“Feed the Brute” – Detroit, Michigan (1908)

This English comic postcard published by G.D. & D. of London, provides humorous advice to a young woman – who may have been married very recently.

The drawing of a well-dressed man at the table, attended by his attractive young wife, is captioned, “When he grumbles, feed the brute.”

The postcard, printed in Bavaria, was posted in Detroit to Mrs. Leslie Whitaker of the same city.

(The address, after the street number, reads “City” -a convention of the early 20th century that is no longer honored by the Post Office.)

We cannot know who mailed the postcard to Mrs. Whitaker; the sender seems to have some close relationship as a written message appears to offer marriage advice.

On the reverse, “Good Advice” is underlined twice by the anonymous correspondent.

Although it is true that hunger is a trigger for negative changes of mood, the advice seems to reinforce rigid rules of matrimonial responsibility.

Nevertheless, we hope that Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Whitaker enjoyed a happy marriage and that they were not dismayed by the random advice of others – however humorous or well-intended.

(The illustration on the face has some careful details, the carpet pattern and the embroidered linen tablecloth, e.g., that suggest standards of craftsmanship extended to comic postcards.)


An internet search shows a US Customs list on which Leslie Victor Whitaker and his wife, Doretta, returned to Detroit from a trip to Canada.

Alas, without a paid subscription, I cannot learn in what year (1905-1940) this crossing was made.


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