When you care enough TO GIVE THE VERY BEST

Maybe it's just me, but when I'm looking for that perfect card to send to a friend just to say "hi" I don't go to the card section of prisoner's in stocks. This whole thing strikes me as more than a bit odd. The card was mailed from San Francisco on November 12, 1906 to  Miss Frances Trost in San Francisco. Do remember that 1906 was the year of the big earthquake so getting from one part of town to another wasn't a hop, skip, and a jump. Still, you have to wonder why this card for a casual friendly note.

These prisoners are in what is called a cangue. According to Wikipedia: "A cangue is a small device that was used for public humiliation and corporal punishment in China, and some other parts of East Asia, until the early years of the 20th Century. It was somewhat similar to the pillory used for punishment in the West, except that the board of the cangue was not fixed to a base, and had to be carried around by the prisoner."

Chinese Imperial Post_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

The message reads:
San Francisco Calif   Nov. 11/06
Friend Francis
Received your postal and will say that we will be up next Thursday evening. I have not seen Harry yet but will see him before then and will write you.
Chas (can't read last name clearly but I'll guess Grace)
I have found a site online selling various disturbing cards such as this. Actually they're horrifically disturbing so don't click on this link unless you have the stomach for it. I don't even want to know why cards like this were published. I can understanding the photography as documentation, but as penny postcards? It's all too much like standing around waiting for a hanging or slowing down to see an accident on the freeway. I know it exists, I don't need to see it.

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