For Christmas 1932 John and Rosa sent postcards to friends and family of places they’d visited.

This particular 2.6″ x 5.75″ postcard is of the Mamelouk tombs in Cairo, Egypt.  The Mamelouk (Mamluk) tombs date from Mamluk times (1200s – 1500s) and are also referred to as The City of the Dead.  It is Cairo’s northern cemetery where the Mamluk sultans built their tombs, surrounding them with thousands of mausoleums and burial plots.  Traditionally all families kept a mausoleum and today some families use them for living in as well as for burials.

The card indicates the publisher was “The Cairo Postcard Trust”, which was launched in 1898 by Joseph Max Lichtenstern of Vienna, from his Mouski-based laboratory. Later he sold the company to Max Ruddman, another Central European.1 The stamp has been removed, I think, because a family member collected stamps.

The note reads: “We thought we’d send these postcards of places we’d seen for Xmas cards.  Thanks for the chickens they were ok in every way.  Will write you a letter soon.  John & Rosa.”  If I’m understanding the note correctly, they received live chickens as a gift.

This postcard is among the items originally owned by Ed and Eva Garee, my husband’s great grandparents, and was from one of Eva’s brothers, John Allder Dunaway who married Rosa Shayeb.  John led a very interesting life as an economist and is listed as a notable American in several directories and published some articles (see Further Readings).  Just before this postcard was sent, John apparently had some difficult times.  His sister Jane explained:

In 1922 Statistician and Provincial Director of Finances of the American Finance Mission to Persia; returned home in 1928, arriving in New York Easter Sunday. Bought a home in Maplewood; went into business with Cecil, (bank advertising) until (1930, a year later) Wall Street debacle had wiped them out. Worried along till 1933, doing any little job that he could find, cleaning establishments, moth eradication; anything. Rose had a short term job with Welfare Department: borrowed money and survived until 1933-35 Economic Administration under President Roosevelt. The NRA (National Recovery Act) was passed by Congress in June, 1933 with Agricultural Adjustment Act, in May which gave the President control over agriculture. John was appointed to the AAA Dairy section as economist.  2

(Read the complete chapter about John Dunaway)

Then in 1935 John became the Supervisor of Revenue for Liberia, Africa and later became the Financial Advisor.  Jane Dunaway said that “during his sixteen years, 1935-1951 (which included the war years) Liberia came to the unique distinction of living within her budget, also made payments on past obligations…”

Footnotes & Further Reading

  1. Raafat, Samir.  “Lehnert & Landrock
  2. Dunaway, Jane E.. Dunaway, Allder, Pyle family.  Bloomington, Ind.?: unknown, 1959.
  3. Dunaway, John Allder. “Some Efficiency Methods of City Administration.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 64.1 (1916): 89-102. Print.
  4. Dunaway, John A.  “Address by John A. Dunaway. (Financial Adviser. L) (Delegate for Liberia).”
  5. Cairo History: Ruled by the Slaves