Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Football Postal Librariana, 1892

On Dec. 1, 1892 a person who signed his name as  "THE" sent a postal card designed to acknowledge gifts to the Library of the Leland Stanford Junior University in California to Charles H. Hull, a faculty member at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Instead of a gift acknowledgement, however, the postal card contained a personal message part of which read, "Hurrah for Walter Camp, who arrives from the East today to coach our f. b. team for two years. Leland Stanford Junior University is now just plain Stanford University, and it consistently has one of the highest ranked football teams in the nation. The Walter Camp referred to in the postal card is considered to be the father of American football. The identity of  "THE" who signed the postal card is unknown. I contacted the Stanford Library but there is no record of someone with those initials being affiliated with the library. The postal card itself is unusual in that it is, at 6 1/8 inches by 3 3/4 inches, the largest postal card issued by the United States Post Office Department. It was issued in 1891 the same year that Leland Stanford Junior University was founded.


Michael A. Golrick said...

Larry, Larry, Larry,

Isn't it clear to you that this card was signed by

THE Librarian ?

The capital letters are for emphasis, and appear immediately before the pre-printed signature "Librarian."

Larry T. Nix said...

Michael, good point. You may be right. THE Librarian was probably a faculty member which makes sense since the writer sounds like an academic. Thanks. Larry