An artefact

Clearing out the inlaws’ house has produced a great deal of stuff, most of which has migrated to new homes.  Some things we uncovered, however, are just too yummy to give up.

Here’s one:

A little cardboard frame, and a strange little collage.  Want a closer look?

Um, okay.

This was in one of the infinite number of boxes full of programs, ticket stubs,  photographs of unidentified persons, etc.  Let’s use our sleuthing skills to figure it out, shall we?

First, the hairstyle and dress gives us probably 1919-1920ish for a date.

And here’s the back:

It reads: “Kiss me kid nothing makes me sick.”

Well, then.

My guess is that this is actually a valentine card, one made with a macabre sense of humor during the “Spanish Flu” pandemic of 1918-1920.  We don’t know who made it or who gave it to whom; it was not with any identifying information. The maker and the receiver were well off enough to dress fashionably and to afford copies of photographs they could cut up for such a use, but that doesn’t really tell us which ancestor it might have been.  There were enough great-aunts in those families to give Bertie Wooster the hives for years.

All in all, you have to respect such brazen humor in such a dark time.  When you consider that these young people came of age during the Great War and then the pandemic, you can begin to understand the fevered sense of insouciance that animated the 1920s.  This chick, whoever it was, was a flapper in the making.


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