Don’t Worry About the Future – Manheim, PA (1909)

Bertha Root lived in Manheim, the charming town laid out by Henry William Stiegel in 1762.  “Baron Stiegel” founded the Manheim Glassworks which produced the famed “Stiegel Glass” of Colonial America.

In October of 1909, Bertha received a postcard from her mother who lived in the old city of Lancaster – 11 miles to the southeast.

The face of the postcard features an illustration of two gladioli on a gilded background.

A medallion encloses a verse beginning, “Don’t worry about the future, The present is all thou hast…”

(We may think that we are the only generation to live in an age of high anxiety, beset with existential threats.

It is difficult to imagine the uncertainties of our forebearers who persevered without insurance or antibiotics, and faced higher rates of accidental death, dependence on unpredictable weather, and far fewer comforts.)

On the reverse, Mother asks if Bertha “can spare us some sweet potatoes”.

If Bertha still has some, Mother will buy three bushels.

Mother concludes by reporting that “we are all well” and she sends a “wish that you are the same”.

One hopes that Bertha still had some sweet potatoes, that the produce reached mother, and that anxiety about the future did not trouble the industrious women.


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