My featured postcard has a verse and simple design of Violets. On the reverse side is printed “By a distinction all its own, The Sandford Message Card is known.”

On the lower right corner of this versed greeting postcard are the initials M.E.S., they represent Mary Elizabeth (Kennedy) Sandford. She was the writer of this verse and was founder of the Sandford Card Company of Dansville, NY, which began in 1907. The company published lithographic greeting and holiday cards.

The Sandford Card Company originated as a greeting card business but after time offered place cards, calling cards, calendars, program folders, napkins, banquet supplies, gifts and souvenirs.

Mary was married to Frank Sherman Sandford. After the death of Mary and her husband, the company was then operated by their daughter Ruth Louise Sandford. In 1948, Ruth hired John G. Holden as business manager. In 1965, the company moved from Dansville to Baldwinsville, New York. It continued to operate as a family business for several years then was sold to John G. Holden and later was purchased by Rodney Pease, the grandson of Mary Elizabeth Sandford’s sister Lillian Frances Pease. Rodney would eventually change the company name.


Six purple Violets hanging in a row

Carrying good wishes, everywhere they go

Number one brings happiness, — number two brings health

Number three brings luck-in-love, — number four brings wealth

Number five, contentment brings, — best thing on the list

Number six brings everything, that the rest have missed.

This postcard was postmarked March 10, 1921 from Boston, Mass., Hyde Park Station and was sent to Aunt Etta (Mrs. Henrietta Hooper), in Plainville, Mass., in care of Mr. Fuller. The sender of the card was her niece, Ethel–a daughter of Etta’s brother William James and his wife Mabel (Dollof). It is signed from Ethel and Charles. She had a brother named Charles; so, I am not sure whether this was her brother Charles or if that was the name of her “hubby” that she speaks about in her message. I need to do some further research to identify the name of her husband–something for a another day.

Ethel’s handwritten message is as follows:

My Dear Aunt Etta,
I am ashamed of myself for not writing before but I haven’t felt much like writing as we have had a hard time as hubby has been layed off most all winter. Until about a few weeks ago. He has got a good job now though. I am glad you have had lots of work this winter. If you write to me send it to Mother’s. We will be out soon. I will let you know when. With love from Ethel and Charles.

I can certainly relate a work lay-off. From her message, it would appear that Ethel and her hubby were staying with her parents in Hyde Park, as I know that was where they resided.

From a genealogy perspective, I am intrigued by the names I found in connection with the Sanford Card Company as my paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Holden and the last name of Pease is the maiden name of the wife of Aunt Etta’s brother Martin.

Until next time…

Reference Material

Sandford Greeting Card Company and Family Papers, circa 1839-2000; undated, Archives Center, National Museum of American History; Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives (; Accessed 01 March 2019.