Boat on lake illustration

Hjärtlig Gratulation postcard

Another souvenir postcard from our trip to Gothenburg earlier in the year. The illustration reminded me of Tantolunden in Stockholm; lilac lined fences and glimpses of boats on the water through gaps between cabins. Once that memory had been jogged, I couldn’t leave the postcard behind.

Illustration of boat on water
Hjärtlig Gratulation / Congratulations

The illustration was created by Steén. I’ve searched high and low but haven’t been able to find any information about them or their work — often seems to be the case with these old postcards.

Handwriting in black ink

Have the honor to congratulate Linnaeus Day. Wondering how you are doing now. We are well with Spring work still to do. Our snow lay so long that the ground is no longer green. Thank goodness you weren’t here for Easter. Many greetings and happy Pentecost are welcomed to you.


Closeup of handwriting

The postcard is addressed to:

Fröken (Miss) Elin Johansson, Olskroksgatan 24, Göteborg

That location is now an appartment block close to Gothenburg Central Station.

Linnaeus Day (23rd May) is a celeration of the Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeu, who created the naming system used for organisms.

Granbergs nya Aktiebolag (Granbergs new Limited Company), Stockholm is the postcard publisher and I’ve also found their name printed on books.

The 5 öre stamp was in production from 1939 and features Pehr Henrik Ling. He was a Swedish physio who created a course of gymnastics for strengthening the body. Unfortunately, I can’t determine a postage date because the stamp isn’t franked but the postcard could be up to 80 years old, which is pretty amazing.

Put everything together and Elin lived near Gothenburg Central Station during or after May 1939, was not married and likely to be Christian with an interest in nature. There is a strong chance our lives have overlapped in the train station, decades apart.

If you speak Swedish and spot any mistakes in my translation, leave a comment below!

Part of my old postcards project (archive list).

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