This Old House, Glaser Edition

Monday, December 11, 2006

Postcards from Heaven

In the process of fixing up the fireplace in Steve's office, Tammy's father brought it down to bare brick. As he pulled the wood off the chimney, something caught his eye as three postcards from the 1930's fluttered to the ground. He could not wait to share his excitement over this ancient find with us! The postcards are in poor condition, but intriguing nonetheless.

Two of the postcards were postmarked and bore one-cent stamps, and the third never left the house. One displays a picture of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta—an important symbol of the Great Depression, while another is a reminder requesting a financial report for the local chapter of the American Red Cross chapter, which is still very active because of hurricanes in this region. The third could be Depression Era fraud in which a person sells 20 articles of some kind of merchandise and receives some kind of reward premium for doing so. We could find very little online about Reliable Premium, but it is listed as a pending lottery case by the Federal Trade Commission for fiscal year that ended in 1943 (page 77) and a resolved case in 1944 (page 88). The case was one of five involving the use of lottery methods in selling candy and other merchandise. Another site mentions a "Big Reliable Premium House" in Chicago, not New York, as a mail order catalog outfit in which "lady agents" sold the merchandise for premiums, which sounds like a forerunner of Avon and Tupperware!


  • These postcards must be a tangible reminder that people before you loved this house and wanted to leave something for the future occupants.

    By Blogger Mary, at 11:27 AM  

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