“Sending the Eggs This Evening” – Erie, PA (1912)

M.F. Sutter lived in Erie, the port city on Lake Erie in the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania.

In May of 1912, Mr. Sutter sent a postcard to Mr. Mark Bumpus of Albion, PA.

Albion is a borough in Erie County, 30 miles southwest of Erie, noted for trout fishing in the Conneaut Creek.

The postcard announced that, “I am sending those eggs this evening”.

Unfortunately, we do not know if this was a typical dispatch from the chicken farm or if there was some special quality or significance to these eggs.

The postcard, published by S.W. Houck & Sons of Erie, bears an original painting of Misery Bay.

Misery Bay is the small harbor created within the curve of the Presque Isle peninsula as it juts into Lake Erie.

(Presque Isle, now a State Park, has a fascinating history from ancient habitation of indigenous people, through successive occupation by Mohawk people, French traders, French and British soldiers, and the staging of Perry’s successful sea battles of the War of 1812.)

“Presque Isle” is a reminder of the early French occupation of the peninsula as the name is, literally, “almost (an) island”.

“Misery Bay” took its name from the horrific scenes of wounded men lingering in camp there after the victory in Lake Erie.

As in most battles of the 19th century, disease and infection took more lives than those killed outright in the fighting.

I could not find an identification of the postcard artist.

One hopes that the eggs were delivered successfully and that Mr. Bumpus was satisfied with them.

I assume that the interesting postcard painting was responsible for the survival of this bit of trivial commercial activity more than a century ago.


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