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Barrels of Fun: Comic Beer Drinking Postcards

For collecting fun, it would be hard to beat comic postcards of the linen era. They are more colorful and usually better drawn than earlier or later comics. And they are usually inexpensive because many collectors and dealers ignore them.

As shown in the card above, beer was as one of the elements of the ideal male vacation.

While some cards are clearly targeted at vacation travelers, others appear to show business travelers in beer drinking scenes. Men of the pre-WWII era tended to wear hats, suits, and ties for leisure as well as business, so the distinction is not always clear. Even the "bums" wear hats and sports jackets with patches.

Clever wordplay adds to the humor on many cards.

Happy drunks and "the gang" are other themes.

Women were rarely seen on the beer drinking cards except for those in skimpy swimsuits being watched by a beer drinking man or those serving the man.

This card illustrates the difference between stereotyped male and female interests. It is interesting to note that the big glass of beer is only 5¢ while the woman's outfit in the shop window is "only $100." This particular card was mailed in 1941 from a northern Minnesota vacation area and the message on the back echoes the sex differences of the front:

Dear Folks:
Got a cabin on Shagawa Lake. Pretty wild country here. Weather is lousy to-day. Hank went fishing anyway while we came to town. Some nice fish in this lake if we ever get a chance to try it. It's cold and raining to-day. We may take a jaunt to Canada.
Love, Vivian

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