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The Tower postcard as medical bulletin

Date sent: 9 FEBRUARY 1908   

Sender: N/A 

Recipient: Miss Mallon, 74 Jeffreys Road, Clapham, London. 

Transcription: F is still improving but still weak.  Expecting Dr tomorrow will give you his report of her in my next Kindent 

Love from F and Loo and myself mats. 

In 1908 private telephones were still the preserve of the wealthy, but the halfpenny rate for postcards coupled with the multiple deliveries per day made them the ideal way to keep in touch for ordinary folk. F’s medical update could be easily circulated, and family fears put to rest.  As is so often the case in these postcards it’s unlikely that we’ll ever know the final outcome – and “F” will forever remain in a convalescent limbo.  ‘Kindent’ is presumably a family term for this communication – unless anyone else can shed light on it? Meanwhile, will Miss Mallon’s Monday be brightened by the news – or is that a light pen stroke above the second ‘l’, and it’s good news for  Miss Malton?

A drawing of the White Tower

Cassell’s were a well-established London book publishing firm by this time, and this view of the newly denuded south front of the White Tower probably originated as one of a “special series of 13 reproductions in colour of drawings of the Tower of London by Mr H E Tidmarsh” featured in the June 1904 edition of Cassell’s Magazine. Its appearance as a Cassell’s Fine Art Belle Sauvage picture postcard is more subdued than the original or its magazine print, and it has been cleverly cropped to remove the artist’s signature. Its title “The White Tower” is weedily printed, lost among the newly planted trees bordering the southern walkway. The recipient could tell that it was indeed fine art as the belle sauvage in question, neatly folded into the logo, is artfully underdressed.  Not sufficiently to cause offence, but enough to make the point. Meanwhile, the stately bust of Edward VII looks on from the stamp, unperturbed.

A postcard with a massage and postage stamps on it

Postcards gallery


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