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Saturday, June 15, 2013


CHERISHING OUR VALLEY             2013

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley does not collect artifacts for "collection sake", their potential increase in value, or just for sentimental reasons. The Museum acquires objects as forensic evidence to explain "who we are" and "how did we get where we are today." As guides to our individual and collective future, the objects you Museum collects and preserves can demonstrate important trends.
Here's an example of what can be learned from a "collector's cover" purchased by Al Keat, the proprietor of the Roscoe Super Garage in the 1930s. The commercial sponsor paid for the printing of the envelope's "cover" and received a supply of them in return for his own use. Mr. Keat would have had to purchase the stamps himself.

Anniversary Cover for National Air Mail Week - May 17, 1938. Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.  (click on the image to enlarge it.)

Here's some of what this envelope teaches us: This envelope was canceled on the 20th anniversary of the air male class service of the United States Post Office in May of 1918. It has a 6¢ US air mail postage stamp canceled in Roscoe, California. The statement "A health place to live." was the city's unofficial slogan to attract visitors and residents, since it was known for its clean air and curative properties. It bears the signature of Fred Jacobsen as Postmaster.

Most Valley residents recognize the name Roscoe related the Boulevard that crosses the entire area. Originally, the street was a plowed line designating the north and south parts of the Valley. Roscoe was the name of present day community of Sun Valley from 1898 until 1948. Originally the town was called Roberts for a local general store. The name Roscoe was dropped due its use as a racist slur.

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