Air Lines and A. Lincoln

The Library of Congress site–a dangerous place to explore. I actually started out with a purpose when I began searching the its collection of broadsides last night. Among knowledge nuggets gleamed: American railroads of yesteryear often called themselves “air lines.” Why? Were they towing zeppelins ‘cross the prairie? No. “Air line” (or “air-line”) described the shortest route between two points

I also happened across the item below: apparently a clever piece of Democratic campaign ephemera from 1864 that purports to be an Abraham Lincoln business card. March 4 refers to the date in 1865 that Lincoln would have left office had he lost the election. (Click the image for a larger, legible version of it. The library’s page on the item is here.

And the text says:

“To Whom It May Concern:

“My old customers, and others, are no doubt aware of the terrible time I have had in crossing the stream, and will be glad to know that I will be back, on the same side from which I started, on or before the Fourth of March next, when I will be ready to swap horses, dispense law, make jokes, split rails, and perform other matters in a small way.”)


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One Reply to “Air Lines and A. Lincoln”

  1. i can’t read what it says after To Whom It May Concern on Abe Lincoln’s business card, but i assume it’s a disclaimer about his legal services. I think i’ll put a similar disclaimer on my business card so clients don’t assume i’m going to increase their revenues just because I get them media coverage.

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