Indiana World War Memorial and Plaza, Indianapolis, IND.

Many shows, events, and conferences are held in Indianapolis on an annual basis, ranging from the Indiana State Fair to Gen Con. Out of town visitors would have an array of postcards to send news of their stay to friends and family back home. In 1938, George Essex was no exception– his penny post marked a specialized visit to Indianapolis.

Postmarked: Indianapolis, IND 2 MAR 29, 1938 3:30 PM


Postmarked: Indianapolis, IND 2 MAR 29, 1938 3:30 PM

Indianapolis, Ind.,

Dear Friends: –
Here attending the Indiana annual Educational Meeting for Embalmers. It’s compulsory to attend to renew license for next year.
Hope you are all well –
Geo. W. Essex

Addressed to:
Mr. & Mrs. Geo. Zimmerman
281 Walnut St.,
Hamilton, Ohio

A penny for your thoughts … In 1938, funeral directors were required to attend an annual meeting as part of their licensing requirements. Today, the Indiana State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service requires 10 hours per year of continuing education work for license renewal. To add context to the national labor climate in which George Essex sent his note, three months later on June 29, 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 into law. Interestingly, funeral directors and licensed embalmers were exempt from the minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements until an amendment was introduced in 2003.

P.S. If you have an Indianapolis postcard you think would be an interesting contribution to the Penny Post, please let the HI team know! You’ll find our contact info under the “About Us” tab.

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