Thou Shalt Not Kill -West Hanover, PA (1907)

At a recent meeting of the local Postcard Club, I found this illustration of the Commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”.

I have seen other examples of illustrated Commandments, but had not attempted to assemble a set of ten.

I may do so now.

The injunction is illustrated by a drawing of the first murder in Biblical history, the killing of Abel by his brother, Cain.

(On-line, one can find an elegant description of how the words of the Commandment have been translated through centuries of interpretation by a Jewish scholars and Christian theologians.)

There is a blurry legend beneath the illustration – I believe the copyright is 1907 (which is consistent with the style of postcard), but I cannot decipher the four-letter name of the publishing “co.”.

The postcard was given by Stella to Bertha Nestler (?) of West Hanover, PA.

West Hanover is a township in Dauphin County of central Pennsylvania; the area is still mostly rural.

Stella implores Bertha to “remember me”, and promises to do the same for her friend.

These pleas, in an age in which telephones were not common, rural homes were dispersed, and transportation was often inaccessible – are often seen in postcards of the early 20th century.

“Remember me” is both a plea to be held in the affections of another and a request for communication.

One hopes that Stella and Bertha did exchange “remembrances” in the years to come.


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