They Say It’s Your Birthday…

Since today is my birthday (34—woot woot!) it seemed like a great time to think about what we have at the CHS relating to birthdays…

The challenge with birthdays is that what I consider the best parts (hello—the cake and the party) don’t leave a lot behind besides some crumbs and maybe a couple of photographs. But then I thought about all of the wonderful, funny, and sometimes hand-made birthday cards I’ve given and received over the years. This led me to one of my favorite parts of the CHS collection—EPHEMERA! Here are some birthday card gems from the CHS collection.

I love this WWII era card:

CHS Ephemera Collection, c. 1940s

CHS Ephemera Collection, c. 1940s

CHS Ephemera Collection, c. 1940s

CHS Ephemera Collection, c. 1940s

The inside hand-written greeting reads “I am sure this is ‘delayed’ but your new year is still so new I can well wish you much happiness for its balance.” It’s such sweet sentiment, how could anyone be annoyed by the delay? An aside: I’m always puzzled when words such as “delayed” are puts in quotes on old cards.  My grandmother who just turned 91 often does this in her letters. Does anyone know the answer to this?

I love the text and images on these cards from the early half of the 20th century:

CHS Ephemera Collection, c. 1910-1930

CHS_birthdaycard2insideThe pop-up garden gate feature is adorable and reminds me a lot of Valentines from this time period.

This is also a good time to mention that starting in the fall, CHS will be offering kid’s birthday parties! Birthday party programs will be for children ages 9 and under and include a variety of fun, hands-on activities. Space for refreshments is also available. Starting in September, please visit www.chs.org/education to view our birthday party packages or contact the Coordinator of Youth & Family Programs at (860) 236-5621 x222 for more information. Follow CHS on Facebook and Twitter for birthday party updates!

Emily Dunnack is the Head of Education Programs at the Connecticut Historical Society.

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