Thursday, October 23, 2008
The Lizzie Schlager Collection at the Lake County History Archives consists of 500 postcards from around the world. Elise Walters Schlager Wandel (1878-1928) was a Waukegan resident who collected postcards between 1899 and 1912. This was during the heyday of postcard collecting when you could purchase a postcard for a penny.
“Lizzie,” as she was called, saved postcards that friends and family sent. We know she was actively collecting them, because at least one sender wrote: “This is for your collection.”
Holiday postcards, particularly for Christmas and Easter were common. There are several Halloween postcards in the Archives’ collection. The fact that there are not more may suggest the lack of popularity in that holiday at the turn of the 19th century. In the 1910s, Halloween was an up and coming holiday and not near as popular as it would become by the 1950s, and certainly today.
The two Halloween postcards shown here were produced by the International Art Publishing Company and designed by Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle. Ms. Clapsaddle (1865-1934) was a prolific postcard artist. She began her artistic life in 1885 as a china painter and also did home decorative painting.
Her children-themed postcards are highly sought after. Other subjects she was fond of painting were landscapes, animals and Christmas scenes.
For more information on postcard artists check out Susan Brown Nicholson’s book, “The Encyclopedia of Antique Postcards.”