During the 1900s-10s heyday of the postcard, any holiday was a great  excuse for sending friends and family a quick greeting. I suspect the penny postage was cheaper than a phone call (if telephone service was even available to you). Our collection features cards for all kinds of holidays, large and small, but I think my favorite are the Thanksgiving cards. Why? Turkeys! Almost every Thanksgiving Greeting (in our collections, anyway) features at least one turkey; sometimes they makes sense, sometimes they don’t. We have happy turkeys:

less happy turkeys:

sparkly turkeys:

patriotic turkeys:

turkeys getting their own dinner (some, like these here, are wise to the situation – click to enlarge and read the verse):

turkeys dancing with Spanish maidens:

even – the best card ever? – turkeys driving a car.

There isn’t really a deeper point to today’s post, other than showing off all these fabulous turkeys. (Though for the specific-history-minded among you, a list of each card’s provenance is included below.) I did a spot of research on the history of the Thanksgiving turkey tradition and found some information to share, including this article from the Smithsonian. But really, I just wanted to post the turkeys driving a car.

Happy turkey: Postmarked 1911; sent to Raleigh Chinn, Brookeville. Donated by Jane C. Sween.
Deceased turkey: Postmarked 1909; sent to Mrs. Lynch, Washington, DC. Donated by Joyce Candland.
Sparkly turkeys (featuring copious amounts of silver glitter, though it’s hard to tell from this scan): No postmark; addressed to Mrs. Lynch, Washington, DC. Donated by Joyce Candland.
Patriotic turkey: Postmarked 1910; sent to Mr. McRory, Illinois. Donated by Joyce Candland.
Dubious turkeys: No postmark; addressed to Miss Marian Howard, Brookeville.  Donated by Jane C. Sween.  (Here’s the verse: “You feed me well but I can tell that you’re no friend of mine / Because, my dear, I greatly fear, it’s near Thanksgiving time.”)
Dancing turkey: Postmarked 1909; sent to Master Thomas M. Anderson, Rockville.  Donated by the Anderson family.
Turkeys out for a drive: Postmarked 1908; sent to Mr. Raleigh Chinn, Brookeville.  Donated by Jane C. Sween.

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