What did YOU get for Christmas?

Category: What on Earth!?

I got some spare time to hunt around the attic. Because we really haven't discovered everything in this house yet.

Like a whole tissue wrapped box of embroidered and printed handkerchiefs. I am so not kidding. And here is one of them that has me completely puzzled.

Old Mother Hubbard,
She went to the cupboard:
To get her poor dog a bone,
When she got there
The cupboard was bare:
And so the poor doggie got none.

I didn't remember the rest of the rhyme on the handkerchief!

Dear Foxy Grand Pa
With the boys and a hamper:
Heard it by wireless phone.
With a new hat for the old lady,
They dined where it was shady
And the dog he got fat on the bone.

Foxy Grand Pa? Wireless phone? I don't get it. From the markings on the box and the wrapping, these handkerchiefs are from the late 1800's through the 1940's, maybe early 1950's (but that is a stretch). What was a wireless phone back then?

Maybe it was some sort of radio? Or "walkie talkie"? That was invented in 1938.


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Maybe "Foxy Grand Pa" is what they called Sugar Daddies back in the day! :) I mean, he's feeding her and buying her giant hats ...

Hmmm. I think you might be right! He's even feeding her dog. Don't know who the kids are unless they are along to carry everything. They look pretty shady in the bottom picture. There is BIG symbolism here but I think I am afraid to unravel it :) The wishbone? The fact that they all seem to be on the Atkins diet? (I mean, LOOK in that picnic basket!) And who's the Bunny? Koo-koo-ka-choo!

Yeah, and Bunny is going to be ticked when they get to the bottom of that "hamper" and there's no vegetables for him! Is that a thermos bottle or a can of generic cola? And what about those shoes and her old hat? Was Mother Hubbard a Pilgrim? One small handkerchief, so many questions. I laughed when I read this entry earlier today while eating my own lunch (in my office watching it snow, not in a shady spot with an old guy and two creepy kids!) and nearly choked on my falafel. You crack me up. :)

Our guess is that the "wireless phone" is a telegraph. Wealthier people sent them to each of across town or closer - easier than writing a letter a having it sent in the post (collected several times a day in some areas) or hiring a messenger.

JANA! You SMART GIRL! I bet you're right!

(p.s. I still have those decorations for you. Still searching for a small box to mail them in...whoo hoo! Jana's got new tree stuff for, um, 2004! Soon.)

I remember Old Mother Hubbard from when I was a young boy in the 1930s. Frank akaPOPS"30"

okay, the Wireless Telegraph existed at the end of the 19th Century (BIG POINTS for Jana). For more information about the "wireless telegraph", you can go here and build your own! Perhaps Mother Hubbard will answer the line :)


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