february 23rd 1910 adelaide emma richards blake to ann adelaide blake nee parent

san francisco, california, usa to chelston, torquay, devon

5299 miles


the message

"241 West Clay - San Francisco

Hope you are all well. W ??? ill in bed and in a good deal of pain.


the sender

Adelaide Emma Richards Blake (1859-?) was the daughter of Robert Tetley Blake (1819-?) and Anne Adelaide Parent (1831-1917). Apart from being born in India and visiting California, Adelaide seems to be a bit of a mystery.

So is the reference to W which may be followed by the name "Oble" which cannot be clearly read.

the recipient

Anne Adelaide Blake nee Parent (1831-1917) was the daughter of Charles Thomas Parent and his wife Mary. Charles was a Master Mariner and neither he nor his wife can be found in any of the UK Census records. Anne appears to be the youngest of 8 children, most of whom were born in and around Stepney, London.

Anne can be traced through the UK census records. In 1841, she and most of her siblings were living on the Isle Of Wight with her sister Mary Jane (1814-1907) and her husband William Guichet (1796-1868) a Frenchman and teacher. In 1851 the extended family are together still in Ryde. In 1858, Anne married Robert Tetley Blake (1819-?) in Calcutta, India. She was his second wife. They had 3 children, the first born in India and the second two in England. By 1871 Anne was widowed and back in England, working as a governess in Leamington. In 1881 she was a companion in Marylebone, London. In 1891 she is listed as a Mission Lady in London with her daughter Constance Ada (1865-1960). In 1901 Anne has moved to Torquay where she is living on her own means with Constance and Constance's brother Ernest Cecil (1863-1949) who is an Assistant Schoolmaster. The card was sent to this address in 1910. In 1911 Anne and Constance were lodgers at an address in Paignton, Devon. Anne died in 1917 in Torquay.

It is worth noting that Anne was not the only one of the Parent children who spent time abroad. They seem to have been an international and cosmopolitan family. And Anne herself seems to have had a strange and exotic life. Her father was a sea captain and bother her parents seem to have been absent. She grew up with her sister and then went to India and was married and widowed within a short space of time. Back in England she worked as a Governess and a Companion before retiring to live on her own means in Torquay with her daughter.

the places

San Francisco, California, USA


Torquay, Devon


what the card says to us

The picture is a painting entitled "Sunset On The Golden Gate" in San Francisco. Modern viewers of the picture might question the absence of the bridge. But the card pre-dates the bridge by about 25 years.

The message on the card is difficult to understand without context. Without knowing who sent it, it is difficult to know the significance of the patient and their relationship to the Parent/Blake family.

Does the house "Kismet" still exist in Chelston, Torquay?

Two cents seems like a bargain for sending a postcard all the way from San Francisco to Torquay.

The card, which is American, was published by The Owl Drug Company (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Owl_Drug_Company) 

The card should be looked at alongside another which can be found here