Greetings from Seattle, Washington, USA

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Private Mailing Card 1901

For those of you not into collecting old postcards, this card can be a bit of a starter. Just as stated on the card, it is a Private Mailing Card, Authorized by Act of Congress, May 19, 1898.

Here is the story, according to Wikipedia ...  The Post Office was the only establishment allowed to print postcards, and it held its monopoly until May 19, 1898, when Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act, which allowed private publishers and printers to produce postcards. Initially, the United States government prohibited private companies from calling their cards "postcards", so they were known as "souvenir cards". These cards had to be labeled "Private Mailing Cards". This prohibition was rescinded on December 24, 1901, when private companies could use the word "postcard". Postcards were not allowed to have a divided back and correspondents could only write on the front of the postcard. This was known as the "undivided back" era of postcards.

Here is the back ...

Part of the fun of collecting old cards is to read the message ... IF you can.  This one starts off nicely:  "Dear Shella, I am a wild & woolly Westerner now, after so much travel ..."  But then what? We can't read it, can you? The last bit is easy:  "We will be home by Sept 4th Much love, Anita"

Thanks for stopping by John's Island.


  1. It looks like it says something like "So is Ft. Beuit (which makes no sense), but then it's "Did you come here last winter? How are your pearls?" (My pearls are just fine, thank you. :-)

  2. Hi DJan, Thank you. I'll be smiling all day about this. John :-)

  3. It looks like it says "Dear Stella, I am a wild and wooly Westerner now after so much travel. So is Father Benoit (?). Did you come here last Winter and how are your pearls. We will be home by Sept. 4th. Much love, Anita"

    It was fun to learn about private mailing cards and to try and decipher the script. (oops, I see that DJan already translated the whole thing, lol)

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Hi Joyful, Thank you. You were first to decode "Stella" and "Father Benoit" Nice work! John