Friday, February 6, 2009

Transcription of the previous post

This is my best transcription of the message on the back of the card in the previous post.

“a month & the whole house & big lot can be got for $1500.00. A very good office job for a man draws only 25.00 a week. No hour and wage law, & some offices work 12 hours a day due to lack of help, from 7 to 7 o’clock. A got steno gets 15.00 a week, and clerks 6.00 or 7.00 a week. However! – gasoline is 18 or 19 cents due to .07 cent tax. Water is $1.00 a mo gas & electricity very high. Ford (?) license over 15.00. On the whole people are poor or(?) ambitionless. Don’t care to work. Lots of good luck and health to you all in the new year. Cousin Elizabeth. Post Office Box 124, Tampa, Florida.”


The message starts in mid sentence, so this is probably the last page of a longer message. I'm not 100% sure about the gasoline price, or if the author considered that price to be high or low. Also some license is over $15.00 - it looks like Ford, in which case the author is referring to a car, most likely. But it may not be Ford. And I'm not sure what the word between "poor" and "ambitionless" is. If anybody has any ideas or thoughts about it, please feel free.


Here are my ideas and thoughts. It would have been nice had the author thought to date the message. Perhaps they did at the beginning, or perhaps they didnt bother. It would have been interesting to see where the person she was sending the message to lived - it would have been an indication of where this person came from. She talks about hour and wage laws, so she has at least some broad social knowledge - she sounds educated. She's wishing people good health in the coming year, so it's Christmas/New Years - winter, in other words. Perhaps she's spending the winter in Florida, and is comparing the cost of living & wages in Florida with the cost of living & wages of where she is from. She also gives her address, which means the people she was sending this too probably didnt have it - because she hadn't been there long.

So what I believe we have here is a wealthy or at least upper middle class woman from the somewhere up north, (north of the Ohio River) spending the winter in Florida. I'll never be able to prove it, but that's what I think.

Please, if anyone has any ideas, feel free to comment.


TrishaRitchieNC said...

Sounds good to me. I agree that she's uppper class. It's easier to make fun of poor and ambitionless people when you've got plenty of money. It's a good social commentary overall for the era.

Anonymous said...

I know people do want to collect unused and mint postcards, but I much prefer them to have some sort of message, in particular one like this, where you get a little social history tied in with it.

Ms. O. D. said...

I definitely get the sense the person moved to tampa, maybe just retired... staying for the winter or more permanently, a "snow bird" from new york or from the east coast.

No hour and wage law? Here's an interesting link to Wage Law History:

"A *good* steno gets 15.00 a week + clerks 6.00 or 7.00 a week."

It looks like "Ford" too by the way she writes her F in Florida... maybe $15 for license plates?

It's difficult to make out what it is between poor / am-bitionless... I think it's "or"

A Valdese Blogger said...

Thank you all for your comments! I'm tired & not feeling too well to boot so I'll respond to them sometime tomorrow.

Martin MY said...

Yes, defininately a class above most of us. Some interesting history coning out here.