Queen of the Carnival – Hagerstown, Maryland (circa 1908)

Today is Mardi Gras: “Fat Tuesday”, or Carnival – literally, “farewell to meat”.
For centuries in Christendom, this was a day of feasting and celebration as the long, penitential season
of Lent approached.
Bertha Fowler lived near Hagerstown, Maryland, on a rural mail delivery route.
Bertha received a beautiful postcard, illustrated with a drawing of a young woman dancing.
The postcard was published by Raphael Tuck & Son, a leading postcard publisher in London.
Titled, “Queen of the Carnival”, the dancer is brilliantly-illuminated.
Beyond her, other dancing figures can be seen in the distance,
The postcard was printed in Saxony.
The writer of the postcard is not identified, but seems to be an acquaintance of Bertha.
The message on the reverse discusses a sledding party “the other night”.
There is a later reference to “sleighing” – so either or both winter activities of sledding and sleighing may
have occurred
Instead of a signature, the message concludes with a numerical sequence.
This could be the date – March 13, 1908 (which would be consistent with the likely publication of the
postcard and with a possible celebration of Carnival).
But, it is possible that the numbers relate to membership in a postcard club.
In any case, one hopes that Bertha was pleased by the very fine illustration and that she might truly
have been the Queen of the Carnival.


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