Vintage Ephemera: Reading Both Sides of a Postcard

Recently, I came across two postcards that were very very funny. Not so much because of the humor of the printed postcard but rather, because the written message was the punch line.

Don't you think its time to marry?

Don’t you think its time to marry?

This postcard was printed in 1908, a leap year. The woman with the gun reflects the common stereotype that

 women who asked men to marry them were desperate, aggressive, and unfeminine.

Holding a gun to her beloved’s head, she fits the description perfectly. Notice also, the emblem in the bottom right corner – a man running away from a woman . . . Odd that the sender chose this postcard to send a bit of news in three words, “I’m married now.”

I'm Married Now. Postcard Greeting (1908).

I’m Married Now. Postcard Greeting (1908).

Hard to say if this was good news or bad. I would assume that since there is no signature, the sender knew that the recipient would recognize the author by the signature alone. Other than the terse greeting, we have no clues about the senders intent. On the other hand, there are plenty of clues in the next postcard. This postcard again fails under the broad topic, Love and Marriage. And again, the back of this postcard delivers the punch line.

Cheer Up My Boy

Cheer Up My Boy

IMG_1520   What to make of both sides? The postcard was sent by a young woman then attending Ohio University. Mr. Abner Stout did marry, thanks to a quick search on google, and became a father two years later. Was the sender surprised? Was she slighted? Not sure – but I would like to know.