Drinking with the Scarecrow – New Castle, Indiana (1911)

In December of 1911, Amos was working in New Castle – a city in central Indiana, about 44 miles northeast of Indianapolis on the Big Blue River.

In 1911, the city was an industrial center for the manufacturing of iron and steel, bricks, furniture, and clothing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Castle,_Indiana

In response to a letter from his friend, William Swayne, Amos sent a comic postcard that also included wishes for “Merry Xmas and Happy New Year”.

William lived in West Grove, a borough in southeast Pennsylvania, almost at the border of Delaware.

Founded by Quakers in the 18th century, West Grove grew significantly with the coming of the “Philadelphia & Baltimore Central Railroad” in 1860.

When William received the postcard in 1911, West Grove was the center for the milling of flour and for the cultivation of flowers in large nurseries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Grove,_Pennsylvania

The face of the postcard bears a humorous drawing of a drunken man shaking the “hand” of a scarecrow.

The illustration was published by Bamforth & Company, an English firm that printed hundreds of light-hearted postcards.

(Earlier postcard stories featured Bamforth postcards.)

Beneath the drawing is a printed legend, phrases from “Auld Lang Syne”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auld_Lang_Syne

On the reverse, Amos expresses appreciation for the letter from William and promises to “write a letter later”.

William may have had a child, as Amos voices a hope that “your babe is getting along nicely”.

About his work, Amos writes, “Have got lots to do out here”, but Amos is “getting along pretty good.”

Amos closes with the holiday greetings to William and his family.

Although the “drunk” was a staple of comic skits and jokes throughout the early 20th century, drunkenness is not always viewed comically today.

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