Welcome back to another edition of ww2homefront.com's Treasure of the Month. This month we switch gears a bit after braving a long foray into the auction and retail wildlands. This months item is not a high dollar item but rather one filled with sentiment and unusually uncommon despite its mass production.
This month we are pleased to feature a set of postcards that are very very difficult to complete as a series. One could collect for 10 years and never see all 10 cards that make up this set. These were produced by "Colourpicture" of Cambridge, MA and are marked Series B- Home Folks to Service Men". They are numbered from 300 to 309 and hence are a series of 10 cards. They measure out to standard postcard size. Each postcard features a "Son In Service" (SIS) flag or banner somewhere in the comic.
"Son in Service" flags and banners were created to allow families who had loved ones in service of their country to display their pride to others. Each blue star represented a person in service and could be found with up to 6 stars. If a loved one died, the blue star was converted to gold and was often hand embroidered. A home with an SIS banner and a gold star represented a family that made the ultimate sacrifice for God and Country. Such a family was empathized by neighbors who might bring by home-cooked apple pies and sympathy cards in consolence. SIS appeared on many WWII homefront collectibles including these postcards, posters, cinderellas, banners, flags, pennants, ephemera, and jewelry among others.
This postcard series was a real morale booster for any GI who received one. They included a range of topics from girlfriend and buddies to mom and dad. Most of the postcards try to give the GI the feeling that he is not alone; that mom and dad are doing their part too to fight the war. Examples include #302 where mom and dad are getting in the scrap too. In #306 dad is home peeling potatoes just like the private on KP. All of these postcards are bright, cheery and genuine morale boosters.
In addition several of these postcards feature multiple keystone homefront areas hence increasing their value. In #302 SIS and scrap/rationing are the keystone areas. This fact makes this set very desireable. The value of each postcard in this set ranges from $7.50 to $20.00 as several of the cards are much harder to come by than the others that seem to pop up more often. This set of 10 SIS postcards is valued in excellent to near-mint condition at $130.00.
We all are indebted to Carla Ritter in Clinton, CT for her generous donation of all of these pics. Were it not for her many of us might never have seen the entire series of these terrific cards. Carla is an SIS collector and with what I know of her collection, can safely be said she has a fabulous collection. Her collection has over 300 SIS jewelry pieces alone !!!! Should you have any questions about SIS items in particular, please contact us and we'd be happy to put you in contact with Ms. Ritter. Dont be surprised if an extensive Homefront Digest crops up in the next few months written by Carla.
Until then, back into the Landcruiser we go in search of that big game homefront trophy you crave. So in the meanwhile, watchout for those lions in the auction bushes and we'll see ya' back here next month.
Good Luck. Good Hunting...