Thursday, December 19, 2019

Christmas postcard #3:
Holiday grippe and croup

The postmark is obscured on this "A Merry Christmas" postcard, but I think it's safe to say it was mailed about a century ago. The card was published by the Midland Publishing Company, which was only in operation from 1912 to 1914, according to As that website further notes, most of the Midland cards were printed by the Gold Medal Art Company, whose distinctive owl logo appears on the back.

From the portion of the postmark that's legible, we know that it was mailed in Chicago, Illinois, on Dec. 23. It was sent to Mr. and Mrs. Jay Follet of Corry, Pennsylvania. This is the cursive message:
Dec 22nd
Dear Matie [sp?]
I wish you all a Merry Xmas.
Baby Helen & I have both been sick a week up in bed with grippe, she first with croup & still so hoarse. Hope you are all well with love to all.
Cousin Mary
Grippe is a word that's not used much these days. It essentially means flu/influenza, though I reckon it was probably applied to a wider range of respiratory issues. So it was a bummer of a Christmas holiday for Mary and Helen, which I feel retroactively sad about.

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