“Wake Up Mary” – Dover, New Jersey (1907)

Mrs. C. J. Sykes lived in Scranton, the bustling industrial city of northeast Pennsylvania.

At the turn of the 20th century, Scranton was a prosperous and innovative place- it pioneered the use of electricity to light the city and to power the trolley system.


In April of 1907, Mrs. Sykes received a postcard from Dover, a town of northern New Jersey – about 31 miles west of New York City.

Dover once had extensive iron and mill works, other machine shops, and a large hosiery factory.


The postcard was sent by Maud.

A charming drawing of two young women resting their arms on a wall adorns the face of the postcard.

The legend identifies the scene as, “Over the Garden Wall”.

The illustration was copyright by B. E. Raskin (Haskin?) of Chicago in 1905; the postcard was published by George V. Millar of Scranton.

(I cannot find any information about the illustrator.)

In the margin, Maud writes, “Please wake up Mary and make her write”.

The writer adds, “She is worse than I am”.

It seems that May and Maud have a history of dilatory correspondence.

Nevertheless, the message concludes with “Love to all”.

One hopes that Mrs. Sykes was amused by the postcard, that Mary attended to her correspondence, and that the parties remained on friendly terms for many years.


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