Thursday, November 26, 2015

Good Wishes for Thanksgiving Day [early 1900s]

From our collection of old postcards ...

Good Wishes for Thanksgiving Day
by Ellen Clapsaddle

We are thankful to have this old card in the collection. The artist, Ellen Clapsaddle, is recognized by card collectors as one of the most prolific greeting card artists of the Golden Age of Postcards (1898 - 1915) with over 3000 designs.

Signed  Ellen H. Clapsaddle

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Clapsaddle:

"Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle (January 8, 1865 - January 7, 1934) was an American illustrator/commercial artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Not only is her style greatly admired and well recognized, today she is recognized as the most prolific souvenir/postcard and greeting card artist of her era.

Clapsaddle started by giving art lessons in her home near Columbia, New York. At the same time she created her own landscapes and was commissioned to paint portraits of families in Richfield Springs. She also submitted her work to publishers in New York City and became a recognized commercial artist. She was a freelance artist and her illustrations were often used in advertising and on porcelain goods, calendars, paper fans, trade and greeting cards.

Clapsaddle's greatest success was in the development of her artwork into single-faced cards that could be kept as souvenirs or mailed as postcards and she specialized in designing illustrations specifically for that purpose. Artistic designs had become highly prized particularly during the peak of production of the "golden age of souvenir/postcards" (1898–1915) for their great marketing possibilities. Clapsaddle is credited with over 3000 designs in the souvenir/post card field."

This particular card is an embossed card which would have been a premium item in its time, somewhere around 1900.

The unused back of the card as it appears in a normal scan.
We did some processing to help you see the effect of the embossing on the card ...

Some photoshop processing shows the effect of the embossing
which is difficult to see in a normal scan of the card.
The plate to create the embossing effect must have
been quite a work of art.
We have to wonder how many of this card were produced. The back of the card states that it was printed in Germany by International Art Publishing Company. A web search for more information on them did not reveal much. While we were putting together this post we had to sit back for a moment and wonder what Ellen Clapsaddle would think about how the means of sending a kind greeting has changed in just over 100 years. Would she be happy with our new technology?

We wish all followers and friends in the USA a Happy Thanksgiving Day and adding all of you around the world we are thankful that you have stopped by John's Island.


  1. Beautiful card. Happy Thanksgiving to you John. Please have a look at my last post. There is "news" for you :-)

  2. Wonderful collection. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  3. YOU are part of what I'm thankful for, John. So I send back to you and yours my sincere wishes for a fine holiday. And the sunshine we've got right now is beating back all the gray days of rain we endured! Happy Thanksgiving! :-)

  4. I like your question as to what Ellen Clapsaddle would think. I would think she would embrace the new technology and use it to the max. That's what she was doing in 1900. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving to you. Hope your day is filled with all the people and things you love most.

  6. A lovely card. Thank you and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family too.

  7. These are wonderful. No wonder the artist was one of the most prolific greeting card artists of the Golden Age of Postcards.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you John and to your family.


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