“You Never Know” – Wells Tannery, PA (1916)

There are numerous songs of the music hall and vaudeville era that explore the sadness or misery hidden beneath a bright and blooming appearance.

“After the Ball” and “A Bird in a Gilded Cage” come to mind.


This postcard illustrates one verse of a song which was copyrighted by the English company of Foster, Day, & Hunter in 1911.

Recordings of the song, sung by Henry Castling, still exist; the sheet music was published by Bamforth and Company – who also published this postcard.

Alas, I cannot find the full lyrics of the sentimental song.

This postcard was mailed to Aramintha Duvall who lived in Wells Tannery, PA.

Wells Tannery is a small, unincorporated community in Fulton County of south-central Pennsylvania.


In January of 1916, Aramintha received the postcard from her friend, Etta, who lived elsewhere in PA.

The message on the reverse makes no mention of bright young ladies with secret sorrows.

Etta inquires about surviving the “cold days”, mentions “going to school”, and reminds Aramintha to do some mysterious thiing “that you promised to do.”

Etta shares the news that she saw the uncle and aunt of Aramiintha, the Rev. and Mrs. Lewis Duvall.

The Rev. Duvall “preaches up here again Sunday evening”.

 In closing, Etta promises that she has “much more to tell you” – and asks Aramintha to “write soon”.

One hopes that Aramintha was pleased to receive a greeting in the cold days of January, and that the friends remained correspondents for many years.


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