Get Well Cards – Then & Now

Get well card 1931

The Stories We Wish We Knew

In February 1931, my great-grandmother sent this get well card to my dad. At the time, dad was 13-years-old. When I saw the card, I wished that I knew what had prompted it. Did dad have a bad cold, pneumonia, or the flu? It was still winter, so I’m guessing it was a wintertime type of illness. But now, there’s no one left to ask, as so often happens in the world we genealogists inhabit.

But instead of dwelling on what I don’t know, I decided to do a little research into get well cards of the 1930s. It was the depression era, stamps cost $0.02 each, and the cost of the card was probably pennies. I remember mom telling me that movie tickets in 1930 cost $0.25 so it seems reasonable that a card would be a fraction of that. If the cost of postage and a card was $0.05 or thereabouts, what else could you buy at the time for almost the same amount of money?

I found that peas were $0.03 a pound, bread $0.08 a loaf, and a bar of Camay soap was $0.06. Why do I care about the cost? Because it tells me that great-grandma wasn’t so hard off that she couldn’t send her grandson a get well card.

From stories I remember hearing from one of my aunts, my dad and his grandma had some kind of psychic connection; it seems dad always knew when grandma was coming to visit even before anything else really “knew”. So sending him this get well card seemed in perfect alignment to what I’ve been told about their relationship.

(I only have a few pictures of my great-grandmother; this is one of her and dad’s oldest sister, Luella. )

By the way, I looked at digital get well cards over at BlueMountain.com; there were a lot of cute ones, but to me, none can hold a candle to the charm of the one my great-grandmother sent my father eighty-seven years ago.

I think it’s the blue birds.

What do you think?

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