Four Old Postcards

“For email, the old postcard rule applies. Nobody else is supposed to read your postcards, but you’d be a fool if you wrote anything private on one.”–Judith Martin aka. Miss Manners

Miss Manners’ advice is germane and up to date; however email and postcards vary in important ways. Email is an electronic message and the postcard is a physical artifact that is delivered by terrestrial mail. Certainly we can add photographs or other images to email as attachments, but this is not the same as sending an actual, physical thing.

Email is so commonplace that we sort through it or have our devices filter it according to our preferences. Postcards arrive in a physical mailbox–if at all anymore. The only postcards I receive these days are appointment reminders from the dentist, advertisements promoting hearing aids, and my garbage collector’s bill. I cannot remember the last time a personal postcard arrived via the U.S. Postal Service.

Fortunately, I have a few hundred vintage postcards that people have sent in the past, or were given to me, or that I purchased as a boy. Of those, I selected four old cards in order to celebrate the unofficial holiday, “Postcard Day”.

The top card was printed in 1914 by J. Salmon of Sevenoaks, England. The second card was published by Petley Studios of Phoenix, Arizona, USA after the bridge had been moved from the UK to Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

The Grand Canyon card was sent to me by my paternal grandmother back in 1978.

The last card was shot by Tom Reed and printed by Phoenix Specialty Advertising in Arizona for the “Crest Motel” a mom and pop business in Sterling, Colorado. Our family stayed there once in the late 1960s.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes 20th century mountaineer and wilderness photographer, Galen Rowell. “I remember when an editor at the National Geographic promised to run about a dozen of my landscape pictures from a story on the John Muir trail as an essay, but when the group of editors got together, someone said that my pictures looked like postcards.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, photography, Vintage Collectables. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Four Old Postcards

  1. Zettl says:

    Postcards are a fascinating topic! When I started collecting postcards it was mostly promotional postcards and I couldn’t get enough of these beautifully designed little pieces of art. Chinese postcards were added later and over the years there were well over 1000. Each one tells a story …..

  2. Herb says:

    Postcards are and were always cool but email and social media have kind of taken over. Miss Manners’ advice is still good because you have no idea how far your email will actually go and who will see it.

  3. bloom|time says:

    I still remember (though it was lost in a flood) the postcard my great grandma sent ME from her first trip to California. It made me feel VERY important to get mail, and had a horse on it. Wish I had it still. I miss her handwriting.

  4. More than receiving, I love sending postcards, but it’s getting harder and harder to do. They take more effort and feel more personal than email. Love your collection.

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