailed with a one-cent stamp that was cancelled with a "RED CROSS ROLL CALL JOIN" stamp and that it was postmarked on November 17, 1932, in Baltimore.

It was mailed to Master Albert Sprague Johnson at St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys on Wilkens Avenue in Baltimore. The school had that name from 1866 to 1950 and today is called Cardinal Gibbons School.

The cursive note states:
Dear Son:
Do you know what street this is? Well Christmas will soon be here, so try and be a real good boy. I know you can be good if you want to. Why don't you write home some time a nice letter to us all. Love, [cut off].

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