French Postcards: Usage

Figure 1.--This card look to have been made in the early 1930s, but was not postally used until 1943. Perhaps production of new cards was onterupted by the War. The boy wears a blouse with a Peter Pan collar and matching shorts with white kneesocks and white "T"-strap shoes. This card was sent to a younger boy by his big sister who was in Paris. Click on the image to see the message.

One interesting aspect of these cards is who sent which cards to whom. Presumably the sender selected the card with the recipient in mind. It is possible that younger children might have the cards selected for them. Unlike modern greeting cards there is not meesage beyound Bonne fte or other generic greeting. With several of these cards, however, we have not only when they were sent as well as by whom and to whom. There are also interesting messages. The choice of these cards suggests that the peerson purchasing them liked the way the children were dresses or thought the recipient might. At any rate, it is an interesting look into the mind set of the different period in which the cards were sent.

Big Sister

A big sister in Paris wrote to her little brother Jean on December 22, 1943. It was during the German occupation and conditions must have been beginning to detriorate at the time. The message sounds cheery. "Paris 12me 43, Mai cher Petit Jean, Voici venir Nol et je ne veux pas laisser passer ce beau jour sans venir te souhaiter un bon Nol; peut tre je viendrai(s) [a gramatical error] te voir si ce n'est pas pour Nol j'y [a gramatical error] viendrai(s) [another gramatical error] pour le jour de l'an en attendant de te voir je t'embrasse bien fort. Ta grande soeur qui ne t'oublie pas." Lili Molde This would translate as "My dear little Jean, Chrismas is coming, and I can't let pass this happy day without wishing you a happy Chrismas. It may be I can come and see you; if it is not possible for Chrismas, I will come for the New Year; I'm waiting to see you. I kiss you well. Your big sister, who doesn't forget you." Lili Molda We do not know how old Jean is, but his sister refers to him as Petit Jean he nmust be a younger boy. One wonders how Jean was dressed and what he thought of the card. Perhaps his sister thought this would be a noce outfit for her brother.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: December 4, 2001
Last updated: December 4, 2001