Last week, we considered a few postcards from days gone by which might today be considered dirtier than they were originally intended. This was not meant to be some sort of argument that our ancestors were clueless when it came to sex. How do you think they got to be ancestors, after all?
So I thought today we might consider a few suggestive postcards which were intended to suggest exactly what they seem to suggest. These are not the naughtiest postcards I have encountered—in all ages there are special wares for distribution among people who shared a taste for more obvious naughtiness (the type who run out the door when puns fly innuendo. Sorry.) These are just the SUGGESTIVE postcards.
The seaside, besides being the traditional place for buying and selling naughty postcards, was also a source of suggestion, being a place where people might spy each other in minimal attire, even if, as at most beaches, ropes were set up to divide the insecurely clad women from the insecurely clad men. The fine old message above was used on a number of such cards, always to easily understood effect.
As bathing suit styles changed, jokes changed to fit them, sometimes very tightly.
Some postcard artists were cads enough to suggest that ladies were scantily clad to attract the attention of the opposite sex: a shocking assumption, of course, but not as shocking as those who suggested an insecurely clad lady might be dressed for business, as with this career woman asking you to send her a letter.
Such suggestions about the fashionably dressed go back to nearly the turn of the last century.
Whereas by the 1920s, there were actually suggestions about how she could afford to be fashionably dressed in the first place.
I don’t know if you recognize THIS executive young lady, who is doing the suggesting herself (with the artist tossing in another slam for the young man by having him hold up a bouquet if oansies, suggesting he won’t be able to manage either of her expectations) but I believe this is the one we saw in the bathtub a few columns ago. She got around, I guess.
Say, to go back to our last column discussing old jokes, do you know what the newlyweds always choose for their salad course? Lettuce alone. Anyway, in an era when a lot of people were pushing the idea that producing children was the only reason to….
Speaking of children, it’s a little shocking how often our Edwardian ancestors included them in the naughty postcards. Of course, as everyone in this picture finds humorous, the scorekeeper (marker) is simply announcing the score correctly. In billiards, the person shooting is known as the Striker, and if that person is coming in second, then the way to announce the score must include the wortri Striker behind”.
And yet, itr is shocking how many young street kids in early twentieth century postcards are incurable upskirt peekers. Most of these are a little more subtle than this specimen, and even though it is the lad’s job to be where he is…well, thank heaven this was a phenomenon of the 1910s, and we did not repeat that sort of joke in later….
Coming soon: DID they mean it?