Friday, January 17, 2014

The Pink of Perfection

This postcard is "The Pink of Perfection" (highest perfection) for me. I like collecting "postcards about postcards," postcards about correspondence (e.g. "why don't you write?), and cards about postal (e.g. mail and postage stamps) subjects.

What really impressed me about this postcard is that the image of the postcard on the picture side matches the style of the postcard back. "The Pink of Perfection" was a trademark of the Fairman Co. of Cincinnati and New York.  

The word pink has a double meaning here. The flower pictured is the pink. I was surprised to learn that the color pink name came from the flower, and not vice versa:
The evolution of the word "pink" is interesting in its own right. Plants of Colonial Days (1959) states that pinks derived their name from pinksten or pfingsten, the German name for flowers that bloomed at Pentecost, or Whitsuntide. Other sources say that the word pink comes from the "pinked" or jagged edge of the petals, as though cut by pinking shears. In either case, it appears the idea of "pink" as a color did not occur until much later, for the color was named for the flowers rather than the other way around. In the eighteenth century, flowers were described as blush, pale red, rose, light red, flesh-colored, or carnation -- never pink. (source)

 The postcard was sent to Martha Umbach, Benedict, N. Dak in 1914. Although I am not a genealogist, I couldn't resist searching for the recipient of the postcard. In the 1910 census, I found that there was a Martha S. Umbach (aged 13) living in Andrews township (which includes Benedict), McLean County, North Dakota. (source)

I am intrigued by the message on the back of the card: "We are thrashing now. My photos are not through yet. Will be through Sunday." I believe the writer is referring to threshing grain. Wheat was a top agricultural product of North Dakota, and possibly the photos are of the threshing operation--something I speculated about in a post last week here. This is an example of North Dakota threshing photos from the Library of Congress:


  1. What a wonderful blog entry! I enjoyed reading your comments. Your research is awesome!

    Have a lovely weekend and happy Postcard Friendship Friday!

  2. I enjoy postcards about post related subjects but I've never seen a postcard about a postcard before.

  3. It's nice reading about the history of 'pink'. Thank you for sharing it. :)

  4. That Pink was "invented" so recently is a brilliant way of seeing the colour!
    a Meaning-within-A-meaning .I love it!


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