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Jerusalem Western Salisbury
3441 Devonshire Road
Allentown, PA 18103
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Office: 610-797-4242 or 610-791-4979
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Back in October of 2014, I wrote about a postcard of our church that I had found at an antique market over the summer. That prompted to me to find the other postcards in the church historical archives. I had promised I would feature some other postcards, and this month, we will look at two postcards that show the south side of the church. Both of the cards are called "Real Photo Postcards," which were created just as a photograph on paper is created, rather than having the card printed by lithography (you can tell the difference by examining the card with a magnifying glass; if it looks like there are little dots just like a newspaper photograph, then the card was printed.) Neither of the cards was postmarked, so I will discuss how to date the cards.
The first card is clearly the older of the cards, judging from the size of the trees on the property. The original card is printed in a Prussian blue color ink and shows a long view of the church from the southwest, showing some of the tombstones in the oldest section of the "New Cemetery" across the street from the church.
Southeast view of Jerusalem Western Salisbury Church (1901-1907) from the church historical archives
This view shows the side of the church with its original 8 over 12 paned windows on the top level and 12 over 12 paned windows on the lower level, which were installed in 1819. Also take note of the shutters on the lower level windows. The view also shows the old stone wall of the "New Cemetery" that was built in 1807 and removed one hundred and twenty years later in 1927. This wall was capped with slate to protect the stone, similar to other cemetery walls at old churches. You will also notice that the cemetery wall is continued to the west with a picket fence, along the area that was not yet used for cemetery purposes.
The trees at the side and front of the church were small back then, probably planted in the late 1880s after the church was renovated in 1884-85. At the back of the church is the Tilghman K. Kline Memorial Chapel, which was built in 1899. Behind the church on the northeast end are buggy sheds, which were provided for parking wagons or carriages and horses. The shed was eventually removed in 1940, at the same time that the outdoor "Outhouses" or toilets were removed; you can't see them in the photograph, but they were located behind the sheds. Along the road are placed telegraph/telephone poles.
So how old is this postcard? Dating postcards is one of the difficult parts of collecting postcards, particularly when many of them are not postmarked. However after doing some research, I would say the card dates from approximately 1901 to 1907. On the back of the post card is printed the following: "POST CARD This side for the Address." The place where the stamp goes has the following words: "Place one cent stamp here" with a doted line forming the square box for the stamp. In order to figure out the date, research indicates that as of December 24, 1901, the US government allowed printers to start printing on the back of the card "POST CARD " or "POSTCARD." Also, this postcard has an "Undivided Back," meaning that there is no vertical line in the center of the card and that you were not allowed to write a message on the back, only on the front of the card, which in the case of this card, would have been difficult because of the dark blue color. Lastly, the stamp box that is on the card was used until 1907 by an unknown (as of now) paper producer (each paper company that provided the paper for the photographer to print the card had a special stamp box pre-printed on the paper). By the way, this photograph was used in the 1911 history book showing the "Present Structure."
The other postcard, the newer of the two, as you might imagine, shows that the trees have grown by the time this photograph was taken and the card was printed. This postcard offers a south east view of the church and shows the same features of the church as the first postcard. On this card, however, the Kline Memorial Chapel is in a close up view. You can see the details of its brick construction and cupola with side round windows (which have today been covered over with siding.) The cemetery stone wall is also in closer view, where you can clearly see that it is capped with slate. To the right of the photograph, you can see the corner of the buggy shed that was in the other card.
Southeast view of Jerusalem Western Salisbury Church (1907 - 1918) from the church historical archives
So what is the date of this card? This one is dated from approximately 1907 to 1918. On the back of this card is printed the following: "POST CARD Correspondence Address." There is no vertical line printed on the card, however, this card is from the "Early Divided Back" Period. Beginning March 1, 1907, printers were allowed to indicate that both an address and correspondence could appear on the back of card. Also, the stamp box is printed with the letters "AZO" (the paper manufacturer) in a square with the triangles on the upper corners of the box pointing up and the bottom triangles pointing down. AZO used this stamp box on cards beginning in 1918. I will feature other postcards from the archives another time.
I have appreciated the positive responses to my articles and I am pleased that people are interested in the rich history of our church. If you have curiosity about our church and its history, or information to share, please contact me through the church office or at Finkyx@aol.com.
Joshua Arthur Fink, Historian