more on post cards – from Sam Coulbourn

From: Samuel W. Coulbourn
Subject: More on postcards

I enjoyed Jerry Blaz’ piece on postcards. I collect (and sell) postcards, as well as journals, autograph books, memo books, and scrapbooks, each with some small story that gives clues to America’s rich history. Not the “big” history but the little stuff — like a young woman in 1928 writing the whole journal of her trip to Europe on the back of 22 post cards.

Or Elsie, in 1911, writing on a card with a picture of the Battleship Alabama, to poor Davidson, who is about to go to jail. She’s equally concerned about whether her suitcase got scratched up. But she’ll pray for him anyway.

Or there’s a card from Blanche to Flora on a card with a picture of a young man sneaking a look at young girl’s legs, with caption: “Veal is meat but calves aren’t.” Writes Blanche, the humorist, to Flora: “Do you have any good veal like this down your way. Received your card thanks.”

Leila writes Aunt Jenny from Revere Beach, Mass. in 1907 on a card showing fully-clothed people spread out on the beach at Revere, with entertainment pavilions in background. “We will leave Thursday…coming by trolley to your home. Leila.”

Ruth Bradford’s Post Card Travelogue, 1928: Boston girl is on the “grand tour” of Europe, and sends home this detailed, colorful report of her adventures, carefully described on the backs of 22 post cards. She watches the fireworks for Bastille Day at Biarritz and warns her friend Lucia to stay clear of Nice. She tells about the violent hailstorm as her group drives through the Pyrenees. Luncheon in Quimper, visit to the potteries.

Elsie Writes to Davidson, 1911, from Brooks, Iowa. “I am praying for you as you go to jail… I was in Omaha last week… Did my suit-case get scratched up?. Meeting (Prayer) starts here today….”Revere Beach, MA 1907

J.C. writes to “Miss Lizzie” in Everett, Mass. in 1908: “This is me, stirring the sugar…”


Best wishes,

Sam Coulbourn
Rockport, MA

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