• 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…

  • 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…

css.php