• Business,  Collecting,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Real Photo Post Cards,  Social

    Altered Images, Love Letters, and Guilt Trips

    Katheryn McMahon Album, cards 16-19 If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the worth of a picture with words added? This post has two examples of a benefit some people found in sending postcards versus letters: the opportunity to interact with the image on the front. A classic method is for a sender to inscribe initials or names on people portrayed on the front of the card–even or especially when the images were mass produced and patently not the sender, addressee, or anyone they knew. Fred did this himself, as shown in the post on 11 January, when he added Katheryn’s and his initials to a man…

  • Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Real Photo Post Cards,  Weather

    My Little Pal Out Here (a Lonely Heart in Colorado Springs)

    Katheryn McMahon Newton Album, cards 13-15 Fred wrote and sent this postcard only a day or so before he sent Katheryn the album to store her postcards in. Or did he in fact write this on the 12th of February and the inscription in the album on the 14th? Dates are funny things, after all, and subject to flux. The dates Fred inscribes might represent the days he’s actually sitting down or the days he wants associated with whatever he’s writing. These are usually the same thing, or close enough to make no difference–and barring evidence otherwise I’m willing to take his dates as good. Particularly because most of the…

  • 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…

  • Real Photo Post Cards,  Vitals

    Real Photo of Man in Fallen Tree, Per Promise

    Real Photo Postcards (RPPC) are pains and joys in collecting early postcards, at least from my perspective. On the good side: they show “real” people and scenes as their name indicates. Many are posed (hence the use of quotes above) but they’re also often intended to be shared between families, friends, and acquaintances, particularly RPPC of people. Those may represent intricate networks of connections. Frustratingly, such cards also frequently lack sufficient information to tease out the networks. My collection contains more RPPC than I like with nothing written on the front or back. Whomever gathered the cards and placed them in albums knew the subject and/or meaning and didn’t need…

  • 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…

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