Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dead Fish & A Postal Shower

I have a lot of Thanksgiving postcards, but I had a hard time choosing one to post on my blog. I wanted to find one with an interesting and readable message as well as a nice image. Most of my postcards are unused. The ones that were used usually say little beyond "Thanks for your postal. I'm sorry I haven't written" or "We are all well, hope you are the same."

Here is the message on the back of this postcard which is postmarked Nov 24, 1909:

Don't send for me(?) any fish moss(?). My fish are all dead but one. I would like to see you this morning when you get so many postals. I have told several about you postal shower. Nora.

It was the dead fish that first caught my attention. I had trouble figuring out the last part of the message until I remembered hearing about postal showers. Postal showers were popular in the early twentieth century when postcards were a big fad. They were a way of giving or sending postcards from many people to the same person at the same time. Postal showers seem to have been especially popular for birthdays, but also could occur at other times. Here is a newspaper report of a postal shower that was published in The Kingston Daily Freeman, August 10 1908.

The Lowell, Indiana Library website reported a shower of postal cards sent through the mail in 1910. This item came from Reports of the Historical Secretary of the Old Settler and Historical Association of Lake County, Indiana, from 1906 to1910:
On February 16th, which was the 80th anniversary of the birthday of Mrs. A.D. Palmer, of Lowell, formerly of Creston, she received a "shower" of postal cards. Greeting came to her, it is stated, from three hundred and six relatives and friends living in twenty states, and forty-five towns, including a great-great-grandson, whose card was sent by his parents residing in Hammond. The "postal shower" was a marked success.


  1. Well, I'm really sorry about those fish, but I was excited to hear about postal showers. What a great idea!

  2. Very cool. I had never heard of a postal shower. I love Thanksgiving cards and have a small collection.


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