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New Year Carrier Cards Collection 1880-1927

  • The collection consists of forty cards issued by the Saint John Globe during the years 1880 - 1927, one issued by the Daily sun for 1897 and another by the Maritime Baptist for 1916.  It also includes a predecessor of the annual carrier card, the newsboys' address, in the format of the mini-broadsheet for the year 1880 published by the Daily News.
  • Collector not definitely confirmed but most likely John Willet.  Willet was an avid collector of historical material relating to Saint John during the same time period of the Carrier Card Collection and whose other compilations are held by the Saint John Free Public Library - most notably the Willet Scrapbooks.
  • First documented mention of the collection appeared January 4, 1947 in the Evening Times Globe in an article entitled, "Carriers' Greeting Cards from 1880 to 1927 Bespeak Variety".  It announced a forthcoming exhibition at the library of the carrier cards. The description of the cards given at the time matches exactly the present inventory.
  • The New Year Carrier Card evolved from the earlier tradition of the Newsboy's or Carrier's Address.  The address to subscribers was published in late December or early January of each year in the carrier's newspaper.  Many of these early addresses were an elaborate affair consisting of a rhymed summary of the principal events of the previous year.  The address was also printed on a mini-broadsheet by the publisher of the carrier's particular newspaper and presented by the carrier to his customers on New Year's Day.  It was the carrier's opportunity to remind his customers of his faithful and unpaid service in the previous year and the hope that such effort would receive some financial reward.
  • Clarence Ward referenced these Newsboy's Addresses in a number of articles in his series Old Times in Saint John that appeared in the Saint John Globe (1901 - 1912).  At the time of the series the ornamental carrier card had replaced the Newsboys' Address in its broadsheet format.  The souvenir card coincided with and was most likely influenced by the introduction and popularity of Christmas cards in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Documentation based on:

  • "Carriers' Greeting Cards from 1880 to 1927 Bespeak Variety, Display Reveals: Free Public Library soon to Feature Series."  Evening Times-Globe, Jan. 4, 1947.
  • Kierstead, Ellen E. "At the Library: New Year Cards Fascinating Souvenirs."  Evening Times-Globe, Jan. 8, 1988.
  • Ward, Clarence.  "Old Times in St. John - 1839: The Newsboys' Address Seventy Years Ago Was a Summary of Current Events in the Form of Poetry in Which Local Happenings Were Criticized in a Friendly Manner." Saint John Globe, March 28, 1908.
  • Ward, Clarence. "Old Times in St. John - 1842: Newsboys' Address - Temperance Revival in St. John - Serious Accident at East Side Ferry Landing Reporter - Collector's Returns for year 1840 Show Amount of Business Done Compares Favorably with Present Conditions." Saint John Globe, May 1, 1909.
  • Ward, Clarence. "Old Times in St. John - 1849: How the Newsboys Used to Present Their Annual Reminder to Their Patrons - Poems Usually Contained Witty Observations on the Local Council." Saint John Globe, Feb. 3, 1912.