How many still send postcards by mail? People now use email and social media to send messages from near and far. Gone are the days when one would handwrite a greeting on a postcard, lick a stamp to paste onto it, and dispatch the card by mail to a friend or loved one. Come and have a nostalgic look at the lost age of postcards:

Nothing could put a smile on one’s face like receiving a postcard with a handwritten message. There was a personal touch to the communication. It was a thoughtful act, not random. The sender had taken the time to buy the postcard, handwrite a greeting, and send the card through the post. The gesture was enough to warm the heart.

Postcard from 1910: Lumber being loaded onto ships in Hoquiam, Washington
Photo credit: Tacoma Public Library, Online Digital Collections

The card was mailed from the US state of Washington to Canada. The message reads:

Dear Grandpa,

I wish you could come and see us and see the big ships and steam boats loading with lumber.

Love from all,

Irwin

Postcard from circa 1908, untitled
Photo credit: Smithsonian American Art Museum

This postcard bears the photograph of the sender with a charming ditty:

Y’ heave ho! my lads
the wind blows free,
a plesant gale is on the lea.

Old postcards serve as small windows to a bygone era. Some can be considered as cultural and historical artefacts. As such, they need to be preserved, perhaps even displayed in a museum.

Postcard from South Georgia, sent during the German Antarctic Expedition of 1911–1913. 10th December 1911
Photo credit: Grosvenor Philatelic Auctions via Wikimedia Commons

Postcard showing a picture of the expedition ship Deutschland and bearing the names of the expedition leader, Wilhelm Filchner, and several others including Erich Barkow, Wilhelm Brennecke, Wilhelm Goeldel, Fritz Heim, Ludwig Kohl and Felix König. (Wikimedia Commons annotation)

Postcard from early 1900s: Ocean liner Mauretania near Le Havre
Photo credit: Cartes postales des années 1900 et 1910

Postcards were valued as keepsakes to remember friends and loved ones by. Some were just too beautiful to throw away. Keeping postcards that depicted works of art was like having a small art gallery that one could visit any time.

Postcard (unused) from 1903: The Harbour, Wick
Photo credit: CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois) Digital Collections

The painting featured in this postcard was signed by the artist (E.F. Andrews). It depicts a harbour scene in the town of Wick in Caithness county, Scotland.

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