Sunday, April 9, 2023

Sunday's postcard: Bethlehem bridge

Here's a quick postcard from the shoebox on a Sunday morning as I'm setting up, hopefully, for a day of spring cleaning, sorting, pruning, list-making and simplifying. Oh, and catching up on correspondence. I'm so behind on everything. Also, there are a lot of cats here.

Feature on this creased, undated card is the "New Broad Street Bridge" of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The bridge was built in 1909 and I believe it's still in use today. When it opened 114 years ago, it replaced an iron-and-wood bridge that had dated to 1871.

The bridge was built by Cramp & Company of Philadelphia. According to, which features a 2019 photo of the bridge from ground level, it cross the Monocacy Creek and is 431 feet long, with five main spans.

The postcard was published by the Leighton & Valentine Co. of New York City. It was mailed to John J. Andrew of Plymouth, Pennsylvania. The message is in pencil and cursive. Here's what I think it states:

Dear Brother [?]
I am sending my best Regard too [sic] you and we are getting along fine. I got board with george my Brother on tuesday night 20 dollars a month and wash clothes too in slavish people. answer soon John.

"Slavish people" must refer to Slovak Americans, many of whom settled in Pennsylvania. The address provided for John is 528 Selfridge Street in Bethlehem. According to Zillow, the house that's currently there was built in 1923. This card has no date, no readable postmark and the stamp has been removed, so I have to idea if it was mailed before or after 1923.

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