Isabel Sends Barrels of Fun – Elizabeth, NJ (1924)

Comic postcards related to drinking and inebriation are not rare, and can be found for fifteen years before the US enacted Prohibition in 1920.

Prohibition, however, did not bring a reduction in the humorous references to drinking.

Theresa Gorman lived in Elizabeth, the city in northern New Jersey which hosted the large Singer Sewing Machine factory and the first automobile factories in the state.,_New_Jersey

In July of 1924, Theresa received a comic postcard from her friend, Isabel.

Isabel wrote from Far Rockaway, the resort town on the Atlantic Ocean in the easternmost portion of New York City.

We recently looked at a postcard showing summer-time tent encampments on the beaches there.

(If you fly in and out of JFK, you have great views of the Rockaways.)

The face of the postcard is a drawing of a young man diving into a barrel of liquor.

The man wears the cumbersome bathing outfit of the eta (although bathing costumes began to change in the 1920’s)

The drawing was made by Madden, whose name is printed in the lower right of the face.

On the reverse, Isabel does not inscribe a message; we might assume that the postcard was a kind of remembrance that did not require an explanation.

Theresa seems to have been amused by the postcard as it was preserved in very good condition for 99 years.


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