Title: Heirloom Postcards (TGF Catalogue No. 425.1113)

Gallery Location: Portland

Manufacturer: Roten & Loffel Co., Newark, NJ

Card stock, photographs
At the turn of the 20th century, Roten & Loffel Co. did a booming business producing postcards from photographs, which were becoming a popular novelty among wealthy Americans. The postcards in our collection are on permanent loan from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

The donor has, however, allowed us to reprint the following information, which she sent in a letter that accompanied the pieces:

Every summer, in late June, my grandfather would take us children from our home in New Jersey to the coast of Maine. Years later, I learned that the pilgrimage coincided with the Festival of San Giovanni Battista. My grandfather, who had moved from Italy to Queens as a young man, would spend the night before the voyage meticulously packing his large basket full of traditional Italian foods. Though the foods themselves would sometimes change from one year to the next, he always included a set of red spoons. One year, when I was 13, I crept downstairs and watched him pack the basket. Cradling the red spoons in his hands, I heard him muttering, “One day, one day,” again and again under his breath.