Posts Tagged ‘Paul Revere’

The midnight ride of Paul Revere – 235 years ago

April 20, 2010

It was 235 years ago — beginning late at night on April 18, 1775 — that Paul Revere stepped out of his Boston home and into the history books, for it was on that night that he began a short journey to alert the local populace that British troops were amassing for an attack on Lexington, Massachusetts.  

The unused, linen era postcard, below, has a caption on the front that is centered in  the top of the white border that reads:  


and has the number 42143 in the lower right corner.  

Paul Revere's Ride, Boston, Mass. - obverse

Paul Revere's Ride, Boston, Mass. - obverse




Astride a horse in full gallop. Paul is depicted pointing  determinedly behind him.  His urgent gesture is directed to a young couple standing on the front porch of their home, apparently awakened by the the noise of approaching hoofbeats.  The man has a rifle in his hand, and it looks as though he is about to respond to Mr. Revere’s warning, and head over to nearby Lexington to join the other Minutemen.  The wife is cowering in the background, with folds of her long, flowing robe gathered in her hands held up to her chin, perhaps for warmth in the chilly Spring night air, but more likely for fear of what might become of her husband in the battle that was soon to follow.  The scene is bracketed by two Grecian marble columns, each topped with just a hint of a Corinthian capital.


Paul Revere's Ride, Boston, Mass. - reverse

Paul Revere's Ride, Boston, Mass. - reverse


The reverse (back) of the postcard has this explanatory verbiage:

”  PAUL REVERE’S RIDE.  On the 19th of April, 1775, Paul Revere rode through slumbering villages to Lexington and Concord awakening the farmers from their slumber to warn them of the approach of the British soldiers.”

It must be pointed out immediately that the short account of the famous ride is incorrect in one major respect:  Paul Revere never made it to Concord; he was captured and detained by British sentries before he could get to Concord.  His ride was thus cut short, a mere twelve and a quarter miles.  He did manage to escape, but the British had taken the horse, so he walked to Lexington.  The exact route is unknown, but a map of the approximate route taken by Paul Revere and the two men who also were sent to alert the Patriots of Lexington and Concord, William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott, is available here, aslong with a somewhat more detailed account of the midnight ride. 

The postcard is printed by the Metropolitan Postcard Company, Everett, Massachusetts, and published by United Art Company, located — appropriately — in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Publishers Directory (“M” Page 1, the very bottom entry) of gives this short description of Metropolitan:

“Metrocraft (Metropolitan)   1940’s-1984
Everett, MA

A major printer of linen and photochrome postcards displaying a variety of subjects. They also printed postcards for many other publishers.  

A good number of Metrocraft’s early photochrome postcards retained the use of retouchers that had worked on their linens. These cards have a very distinct look before they went over to a completely uniform photographic means of natural color reproduction.”

The same website, about halfway down the “U” webpage of Publishers, gives this description of the United Art Company:

United Art Co.   (1936-)
Boston, MA

A publisher of view-cards depicting the greater Boston area first in linens and later as photochromes. They used a variety of different printers.”


The United Art Company logo is prominent in the lower left corner.  The logo consists of a U superimposed on an A, with an O cradled inside of a C, which in turn is cradled in the closed area defined by the bowl of the U and the bar of the A.  The Metropolitan logo is as diminutive as the United Art logo is oversized:  A small circular mark along the bottom, just left of the vertical divider strip.  In between the concentric circles is “MADE BY METROPOLITAN EVERETT MASS”, and a stylized M graces the inner circle, with a tiny dot directly under the vee of the M.  This postcard is somewhat unusual in that “THIS SPACE FOR WRITING” and “THIS SIDE IS FOR THE ADDRESS” are positioned along the bottom of the card, whereas most postcard have the writing and addressing directions located above their respective areas.


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