Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving and Smallpox - 1908

Maybe it's a weird combination -- I first searched my postcards for "Thanksgiving," and came up empty except for this card of Main St., West Hartford, CT, which has a very interesting message.  The front says: "Thanksgiving morning.  Dear Friend.  Mr K. and I are to be all alone this Thanksgiving day I expect, but we are very thankful for the mercies of the year."  The message continues on the back of the card, where the writer talks about some recent visitors that stopped by to "have dinner with us after Church Sunday."

Next, she mentions that "Mrs Henshaw found Smallpox in the town of Brattleboro, so they were going to have a quarantine.  Haven't heard since."  So, I googled "Smallpox," "Brattleboro" and "1908" (the postmark date on the card), and found that there really was a smallpox epidemic there at that time, with 195 cases reported.  But according to the Medical Record, a weekly journal of the time, the situation was well-controlled by the State Board of Health.

So, the writer can rest assured that things turned out OK, thus giving her one more thing to be thankful for, even if she's alone with her husband on the Holiday.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Winter Weather

El Al Israel Airlines knows Israel Best 3469

In Connecticut, we had our first 5 inches of snow. Thinking of our son, who moved to Israel less than a month ago, enjoying 80 degree sunny weather in Haifa today!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Duned to Eternity

Flying Cages, Seaside Heights, NJ 2397

In memory of the Seaside Heights amusements on the New Jersey shore, here's a postcard of the "Flying Cages," one of the most popular, but relatively short-lived rides through the 70's.  They were operated by the riders' own momentum and physical exertion, rocking the cars until they swung over the top.  See a demonstration video on YouTube.

Also known as "The Swingin’ Gym," these contraptions were lots of fun but injured many riders.  Due to their uninsurability, they largely disappeared within a few years of their operation. 

The one in the card above was, according to the back, "Just one of dozens of thrilling rides on the fabulous Casino Pier," which was at Seaside Heights.  I'm pretty sure it had been replaced by other rides and was not there last Monday when Hurricane Sandy hit, but here's what the pier looks like now...

My sympathy to those who lost loved ones or property in the storm, but to those as well who cherish childhood memories of amusement parks like this one and can now never go back.