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Music, the Mail, and Ephemera

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I haven’t posted much over the past few years, although I’ve checked in fairly regularly to keep up with various threads. Now that I’ve recently retired and have more time for personal pursuits, I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my long-time exploration of two of my favorite interests – music and stamp collecting (particularly the area of postal history.)

Items that have passed through the mail during years past can have fascinating and valuable tales to tell. Sometimes, the envelopes alone reveal interesting stories. When the enclosures are still intact, they provide a greater bonus.

This 1937 BSO mailing went from Boston to nearby New Hampshire during the tenure of Serge Koussevitzky. At that time, a seat for the entire Boston Symphony season of 24 Saturday evening performances would set you back $35.00 – just under $1.50 per concert.

While Koussevitzky is legendary in the world of classical music, BSO manager G.E. Judd’s name isn’t quite so familiar. His 1977 New York Times obituary reveals some important accomplishments.   

George E. Judd, former manager of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, died Monday at his home in Unadilla, N.Y. He was 90 years old.
When Mr. Judd was given an honorary degree by Harvard University in 1955, the citation referred to him as an “imaginative impresario” whose “good‐humored patience in the face of genius” helped to lead the Boston Symphony into ever greater importance.
His association with the orchestra went back to 1914, when he became secretary to Col. Henry L. Higginson, who founded the orchestra in 1881. From 1918 to 1935, he was assistant manager. He then moved into the managerial post, which he filled i until his retirement in 1954.
Mr. Judd was active in the establishment of the Berkshire Festival at Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass., as a summer activity of the Boston Symphony, and he was guiding hand in the orchestra's first coast‐to‐coast tour in 1953.

This is another enclosure.

That's an entertaining little subject, thank you for posting.

The Paris Opera House - Palais Garnier - on a postcard mailed in 1907. Notice the horse and carriages in front.

By 1919, when this postcard was mailed, we see old-time autos in place of horses.


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