Archie “Spoilt Those Pictures” – Hastings, Nebraska (1914)

Miss Luella McDonald lived in Hastings, a city in south-central Nebraska.

Hastings had grown up around the juncture of two railroad lines, but experienced a boom from brick-making and cigar-production in the early 20th century.

Luella had a cousin, Archie, who lived in Chadron.

Chadron is a small city in northwest Nebraska; it was founded by French fur traders around 1840.

In May of 1914, Archie sent a postcard to his cousin, Luella.

The postcard, published by an unknown company in the US, bears a simple drawing of a young woman carrying an oar.

The dashing figure is accompanied by a verse that makes an unusual reference to the “wings of love” undergoing moulting.

Moulting is the natural process of feather replacement in fowls, but the appearance of the birds can be quite ugly during this process.

This could be quite a strain on the pair of sailing canoes.

On the reverse, Archie reports that he “spoilt those pictures”; he suggests the  accident occurred when removing the film from the camera.

(The most ancient readers of these postcard stories may remember how spools of film once had to be removed from an opened camera by hand.)

Archie promises to send some new pictures “in a few days”.

One hopes that the pictures were made successfully, that they were shared with Cousin Louella, and that the two relatives remained friends and correspondents for many years.


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