Miss Stout Receives a Typed Greeting – Newtown, Missouri (1909)

Miss Opal Stout lived in Newtown, a small town in north central Missouri.

(In 1910, Newtown had 261 residents; in 2019, the population had fallen to 168.)

Opal had a friend in Pratt, a city in south central Kansas.

Pratt was named for a fallen soldier of the Civil War.  The town was connected by rail to cities that, through mergers in the rough-and-tumble era of railroad expansion, reached from Chicago to El Paso.

In November of 1909, the friend in Pratt sent a postcard greeting to Miss Stout.

The face of the postcard is adorned with an illustration of men in a rowboat struggling against a stormy sea.

The small illustration is surrounded by a broad frame.

The postcard was mailed from a railroad station on the rail line from “City to El Paso”.

On the reverse, we find a typed message.

I suspect that the friend in Pratt was an office girl or secretary.

While typewriters had become fixtures in offices since the 19th century, they were not common in homes.  

Unless one had attended a business school or typing school, one was unlikely to have learned to type.

The friend in Pratt sends the business-like communication: “Recd your letter will answer in a few days.”

I enjoy finding typed postcard greetings as so many postcard names and inscriptions are difficult to decipher.

One assumes that Opal was pleased by the postcard which was preserved for more than a century.


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