Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Take the Leap!

Did you notice that we have one extra day this month? Leap year is better news for people who are paid by the hour than for people who are on a monthly salary, so it all depends on your perspective whether you appreciate it or not. Here's a card from some previous leap year, circa 1920.


Initially I was puzzled by this card because I didn't make the connection between leap year and 'taking the leap', i.e. getting married. I can't say I've heard the expression used in conversation. More often it's something about tying the knot or making an honest man/woman out of someone. In the early 1900s there were plenty of humorous postcards that pointed out the perils of marriage and courtship, mostly, though not always, presented from a man's perspective.



This one's a little odd, isn't it?


And this one's pretty unusual too.


Here's the back of that last card, sent in 1909 to Miss Verlene Hall in Sargent, Nebraska. You didn't think the card was that old, did you?


The message reads:

Made good connections in Joe 8:45 there is little difference in weather conditions here and there. The weather is gloomy and so ___ _. ha: he, he!
I am mad at that hello girl because she wouldn't let me say all my say. 
X---

I think 'Hello Girls' were telephone operators.

14 comments:

  1. "Hello Girl" - that's nice! I didn't know they were called that :)

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  2. These cards are a riot! Happy Leap day!

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  3. There is so little attention paid to Leap Year now that I forgot about it until a couple of days when I was figuring out which day was March 1.

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  4. All these cards that have been posted today show men in a very bad light - unwarily trapped by cunning women, silly, greedy, self-opinionated etc etc. Nothing seems to have changed then in 100 years. ^_~

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  5. Christine, I had to come see your 'negative space' card. I like it -- it's a neat technique. Got any more?:) I'm going to be on the lookout for more for sure.
    Happy Leap Day!

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  6. have 2 friends who are leap year babys..one celebrates the 28th and one on the 1st when it's not leap year!
    these cards..perhaps telling men to take a "leap" of faith!!

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  7. The illustration of the constable delivering the summons is great! This is Sadie Hawkin's Day, or the rough equivalent, where women can propose to men. One out of 1,461 days doesn't seem fair.

    I know a woman who celebrates her birthday today so I sent her an age appropriate card for a 14 year old.

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  8. These are good fun, I especially like the yellow one though- sort of constructivist or pop art, way ahead of its time. And the personal ad one is a hoot too, if only our single female friends that are doing online dating could get such honest posts they would be able to cull out the chumps alot faster! Leap year seemed like a huge deal to me when I was a kid, now it's like, 'huh?'

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  9. Trishia, I'm fairly certain this is the only one of these I have.

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  10. In Another Life,I Think I Was A GOODSPENDER........

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  11. These are fabulous, Christine! They're all so odd and interesting. :)

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  12. The last card with the fake newspaper ad is strange, or at least disturbing. "Three good teeth"...

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  13. RE: The first card- back in the days of strict gender roles it was unheard of for a woman to propose marriage to a man. A tradition arose in many places that a woman could propose only during the leap year, in some cases only on the leap day itself. If refused, there might be an established "fine" to be paid by the man to the rejected lady.

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  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This makes so much more sense now.

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