Vintage postcards celebrate Thanksgivings past

In 1873, the first American postcard was designed. Today, a significant number of postcards from the late 19th and early 20th century exist in an excellent state.
Deltiology is the collection and study of postcards. Deltiologists find vintage postcards on eBay, at estate sales, and postcard shows. Themes include hometowns, hobbies, and holidays. This week, I’m sharing some highlights from my personal collection.
Most Thanksgiving postcards are colorful lithographs. A majority were created between 1898 and 1918 and are now collectible works of art.
Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle (186 –1934) was one of the most prolific postcard artists of her era. One of her signed postcards features a pilgrim woman baking a pie in her kitchen and reads “Busy hands make a happy heart, May Health and Wealth their share impart.”
John Winsch of Stapleton, New York, was co-manager of Art Lithographic Publishing Company. He copyrighted his artist-signed greeting cards, which were often published in sets. He produced approximately 4,000 designs between 1910 and 1915, and was highly regarded for his Thanksgiving and Halloween postcards.
Other notable postcard producers included Alcan Moss Publishing Company of Manhattan, which produced the National Bird Series, and Whitney in Worcester, Massachusetts.

River Fund celebrates 30 years of giving back

The River Fund celebrated 30 years of charitable nonprofit work with its Thanksgiving turkey distribution in Richmond Hill.
It may have been just another week of giving back for Swami Durga Das, founder and CEO of the River Fund Food Pantry, which served over 2,000 families in Queens on Saturday. With several blocks of people lined up for food, a milestone was celebrated for the organization’s ongoing fight against poverty.
“It’s really all about caring for our fellow New Yorkers and how we balance their lives out and make it a little bit more palatable to live through poverty,” said Das. “Two-thousand people shouldn’t be in line getting groceries, but they are.”
Starting with 12 dozen cookies, the nonprofit was founded in 1991 to focus primarily on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Years later, the River Fund shifted their focus to tackle the epidemic of poverty.
Today, the River Fund serves about two-million pounds of food a month, feeding about 3,000 households a week. With mobile and home-delivery programs, along with a Benefits Access Center, the nonprofit has served as a vital lifeline for the Southeast Queens community.
Das was honored with multiple proclamations and awards from elected officials, including the offices of Councilwoman Adrienne Adams, councilwoman-elect Lynn Schulman, Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit.
“He serves my constituents day in and day out,” said Rajkumar. “He’s been an incredible partner.”
Schulman and Rajkumar praised the ongoing work of the nonprofit, adding that the pandemic exacerbated the cycle of poverty. To their point, the River Fund quadrupled its numbers during the middle of the pandemic. More recently, Das says that the need has gone up even further.
“In the last six months, we thought it would come down or balance out,” said Das. “It’s been just the opposite.”
The organization also promotes the importance of education, and offers scholarship, mentoring, behavioral and tutoring programs.
“You want to know a family and see what they’re going through, and you want to make sure that each person in the family is cared for in some way,” said Das. “That’s how you change poverty.”

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