General Info

  • Business,  Collecting,  Travel

    Special Rate Train Trip Tennessee to California–Write Today for Particulars!

    Many a marketing and/or advertisement campaign included postcards. I’ve got a variety of postcards advertising one or another product, plus various postcards announcing gift subscriptions, and more. Today, however, I’m focusing on a travel tourism endeavor for which I happen to have not one but two connected postcards sent to the same person. The recipient was Emma Looney, then living in Decherd, Tennessee. Alas, in her case the U.S. Census is not particularly helpful. I have 78 postcards from an album she kept, but there’s no ready match for her in 1900 given the dates of the postcards and names/initials of family members versus the potential hits in the Census;…

  • Collecting,  Real Photo Post Cards

    Housewives and Handiwork: Tracking Domestic Friendships Through a Doily

    Something a bit different for this third Real Photo Postcard (RPPC) in a row — there’s not a person in sight. People used cameras and postcards to document and share all manner of things including dead pets (I don’t own any, but I’ve seen them), caterpillars under canvas (from a research site), and . . . doilies. I don’t know enough about handicrafts such as this to say much about it. What follows here is largely speculation. If you look closely, you can see the cloth features a rose pattern. It may be damask or some other heavier fabric, for whomever cut, trimmed, and hemmed it managed to make a…

  • Collecting,  Miscellaneous,  Real Photo Post Cards,  Vitals

    Remembered Love: Death and Real Photo Post Cards (RPPC)

    First post – birth; second post – marriage (proposal); so, yes, this third post is about death. More specifically, it’s about sharing news of death. Yet in sending this card, Angus M. Baker memorialized his late wife Rosa E. Merly/Merley/Mesley Baker–and tells us quite a bit about life, death, and postcards. Let’s start with the card itself. Angus Baker provided his wife’s vital dates: birth, marriage, and death. Rosa married at age 28 and died seven years later. He doesn’t tell us what she died of, merely that it was “[a]fter a short illness.” This information survives by way of a Real Photo Post Card (RPPC) which presumably shows Rosa…

  • Collecting,  Digitization & Indexing,  Vitals

    “How would mine suit you?”: Proposing Marriage by Postcard

    Since the first post centered around a birth announcement, today we’re moving on to another key life event for many (not all) people: marriage. As with the birth announcement, this is a semi-random card. I admit that I picked it up largely for the text–but I have no other cards sent to or from the recipient and sender. It’s a lonely-only. By lonely-only, however, I mean strictly in terms of sender/recipient/inscription. The card itself was mass-produced, after all. I have at least one other instance of this same card sent by someone else to someone else. I might even have two. I remember many of my cards, but not all–I’ve…

  • Collecting,  General Info,  Vitals

    It’s a bouncing baby . . . blog!

    Welcome to a new blog organized around one of my research interests: early 20th century postcards, particularly those exchanged among people in the United States. I credit (blame) a coworker for my getting hooked on these. Thus far my research suggests most (not all) scholarship on postcards has focused on the images and makers. Many people collect postcards for these–gathering cards related to particular places, manufacturers, themes. I, on the other hand, am as or more interested in the reverse sides of postcards. A little over a year ago, I started collecting postcards that were directed to the same individual or family. Some discussions of postcards diss the inscriptions, lumping…