Do you know what this is?


Rummaging through a box of old greeting cards that belonged to my mother, I found an envelope containing 17 wax-based Silly Symphony heat transfers published by Walt Disney Productions in the 1930s. Disney produced 75 Silly Symphony animated short musical films between 1929 and 1939. What I found are equivalent to modern iron-on transfers — except these are at least 75 years old!  I’m sure some of them were used on clothing for my older sisters.

The transfers were in an envelope addressed to my mother at a residential address near downtown Albuquerque. Some of them were stuck together, but a few warm breaths loosened them up enough to separate them with no damage.

I did a quick street-level lookup of the address on Google Earth and found that the entire area has been rezoned commercial, with no trace of the old houses that must once have lined the street.  Oh well. As the Persian poet once noted:


“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”