“Cordial holiday greetings,” 1930

This simple and elegant card is what the Lovetts sent out to friends and colleagues every year. I think it’s lovely, with the embossed Rice shields and the pretty engraving:

Until a few weeks ago I’d never seen any other Christmas greetings issue forth from Dr. Lovett but one day as I was looking through his correspondence files I found, of all things,  an unexpected Christmas telegram:

The addressee was Robert Granville Caldwell, who arrived at Rice to teach American History in 1914 and stayed for nearly twenty years, becoming in the process Rice’s first Dean. He and his family spent the 1930 academic year in Grenoble and were visited for an extended period by the family of Philosophy professor Radoslav Tsanoff. And I just happen to have a photograph of the Caldwell and Tsanoff children, the youthful contingent of the colony, taken on this very Christmas of 1930:

As usual the Woodson will be closed over the holiday, beginning Monday and reopening on January 2nd. I’m off from today until the sixth, which means essentially that I’ll be off email (as much as possible) but still posting here on a very irregular schedule. By which I mean only when I feel like it.

And like Dr. Lovett, I send cordial holiday greetings to all of you! See you in January.

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10 Responses to “Cordial holiday greetings,” 1930

  1. Richard A. Schafer says:

    Merry Christmas to you, Melissa. Enjoy your holidays.

  2. Sandy Havens says:

    “Holiday Greetings” have been around for a long time. So much for the “war on Christmas” ranters.

  3. Lynne (WRC '88) says:

    Enjoy your break, Melissa!

    Side note: according to Google Maps, Polk Avenue, Houston, does not exist (anymore?). Polk Street does but it’s in the heart of downtown. Was that residential space in the 1930s?

    • Lynne (WRC '88) says:

      Sorry, I meant in the 1910s.

      • Melissa Kean says:

        Yes, it was what’s called Polk Street now and it was a residential area back then.

      • Jeff Ross says:

        Polk Street extends from downtown eastward through old Chinatown and then through industrial and residential neighborhoods terminating at Wayside and what is now the Wortham golf course. It passes through Eastwood, a 100 year old neighborhood. When Eastwood has another home tour, it is a great chance to see housing from the early 1900s.

  4. Galloway Hudson - Wiess '60 says:

    My offer of employment from Shell Oil Company i 1961 was made by using a Western Union telegram. I still have it. Do people still send telegrams these days?

  5. Grungy says:

    The MOB used to send cleverly-worded (they thought) telegrams of encouragement to the football team, at the team’s not-at-Rice overnight location, on the Friday before a game.

  6. marmer01 says:

    Was 1218 Polk a house or a hotel? I seem to remember the Lovetts always lived in hotels.

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