LOOKING BACK: 1930 Postcards Reveal Work Relationships, Travel Plans, Upcoming Events

Jefferson County Historical Society submitted the following article on postcards in the 1930’s:

Submitted by Carole Briggs

(PICTURED BELOW: Rather than phone long distance and prior to the Internet, postcards often contained instructions, like this one from Mrs. Brosius, who traveled south in the winter.)


A set of postcards sent to Margaret Neel indicate a work relationship between the wife of a Brookville lawyer and the young woman who helped run her household. Like travelers of today, it was good to return with food in the fridge!

From Savannah in January 1930―”Forgot to mention in my letter to bring a dozen eggs from your house for us, also if you get this in time make some date puddings….” And sometimes, things were forgotten. In December of that year, again from Savannah came the message to “…Take the ivy vines from the living room mantle and the ones from the dining room mantle out of the holders and put them all together in the tall glass flower holder and keep them on the drain board. I forgot to do it before I left….”

Then from Raleigh―”We leave here this morning. A little snow all the way. I left a Christmas package wrapped in gold paper in linen closet. Please put it in cake box in kitchen cabinet. It is fruitcake. Merry Christmas.”

By 1932, Margaret had married a Vasbinder. The Brosius’ were in Atlantic City when Edna wrote, “Will be home Wednesday evening. Have entrance lights turned on. Hope everything is usual.”

Another postcard from a friend to Margaret indicates Edna’s household helper also worked for the Cook family in Cooksburg. Margaret died in 1938 at the age of 25 leaving three small children.

Postcards were a convenient way to advertise coming events, too.

In both 1920 and 1930 cards were mailed to former residents urging them to come to Brookville for the annual Jefferson County Exposition at the fairgrounds. “Come on Back Home! September 1–6, 1930, at Brookville, Pa. Jefferson County is planning a real feast for you and is counting on you, your friends and all former residents to contribute to its enjoyment by your presence. Albert Baur, Secretary Centennial Committee.”

Postcards tell us interesting stories. As much as iPhone messages and emails keep folks in touch about things today, the postcards of yesterday did the same. It just took a little longer!

[email protected] County Historical Society, Inc.

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