Monday, October 09, 2006

Lives in Letters - Postcard from the Past

I'm starting a new series of posts, which I'll try to do on Mondays as regularly as possible. This series is "Lives in Letters" and will be made up of old postcards and old letters that strike me as interesting. Hopefully they'll strike you that way as well.

Hotel Thatcher, Biddeford, ME
July 26, 1901
Dear Emma,
Thursday seems to
be the only day for
you to come as I
couldn't get a card
to you earlier than
Wed. Is ten o'clock
A.M. too early for you?
It won't take only about
an hour + a half, if connections
are good, to make the trip + we
will be at #10 at ten
(continued on front of card)
o'clock sharp for you. If you should
happen to miss a car or anything else come
up just 'phone us when you get to Biddeford.
'Phone number is Goodwin's Mills - 9 - 4 (or
9 - ring 4.)

Be sure + bring your friend with you.

I'm guessing Emma did not have a telephone as they had to schedule Emma's visit by card correspondence. Back then, the post would come more than once a day, so Winnifred could easily expect a card reply from Emma later on Wednesday to confirm Emma's Thursday visit.

Based on Emma's address, it looks like Emma's journey on Thursday was just under 12 miles. A journey that would take about 20 minutes today took Emma an hour and a half, if connections were good.

The phone instructions ("9 - ring 4") barely need comment, but I also like the use of the apostrophe before phone, to indicate the shortened "telephone."

Who was the friend? "Be sure + bring your friend" as a postscript almost sounds like the friend might be the most important point of the visit.


Christine M said...

Old letters and postcards are fun - I recently transcribed a bunch of letters and cards from my great-grandfather - dated early 1900s. This is part of one of my favorites - it's the last line on a short postcard from Nov 1902:

"The house I was rooming in last night burned at 4AM and I had to get out in the street and put on my shoes and stockings."

Personally, if it were me, I think I would have put that first.

Erin said...

These will be fun!

Nancy said...

Christine, I love that!

When I was searching quotes about letters today, two of them mentioned that the PS was often the most important statement in the letter. Maybe it was done for dramatic effect?

Thanks for sharing!