Under the Umbrella – Bemus Point, New York (1907)

Miss Dorie Russell lived in Sugar Grove, a borough in Warren County of northwest Pennsylvania.


In May of 1907, Miss Russell received a comic postcard from Mary who wrote from Bemus Point, New York.

Bemus Point is a village on the east side of Lake Chautauqua in southwest New York State.

Although one would cross a State line, a trip between Bemus Point and Sugar Grove is only sixteen miles.


Mary’s postcard was printed by the Bamforth Company, the notable publishers of humorous drawings and photographs in England.


In this postcard illustration, a man and a woman are partially obscured by a large umbrella overhead.

An inquisitive English policeman investigates – “You’ll excuse me, but there’s no rain.”

Barely distinguishable is the cheeky response, “Who the Devil’s expecting rain, Skidoo”.

The finished surface of the face of the postcard has made Mary’s comments very difficult to read.

I believe she writes, “A fine summer day at last”.

Mary adds, “Write and tell me the news”.

Someone, possibly dismayed by the idea of an elderly relative once having received a suggestive postcard, blotted out the name of Miss Russell.

Fortunately, that ink has faded more completely than that of the original addressee.

One hopes that Mary and Dorie remained friends and correspondents for many years.


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