Saturday, February 20, 2010

30Sep1870, The First Post-cards

STETTON, September 30th, 1870.
—We left Holker and came here with the Duke for the opening of the splendid new Mechanics' Institute at Keighley. Same weather. A most fatiguing day ! Two meetings, one lasting an hour ; the evening one 3½ hrs. and a mighty cold collation, all in the new Institute ; on one's hind legs all day. But I was well amused : have hardly ever heard the Duke before. He hesitates and repeats, but the matter is excellent and reads well. My Fred spoke capitally—if only he could learn less ungainliness and fierceness of manner ! He ran a-tilt against an old endowed "charity" which distributes nearly £800 in small doles—suggesting the application of the money to the furthering of the education which is a chief object of the Institute. It was well taken in the hall ; but is likely to cause controversy in the town. All the functions took place in the building, which is really beautiful. Lord Houghton spoke and sat by me at luncheon : he showed off one of the new "halfpenny cards" [FN: The first post-cards.] (which are to come into use to-morrow) on which he had written a note in Italian to his sister. They are neat little articles, with the stamp printed on the back : you send them open through the post.

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