The Samovar

Wedding invitation

Gary - 4/19/2007 at 15:41

In 1899, a rather small place by the name of Ulla in Vitebsk gub. had a wedding. The item seen here is a printed wedding announcement sent to the USA on 11 February 1899 at the printed matter rate. I wonder if the Aronson brothers made it to the wedding?

ulla-front-marriage.jpg - 34kB

Inside of invite

Gary - 4/19/2007 at 15:41

ulla-inside-marriage.jpg - 45kB

mvarfolo - 4/20/2007 at 01:45

Just a few bits for the background...
158 Monroe Street is currently right under Manhattan bridge, NYC. Now it's that part of Chinatown with few remaining Jewish bisinesses left, mostly a few blocks up, as I recall - haven't driven that way in a bit. There used to be a funeral home nearby, may be still there. It was a much more Jewish neighborhood in earlier times.
Anyhow, in 1899 the bridge wasn't there! Construction began in 1901 and ended in 1905. This whole messy gigantic business was going on right under Aronson brothers noses... Hope they could take advantage of the increased traffic.

My bet is that the trip never took place. That's a very short notice. Is there any indication when the mail arrived to NYC? probably after the wedding. The invitation was more likely a simple way to let them know about the event. Besides, it's such a nice card, I'm sure this was a way to show off and be generally proud of the way things turn out to be. Or may be the groom was a total schmuck. Or who knows :)

If the notice was a bit more advanced - Could a Jewish immigrant in 1899 afford such trip - still very unlikely.. Very few newly arrived immigrants (1899 is rather early ) traveled back. But who knows, may be they were relatively well-off family and this is earlier than major pogrom times. That would be a very far-fetched theory.

Gary - 4/20/2007 at 04:22

Unfortunately, there are no arrival marks on the cover. Interesting information!

Another far-fetched theory

oldteddy - 4/20/2007 at 07:44

I'd like to add one more possibility: it was sent to solicit a gift.

achlenov - 4/20/2007 at 11:26

That would be too American ;)

Gary - 4/20/2007 at 17:49

Hmmmm I thought this was a Russian cover. ;) Can anyone contribute more to this item from a philatelic or social aspect?

Unhinged - 1/18/2008 at 23:24

Does anyone know the average delivery time for international post in 1899? Would this have arrived in time for the recipients to get to the wedding?

The invitees are, given the mutual last name, most likely family, not just friends. Gift seeking is probably not the idea here. I would say that the senders had every reason to believe that the addressees would be willing and able to make it. Then again, how long did it take to get there from NY back then?

It would be interesting to find out if the NY brothers were the father's brothers, the bride's brothers, or whatever the connection might be.

On another note, relating to Russian society, was it customary for both the bride's and groom's families to send the invitation? The standard here in the US is it's just the bride's side, no?