Myrtle and Franklin “Clean Forgot” – Atlantic City, N.J. (1939)

Miss Laura Miller lived on a rural delivery route outside Lancaster, PA.

In early September of 1939, she received a comic postcard from Myrtle and Franklin who were in Atlantic City.

The face of the postcard bears an illustration of a dog taking a bath; the creature is sitting in an overflowing tub and rubbing his head with a soap brush.

Above the scene, a legend explains, “I clean forgot to write to you”.

Thousands of people thronged the towns on the Jersey Shore each day of the summer, and many of them wanted to share their experience with friends back home.

Some may have felt an obligation to send postcards in response to cards or letters they had received, or to support the postcard collections of their acquaintances.

By 1939, the postcard was no longer the primary means of communication that it had been in the period of 1900 to 1920.

A majority of homes now had telephones and the greeting card (folded, in an envelope) was displacing the holiday postcard, especially at Christmas.

Nevertheless, it seems that vacationers in 1939 were still spending a few minutes each day of vacation sending souvenir cards to friends – a great variety of postcards and photographs from Atlantic City in the twenties and thirties now languish in antique malls.

One hopes that Myrtle and Franklin enjoyed a great vacation in late summer, that Laura was amused by the comic postcard, and that the friends maintained a friendly correspondence for many years.


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