HERITAGE LIVES: Thanksgiving Messages A Century Ago



Thanksgiving card from over a century ago. (Image courtesy Terry Hughes)


Today, there are a wide variety of ways that we can communicate with each other but a century ago this was not the case. The best method was by telegraph normally achieved by the railways. The telephone had not made its presence known yet but an idea that had been pioneered in the late part of the nineteenth century was the post card. They came in a standard size but could be extremely attractive ranging from rich coloured scenes to embossed artistry beyond belief. They covered a variety of themes and in future columns we will feature what they were.

The messages passed via post cards were not that much different than those of Facebook today. Usually a brief but important message ranging from a wedding proposal, the condition of one’s health, the weather or simply keeping in touch was the order of the day.

Our example here features a Thanksgiving theme with a hint of humour mixed in. The turkey and the pumpkin are best known as symbols of the season placed in a fall setting and with a cook armed with the utensils for carving. We know the outcome here although the turkey hasn’t grasped the situation. The message on the back says, “Just getting over a cold. Haven’t seen you in a dog’s age so maybe you can come over for dinner. Talk is that winter may be bad so your arrival here this week would be timely.” signed Chris.

The next time we will use the post card theme will be for Christmas. Our next column will deal with Niagara’s First Mass Transit System; the N.S. & T. Railway.

(Terry Hughes is a Wellander who is passionate about heritage, history and model railroading.)


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