Thursday, July 31, 2014

It Pays to Advertise Esperanto

Kara Redaktoro
The New-York Tribune paid $1 for each letter from a child whose letter was selected for the “Our Letter Box” section of their “Little Men & Little Women” page. Only July 10, 1910, they published a letter from Joseph Lepsey, a twelve-year-old Esperantist.

Mr. Lepsey wrote back to the paper (which appeared elsewhere on the page), thanking them for the check and telling them of his plans. The letter appears in both English and Esperanto, one of those rare examples when newspapers published material in Esperanto. Unfortunately, the compositors couldn’t read Esperanto and did not have access to the accented letters. I have corrected their errors.

Mr. Lepsey wrote:
Dear Editor: I think you very much for the check which I received last week for my Esperanto letter. With this check and another dollar of my vacation earnings I started a bank account. Of course I am quite proud of my first bankbook. The above letter would read in Esperanto as follows:

Kara Redaktoro: Mi vin tre dankas por la ĉeko kiun mi recevis la lastan semajnon pro mia Esperanta letero. Per tiu ĉi ĉeko kaj alia dolaro el mia libertempa gajnajo, mi ekigis bankan konton. Kompreneble, mi estas tute fiera pri mia unua banklibreto.

Tre sincere la via (very sincerely yours),
No. 257 Grand ave., New Haven
Oh those days in which a child could start a bank account with $2. Admittedly, $2 was a lot more money in 1910 than it is in 2014. Based on the Consumer Price Index, that’s about $50, and I think many banks have no-fee accounts that would let a child put that much in.
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