“Frohlich Weihnachten” – Staten Island, NY (circa 1910)

Before World War I, there were large German-speaking communities throughout the United States.

German-language newspapers and periodicals connected this ethnic community, the largest in the nation.


Mrs. Grace Sutherland lived on Staten Island, in a neighborhood still known as Mariners Harbor.


In celebration of Christmas, Mrs. Sutherland received a postcard greeting from Charles.

The postcard was mailed from Staten Island, so we might assume that Charles was a nearby friend, neighbor, or relative.

On the face of the postcard is a medallion drawing of a winter scene – pine trees on a hilly terrain at night.

The drawing is framed by sprigs of mistletoe and holly, and a branch of pine.

Beneath the drawing is the printed greeting: “Froliche Weihnachten”.

This is the traditional German Christmas greeting, derived from the medieval German words for joy in the holy night.

Printed in Germany, the postcard was preserved in good condition throughout the life of Mrs. Sutherland.

One hopes that she and Charles enjoyed a splendid Christmas in the early years of the 20th century.


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