Christmas postcard 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" of Santa Claus with many toys for children and surrounded by holly. "Xmas Greeting"
The back of the postcard has a hand-written note
ANTIQUE George C. "Whitney Made" in Worcester, MA 1914 Postcard
Upon returning from the war, Whitney entered into business with his brother Sumner, who owned a wholesale stationary store. Sumner and his wife were also hand-crafting valentines as a sideline. The trauma of the Civil War had led to a surge in sentimentality, and valentines provided the perfect medium to express ones feelings. The industry surged. After Sumner’s death, George renamed the business The Whitney Valentine Company and he began to quickly buy up his competitors in the region.
Whitney added other holiday cards to his business, such as Christmas, Halloween, New Year’s and Easter. He began printing calendars, books, and booklets. In 1898, the company moved to larger quarters on Union Street. The business was incorporated as the George C. Whitney Company. Even with a destructive fire in 1910, by 1915 Worcester Magazine assessed that “ninety per cent of the valentines that are exchanged on St. Valentine’s Day come from Worcester.” In April of 1915, George C. Whitney died. He was eulogized not just for his commercial endeavors, but for his philanthropic work with the Y.M.C.A., the Baptist Foreign Missionary Society, and other religious charitable organizations.
The company continued to thrive, run by Whitney’s son Warren and later his grandson George. Even with it’s success the business couldn’t withstand the paper shortage of WWII. With the company unable to re-purpose their machinery for the war effort, the largest Valentine manufacturer in America closed its doors.