The Spirit of Paul Jones is a recent find from an antique store. The colorized postcards sell for a bit more than I’d like but then again they are old and somewhat unique.
This one is postmarked August 29th, 1919. The sender is a gal named Pearl and the recipient is Miss Nancy Austin at 519 Court St., Pekin, IL. It was sent from Lucas, KY a resort area in southern Kentucky. I could find nothing on the INET regarding Lucas, KY that connected with the US Navy.
The message is in pencil and in places hard to read so this is my best shot:
“Dear Nancy, your letter [re} was glad to hear from you. ______? ______? said he would write me a letter____? _____? he is so busy he didn’t get time to do anything. I think he will _____? if they get a book keeper he doesn’t like to grind and keep books too. He said that (someone’s name, perhaps female?) that was all between them. Love to all, Pearl”
The uniforms of the sailors on the card appear to be World War One although it is unclear what they are shooting at and with what kind of cannon. It appears to be a deck gun (no turret) of some sort and so has an earlier pre-World War One feel to it although a dead link to an eBay poster/print identifies the card as 1918.
The publisher of the post card was E.G. Renesch of Chicago. A little research turned up the fact that Renesch did many military type prints for World War One. My guess is the postcard is a miniature rendition of a larger print. Perhaps it caught Pearl’s eye for some reason at the resort and off it went to Miss Nancy.
Interesting and maybe a bit radical for the time are a number of Renesch prints celebrating America’s black soldiers, called “colored” at the time. Below is an example of a print featuring black soldiers engaged with German soldiers in hand-to-hand combat (the uniforms of the Germans are early war but accuracy was not what E.G. was after).