Monday, March 19, 2012

My Son Karl

I don't speak Norwegian, but I think I was able to get the basic meaning of the text, based on similarities with other languages -  and a lot of guessing. But then again, I could be wrong. If you speak Norwegian, please feel free to make any corrections.

At first I thought this was a mass produced postcard, but it looks as if it is actually a real-photo card of a family member. Here's the back of the card, sent from Fredrikshald (now Halden), Norway. I have to give the post office special credit for recognizing Kallifonia, and for finding the new address of the recipient.

The message on the back of the card seems to be wishing Johan a happy Christmas, though by the time he receives the card the holiday has already passed.  It looks as if the card was sent on the 7th of December, 1911 and didn't arrive at its destination until a month later.

The message wishes Johan a happy Christmas and appears to be from his sister, Alma Hansen, who says "Here you see my son Karl."


  1. Beautiful - I love how he's holding the flowers.

  2. It's amazing the card arrived at all with the redirection as well, plus does the date on the slogan cancellation appear to be advertising an exposition in 1915?
    I won't ask if you successfully found a John Smith on a census ;), maybe the question then would be how many likely candidates did you find ;).
    Smith is probably the hardest name to research (ie so many) here.

  3. I like how young Karl was dressed to the nines. Somebody knew about all the appropriate props for the photo shoot.

  4. It is indeed seriously staged, the cane, white gloves and bowler(?) hat all seem rather adult for young Karl. And the flowers, lapel corsage and package perched on the books- it really seems like a game of dress up, but he plays it very sweetly. I want to feed him a bowl of soup, piece of cake, or bit of candy for his efforts... And that fact that it arrived is surely amazing, it says 'Dead Letter Office' all over it to me!

  5. It's a remarkable picture. Packed with things to see and think about. (And wonder about!)



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