Miscellaneous

How Many Pages in a Postcard Book?

At some point in the early twentieth century, someone sent Miss Bertha Hazelton of Mooreland, Indiana, a Postcard Book.

For some people, the phrase “postcard book” conjures up an image of a book of postcards: the kind of thing for sale at many tourist attractions that holds eight, twelve, sixteen, or more souvenir postcards.

This isn’t that kind of postcard book.

Postcard with green ribbons, blue flowers, leaves, and a small book about 2" wide by 1.5" tall with "Souvenir" printed on the front.
Book souvenir postcard sent to Bertha Hazelton, front

As you can see, it is quite literally a postcard featuring a small book. In person, the card appears quite flat. If it were put through a modern mechanical mail sorter, it might survive–so long as it went through the right way. The wrong way would risk tearing off the cover and pages.

Fingers hold open the souvenir book to show several pages, the first printed with "Best Wishes"
Detail of Book souvenir postcard

Because, yes, this book has pages. The first page contains a pre-printed message, but the other pages were once blank and available for a sender to inscribe a message–as someone did. Specifically Carl (or Earl, I’m not entirely sure which). He didn’t date the message, but wrote on the first blank page “Hello Bertha would write you a letter this evening, But” and on the second “will later Good Bye From your Friend Carl[or Earl]”.

A number of early postcards contained various additions–glitter (so much glitter!), feathers (for example, forming a fan), books (as shown!), and other things. Nor were all early postcards made of paper. Some were leather or wood. In addition to the souvenir book feature, this card also features embossing in the design of flowers, leaves, and ribbon.

In this particular case, we don’t know when the card dates to specifically except likely some point prior to 1916. Bertha married Perry Davis between 1910 and 1916. On the other hand, in contrast to some of the other cards, we have a little more information about the card itself (and its fellows).

Book souvenir postcard to Bertha Hazelton, reverse

The card was printed in Germany and was one of six designs in the German American novelty art series 1093. If you notice there’s a very small not-quite dot at the bottom left. If this were magnified sufficiently, it would likely appear as the logo for the company that produced these cards. It’s not something I recognize at a glance–but it’s there for analysis.

Oh, as for how many pages this particular postcard book has?

Three.

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