Setting a Date with Lottie – Philadelphia, PA (1913)

Miss Lottie Dietrich lived in Philadelphia.

In February of 1913, Lottie exchanged postcards with a friend who we know only by the initials, J. R. L.

The friends were arranging a meeting by postcard.

The friend seems to move in and out of the city frequently; this postcard message suggests that the friend was staying in Camden – the city across the Delaware River.

On February 6, Lottie received this postcard containing up-dates related to the planning – each message appears to have been made on the same day (Thursday).

The face of the postcard bears an excellent print of a painting by Philip Boileau who copyrighted the work in 1908.

Entitled, “Thinking of You”, the painting depicts an attractive young woman with a sultry expression, reclining on a silk pillow.

The postcard was published by Reinthal & Newman of New York, and printed in Great Britain.

On the reverse, we read about the developing plans.

First, the friend announces plans about “going home today (Thursday) instead of Friday.” and hopes to “hear from you soon”.

Then, the friend received Lottie’s postcard – in which it is suggested that Lottie proposed a meeting on Friday..

The friend adds an update after receiving Lottie’s postcard.

The friend adds to his message, “sorry I can’t get off tomorrow.  Not until Sat. or Sun. now”.

The third and final addition includes a phone number, and the suggestion that Lottie should call to arrange a rendezvous that night.

We cannot know certainly the relationship between Lottie and her friend.

It is possible that the unnamed correspondent was a shop girl or secretary who worked in Philadelphia.

The postcard image, however, would suggest an emerging romantic connection.

The postcard reflects the transition from mailed correspondence to telephone communication that accelerated in the years leading up to the first World War.

One hopes that Lottie and her friend were able to complete their date that night.


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