Repaired While You Wait

vintage postcard imageHow awesomely cute is this vintage postcard? A little boy lays across his mother’s lap as she sews up the seat of his britches. He’s obviously put a large tear in them and they need to be fixed. Perhaps as a bit of punishment or simply because he has no other pants to wear, his mother fixes his pants while he waits.

This copyright free, vintage postcard was originally copyrighted in 1906 by the James Lee Co. It is entitled “Repaired While You Wait.” There seems to be very little known about the James Lee Co other than they were in Chicago. Most of the search results from Google turned up people trying to find more information about particular prints or post cards they have. One antique appraiser said they produced chromolithographs and that they appeared to be active only between 1902 and 1910. While most of their work that I’ve seen has a quaintness similar to “Prepared While You Wait,” I saw one postcard that was of the great San Francisco fire in 1906. Based upon the pieces being shared online, their prints ranged in size from postcard to small poster size.

A chromolithograph is a print that was not hand colored. They are actually quite difficult to make. Each color is applied to the print by using a different plate one at a time. Seems like the lithographer would have to be quite skilled in order to ensure that each layer is positioned exactly in relationship to the layers already applied.

I’ve seen a number of people offering this vintage postcard image for sale. They all include the 5220 stamp which would tend to indicate that “Repaired While You Wait” was item number 5220 in their product catalog.

History aside, the good news is that this vintage postcard is copyright free in the United States and can be used however you wish.

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