This postcard has a copyright mark “© H. L. W.” These are the initials of H. L. Woehler, from New York—though the card was printed in Germany.
The back is undivided but I have another postcard from this series by H. L. Woehler that is postmarked 12 October 1912 at Natick. MA. That card is described as a “Handembossed Postcard,” which seems to mean that it is hand painted or finished. This one is also “Handembossed” [sic]. In a moment it will become clear why I mention this other card at the outset.
As you can see, the front of the card has the caption “A Joyful Hallowe’en” in gold lettering above a lovely young blonde-haired witch in a loose, red, Grecian-style sleeveless dress and cape. She is showing off a broad expanse of pale skin around the neck and shoulders as she leans back into large, smiling JOL. She has a wide-brimmed, pointed black witch’s hat and a broom with a rather thin and curved handle. The card is textured and has a red edge.
Written around the artwork and caption on this face of the postcard is some doggrel verse inviting the un-named recipient to a Halloween party, followed by an address. The verse reads (as far as I can tell):
The old Witch bids her guests arrive
On Hallowe’en, if they would thrive.
Their fortunes then she’ll gladly brew
Within her pot so black of hue;
A Pumpkin Elf will quick preside
O’er feast and frolic. Woe betide
All those who miss the broomstick dance,
Or candle March! Don’t take the chance!
At the foot of the card we have the date and the name and address of the sender “Thursday Eve / October 30 8.30PM” and “Elizabeth Hayes Wilkinson / 526 N. Negley Avenue” (which is in Pittsburgh, PA).
As it happens, 30 October fell on a Thursday in 1890, 1902, 1913, and 1919. Since the verso of the card is undivided, and the inscription is on the front, it might seem safe to assume that the card was published before ca. 1907 when cards started to be published with a divided back (that is, that it was published in 1890 or 1902).
But, as I said at the outset, this card is part of a series which can be dated to 1912, so—despite the undivided back and inscriptionon the front—it probably dates to 1913. Another feature supporting this date is the red edge, which appears (among my cards at least) only on those from 1910–1913. So, I reckon this particular broomstick dance occurred on 30 October 1913.