photography Social history

Tenuous Jack the Ripper Connection

A set of miniature postcards of Victorian actresses all addressed to Edith at Birch View Whitechurch Tavistock. Edith was the youngest daughter of Joseph Helson who was the detective in charge of investigating Jack the Ripper’s first victim, Polly Nichols. Helson on his retirement moved to the Birch View address. The cards are all postmarked and dated 1904.

Apart from the strange Ripper connection these cards are unusual, being of a much smaller size than normal, hence they were known as midget or miniature postcards.

Edith continued to receive postcards of famous actresses in 2005 and 2006 but this time of the more usual full size variety.

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I’m not sure how to interpret this photo of Billie Burke. Presumably we’re meant to think she’d just been hatched from an egg but why’s she got a stuffed bird on her hand?

[As usual all cards from my own collection].