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Children on Thanksgiving Postcards

I became interested in Thanksgiving postcards because I was born on Thanksgiving. As a child, my birthday was celebrated on Thanksgiving, so collecting "children on Thanksgiving postcards" was a natural topic for me. Even if you don't specialize in Thanksgiving postcards, they are fun to collect. They also are an economical alternative compared to high-priced Halloween postcards.

My favorites are the the colorful series of sets printed in Saxony by an unnamed publisher. Series numbers are 669, 730, 741, 850, and 854. The turkeys are more colorful than any you are likely to see in real life. The cards in this series show children interacting with turkeys in various ways. Many show realistic outdoor scenes with colorful (though mostly green) background foliage. Some show children in carts pulled by turkeys or riding a turkey—themes used by many publishers. Several cards show little chefs. Where a dead turkey is shown, it still has its feathers, even if it is on a platter on a dinner table.

Many Thanksgiving cards have a patriotic theme. This can be a flag, a red/white/blue backgound or accents, or even a little Uncle Sam character.

Other symbols and themes that are fairly common are wishbones, pumpkins, pies, fruits, and corn. Most, but not all, cards show turkeys. The two cards below are among the few signed artist cards in this category—the first by HBG and the second by Ellen Clapsaddle.

The large wishbone really reminds me of my early Thanksgivings. Being the "birthday girl," I was usually the one that got the wishbone to break and make a wish. The verse on this card is as follows:

May your Thanksgiving be happy,
And when the dinner is through,
May the biggest part of the wishbone
be the end that's held by you

Pilgrim children are fairly common on Thanksgiving postcards, though the majority of cards depict children dressed in fashions of the day. This red-bordered card with the happy young pilgrim is by the artist Frances Brundage.

There is a series of little Pilgrims by Whitney that is especially cute, as are most of the Whitney-Made cards.

Surprisingly (to me at least) dinner scenes are less common than outdoor scenes and the food is often sparse.

An unusual set is the Thanksgiving Menu Series No. 19. These menus are composed of good wishes, not food. One menu lists Light heartedness, Longevity, Good Intention, Good Business a la Prosperity, Wealth and Comfort.

The cards shown so far have all been better quality embossed cards on coated stock, mainly of foreign manufacture. I'll conclude with a couple of unembossed cards on cheaper cardstock. These cards have a different and cheaper look, but some of them are quite charming.

 

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