Thursday, February 21, 2008

Leap Year Postcards

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Leap year is here and we will soon have our extra day of February 29th. One revolution of earth around the sun, a solar year, takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. Julius Caesar was behind the origin of leap year in 45 BC since the early Romans were using a 355 day calendar. In order to keep festivals occurring in the same season each year, a 22 or 23 day month was created every second year. Caesar simplified things by adding days to different months of the year to create a 365 day calendar year and added the extra day to February every 4th year. The Gregorian calendar of 1582 is the latest form that gave us the calendar still in use today.

We all know that the leap year is evenly divisible by 4 but did you know there are exceptions to that? A century year must be evenly divisible by 400 so while 1600 and 2000 were leap years, 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years. This means there were only three Leap Year dates, 1904, 1908 & 1912, during the Golden Age of postcards making these postcards somewhat rare and hard to find. Enough of this math stuff so on to leap year postcards.

I will do four blogs showing different vintage leap year postcards from the early 1900s. Our first two examples are from a 1908 set of 12 by E. Nash of New York and are referred to as "the lemon set" due to the yellow lemon shaped enclosue with the words "Leap Year" in it. Both of these show women in persuit of potential husbands and I will discuss the reasons for this in my next posting. Be sure to check out all the postcards on my website at Moody's Postcards.

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