This is one of the earlier uses of this series, postally used from Toronto to New York on June 28, 1898. An interesting aspect of this card is that it bears the text “PRIVATE POST CARD” in a purple ink stamp on the face of the card. I’ve often wondered the sequence that Toronto Litho issued the version of the card with the same text printed on the card.As a conjecture, this could be an example of the second design variation, the first being issued without the text, the second being issued with a rubber stamp of the text, and the third being with the printed text. As the printed text version is scarce, it could be that cards without the text soon became acceptable use through the postal service, and the added text was dropped.
In Allan Steinhart’s “The Postal History of the Post Card in Canada, 1878–1911. He writes that in January 1898, The Official Postal Guide set out the rules for private post cards to foreign destinations, stating:
“…the face should be reserved exclusively for the address and the superscription ‘Private Post Card’.”
While the USA, being the destination of this card, was not considered a foreign destination for the purposes of this regulation, the inclusion of the Private Post Card text on cards would allow a sender greater flexibility in choice of destination.
This note by William Stone prompts the question, was Stone a postcard collector? Was this research into contemporary European postcard printing part of company business? Or was Stone just curious about a city he planned to visit?
“Dear Sir: Knowing your good Hotel by reputation, I take the liberty of asking you to kindly mail mean illustrated post card of your City. Hoping to pay you a visit in the near future. Yours sincerely,Wm. Stone”