Postcards

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #159: Postcards

...If you have some real postcards it would be great if you would like to share them with us, I’m sure they have a nice story behind them…

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Postcards? I still have every postcard I ever received. Musty, faded & bent corners …no matter. The connection forged with the actual written word is unique because it is so very personal. I also have postcards passed down to me – as the family archivist for better or worse (someday they will be passed down again). Such a fascinating peek into the past…both for the images on the front and messages on the back.

The “postal card” was used in 1913 as a form of advertising; probably because it was a cheaper way to communicate via the US mail. It seems similar to the junk mail of today, but it also doubles as a fascinating snapshot of history over 100 years later. I discovered this postcard in a box of photographs & letters from my grandparents. I looked closely at the photo for the first time. Hamilton Ave…1913…boats in the street?!? A few mouse clicks later, I solved the mystery: March 26th, 1913 – the “Great Miami River Flood” in Hamilton, Ohio (as well as other towns in the Miami Valley). The river crested at 44 feet, resulting in 467 deaths.

The Stanley L. Dornseifer Company used an image of the devastation 6 months later to let customers know they were still in business…their sign prominent in the photo… Postage? 1 cent.

Postcards were apparently also used to share class photos – in addition to advertising a photographer’s services. I found this example featuring my grandmother’s grammar school class in Cincinnati, Ohio. Not sure which grade…circa 1914 -1915.

My grandmother (Oma) always labeled everything (for which I am eternally grateful)…so here’s the back…

Fast forward 50 years or so and I began collecting postcards…mostly from my grandparents. They often sent me newsy notes when I was at Girl Scout camp (...I suppose you are having a good time playing games, singing and dancing…Do they play baseball? We both miss you very much...Love, Oma and Opa.). Or when they went on trips to let me know they were thinking of me. The handwritten cards are so precious to me, but I have to admit I wonder at the interesting (?) choice of images…

At the time I’m sure I was more focused on the messages…I was never a big fan of cats anyway.

Over the years, I’ve always checked out the postcard section in card or souvenir shops – both when traveling and shopping locally – and I have amassed quite the collection of humorous postcards. Some were mailed off to friends and some I have kept. Below is a tiny sample.

Memes before there were memes…

I hope postcards never go completely out of style.

21 thoughts on “Postcards

  1. Excellent post, OLU. The “postal cards” are truly fascinating. I would wager that the artist who painted those cat pictures is not a big fan of cats, either. Thanks for letting us see some of your collection!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really nice to learn more about postcards from your post – and that card from the 1913 flood has the year 1898 on the too and so I wonder if that was when the post office set up something formal for the post card
    Anyhow – you are blessed to have so many postcards

    Liked by 1 person

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