How’s the sap?

“Well Frank, how’s the sap?” begins this postcard from Hattie to Frank Wells of Gardiner. It’s March 17, 1927, and the maple trees are waking up from winter.

2010.8.1.248c, “Morse High School, Bath, Maine,” from the Oscar R. Marsh Postcard Collection
2010.8.1.248c verso, “Morse High School, Bath, Maine,” from the Oscar R. Marsh Postcard Collection

“Lena said John out behind this building to get away from the teachers. John said he’d like to have you come down to see him.

Best wishes,


The building John hid behind is Morse High School, as it stood before the catastrophic fire that ocurred just a year after this postcard was sent, on March 24, 1928. That year, Morse students experienced a disruption on par with the one they’re facing today, without even the chance to say goodbye to their beloved schoolhouse before moving into a new one the following fall.

This card is a good illustration of a postcard from the “White Border” era. The story of the white border goes like this: after World War I began, domestic printers replaced German printers in the US postcard market. In wartime, domestic printers saved on the cost of ink by leaving the edges of the postcard blank.

This card was printed by C. T. American Art, another name for the Curt Teich Company of Chicago. Curt Teich was a German immigrant and a promintent figure in postcard printing from 1908 through the 1970s. Some credit Teich with being the innovator behind the White Border, as well as the later Linen style. You can browse other postcards printed by the company online at the Curt Teich Postcard Archives Digital Collections website.

I chose the postcard for tomorrows post, which will conclude National Postcard Week, as soon as I laid eyes on it. It was a bit harder to choose which postcard to feature in this next-to-last blog post, but I think this one is a fitting tribute to today’s Morse students.

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