Purple Flowers for Josephine – St. Nazianz, Wisconsin (circa 1910)

We met Josephine Burkhard in an earlier postcard story:

Josephine, the daughter of Egnatz Burkhard, lived in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin.

St. Nazianz had been settled by Roman Catholic immigrants from Germany who belonged to a communitarian society that held all goods in common.


Sometime around 1910, Josephine was celebrating a birthday.

(This postcard greeting was not mailed, so the location of the sender and the precise date of mailing cannot be determined.)

From her friend, Helen M. Reinholdt, Josephine received a weighty postcard featuring paste-filled birds and flowers in bright purple tones.

The postcard was “Made in Germany”; one assumes that the manufacture involved more than printing.

On the reverse, Helen writes, “You have my heartiest congratulations to (sic) your birthday…”

Helen adds, “I wish you many more”.

The careful Helen corrects a misspelling of “many”, and one may wonder if the friends spoke German as a first language.

Helen signs her full name – identifying herself as, “your loving friend”.

That the postcard survived in decent condition for more than a century suggests that Josephine was pleased by Helen’s gesture.

One hopes that Josephine enjoyed a wonderful birthday and that she and Helen remained friends and correspondents for many years.


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