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This full color postcard features a drawing of a boy playing with a fire-cracker cannon and a girl raising the American flag while dressed in fancy white clothing trimed in red, white and blue ribbon. The children's image is framed by eagles, and sheilds.
On the verso a clipping on newsprint is glued. It reads "To the child patriotism as expressed on Independence Day means, first, though by no means exclusively, an unusual license to make a noise. That is a kind of freedom which some of his elders think might be more honored in the denial than in the granting. Every year we have a protest against a noisy Fourth. And every year the enthusiasm for the noise of the child and the interest of the makers of the means for noise prevails upon the good nature alike of the authorities and of the public to wink at these continual, petty explosions which mark the child's idea of a happy celebration. Most of us do outgrow this thought of patriotism, I suppose, though I saw Grandpa Pendleton, who was eighty-five in January, shooting off firecrackers with his great-grandchildren. But I must not insist upon the point or you will round upon me with the assertion that Great-grandfather Pendleton is in his second childhood, and I shall not be able to produce him in cold print as evidence to the contrary.
---- It was the Chinese, I am told, who were the inventors of firecrackers. But the thought of noise as an expression of happiness goes vastly farther back than even the interminable Chinese chronology. An elephant killed in some African forest by the village huntsmen sets a whole tribe to capering and shouting. The noise is natural enough. All children like to make a noise in their discomfort or rejoicing. But I wonder how large was the element in Boston yesterday which has not progressed beyond the childish notion that patriotism consists in noisy self-assertion. That doctrine is near akin to the Prussian notion of the "superman," with his mission to re-formthe world in his own image with big guns and bombs and poson gas, whose patriotic son is "Germany over all." The braggart American, the American who goes about the world, at home or abroad, with a chip on his shoulder and a boast on the tip of his tongue, is, after all, only a thoughtless and reckless child, though a first-cklass mischief-maker. He ought to have for a coat-of-arms a firecracker, fess; a piece of punk, chief, and a toy pistol, base. He is an international nuisance, like a child with a package of torpedoes in a powder magazine. But he is, I hope, in course of gradual suppression, as cosmical good sense grows. If this is patriotism, all the long course is far from being ended." Under this clipping is an illegible note.
toys (recreational artifacts)
General photographic collection
W.H.Bunting, The Camera's Coast: Historic Images of Ship and Shore in New England (Boston: Historic New England, 2006) pg. 91.