Seventeen ladies and a man named John

In our ongoing search for interesting bits of human history we can not help but fall over a boxes of post cards fairly often. Pretty pictures, brief cheesy descriptions and a collection of women being bitten on the behind by alligators. Seen it.

But in a recent batch, 17 cards that were mailed in 1908 and 1909 caught our attention. There was nothing really noteworthy about the photos on the cards – a Carnegie library in Anderson, Indiana; the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton, California; and others. Pretty but pretty blah, too. A closer look, however, made them all a lot more interesting.


On each of the cards, a young woman had pasted or taped a picture of herself onto the front of the card. In some cases, she had cut a small window in the card and attached her own photo. And all of the cards were addressed to the same person, John A. Scherf, of Easton, Pennsylvania.

“Hello, John,” wrote an anonymous girl from Indiana. “Your card rec’d some few days ago.20160328_210909 Gee I think you are fine looking. I wish I knew you personally. I know I would like you.”

All of the cards have messages that indicate they never met in person and were trading photos. Some of the women wrote that they liked his photo “just fine.”

Another little mystery is the letters, “I. A. S. Y. F.” from one young lady in Parkersburg, West Virginia. I am still your friend? I am seeking your friendship? I am saving yellow frogs? It has me puzzled but it may have been the early 1900s equivalent of LOL or WTF. Who knows?

20160328_211722So if any of this looks familiar as I am no expert on the history of post cards or pen pals, please feel free to send me any information you might have. I will be listing these soon with the little information I have but I would love to have more.

For now, I.A.S.Y.F.




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