Thousand Postcard Project: 1-25/1000

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Last week a box of a thousand vintage postcards arrived for me in the mail. They are all between 40 and 110 years old, and most of them Americana – old postcards advertising hotels and stores, landmarks and movies. 

I decided they’d spent enough time tucked away gathering dust in boxes and drawers, and that it was time to give them life at last, so I launched the Thousand Postcard Project, with the goal of posting each and every one of them before the year is out. 

I’ve just popped the first 25 postcards into the post, to finally make their way out into the world. I’m numbering each of them, so that I can keep track of where I’m up to in this project.

Here are some of my favourites from that first batch: 

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ΔΔ A good 50 or so years have passed since this photograph was taken. I like to imagine what all these people at the swimming pool are doing now, if they are still alive. I wonder what they remember about that day in the sun. (It’s Camp Kanesatake at Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania. Did you happen to be there at some point in the 1960s or 70s? Is that YOU I see?)

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ΔΔ Ghost towns of America. I’ve visited one like this, and it was fascinating! I call this guy “dude with donkey” and he makes me smile. The caption on the back of the postcard is deliciously kitsch: “The Old Prospector // Accompanied by his faithful burros, the grizzled Old Prospector stands in front of the entrance to the Gold Mine tunnel.” 

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ΔΔ Hand-drawn postcards are always sweet. But look at that car! It dates the card so perfectly. 

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ΔΔ The back of this postcard tells us that this is the general store at the Deserted Village of Allaire in New Jersey. “Entering this store is like walking into the past,” it says. Holding this postcard is ALSO like walking into the past. 

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ΔΔ I love this because it is so fabulously dull. The good people of the Travel Lodge, Mt Vernon, Illinois, chose this photograph as the best way to advertise their hotel. On the back, it boasts all the latest amenities. “Direct Dial Telephones. Electric Heat.” Take me there! 

Only 975 to go… 

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Would you like to receive one of these postcards in the mail? I’d love to send you one. There’s a form on this page for you to give me your mailing address (I’ll never share it). 

33 comments

  • Anna Wheaton

    That’s an amazing goal! Good luck!

  • eisabeth

    oh !!!! what a great idea ,to make still travel these pretty cards !

  • Jemma

    Oh, so lovely. :) What great relics of times past.

  • Eva

    This is an awesome project! Of course I would take part in,so I’ve signed up. Good luck, and thanks.

  • Cindy R.

    Wow, you’re already off to a great start!

  • Clare at CatsEatDogs

    How fabulous! I love old postcards and have a little collection, I really like the ones which are written on, so you can see the date they were written and posted! The cards with hotels are hilarious, they are so boring! I have a postcard with a picture of a new highway bridge which I am sure they were very proud of!!
    I have signed up for your project and maybe I will send you one of mine!

    • Naomi Bulger

      Oh yes! There are a couple of highway pictures in my lot, too. They are so ugly but I kind of really love them. (I also have some in a different stash still with the stamps and messages on them. Those are the BEST. Snippets of other people’s worlds.)

  • Elizabeth moore

    Wow. These are amazing, you thoughts and comments under each card are simply heart warming , you are a humble person

  • Joanne Dennis

    Those postcards you posted are so funny. Thanks for giving us a little peek at your treasure trove!

    • Naomi Bulger

      Some of them are quite hilarious huh! I think they are even better than ‘beautiful’ postcards, because they tell such an interesting story (if only we could hear it)

  • Joy

    Great postcards xx

  • Emily

    I love the travel lodge one. Boring, static photo then, awesome retro vibe now lol

  • Ally

    Love this project. Did you ever participate in the orphaned postcard project??? X

  • Debra

    Amazing and delightful! I live in the mountains of western North Carolina – near the “200 Loop near Newfound Gap, Great Smoky Mountains National Park” featured on the third card. The scenery hasn’t changed much (being a national park), but the cars certainly have!!

  • Jen King

    Naomi, I can’t begin to tell you how happy finding your blog has made me as a fellow snail mail fan. And these postcards look so fabulous! I think I’ve signed up to receive one – yippee! I’m spending my Sunday writing letters practicing being creative. It’s kinda messy still but hey, it’s Day One

  • sandy

    Wow! I love them all and the emotions they evoke! I am so glad others share my wonder for where the people in the pictures are now, who they were sent by and to whom they were sent! More please :)

  • Ellie

    Can’t wait to get one! x

  • Charlyne

    I received my postcard today and I love it! The firrst time it was mailed was in 1910, just amazing. Thank you so much, Naomi. What a lovely thing to receive on ‘Blue Monday’.

  • Jacky

    Thank you for my postcard: a delight. It referenced Gilbert and Sullivan and bought back memories of sitting on my dad’s lap whilst he ” conducted” a recording of The Mikado. I think 2017 the year of connection, community, conversation, creativity um! reading and writing whilst eating Cake? Thank you for your time, and inspiration.

  • nancy jancourt

    Hi Naomi,

    I received the peacock postcard yesterday and I was just thrilled. I love birds, so it was perfect for me! Loved your story of listening to peacocks, thank you for the note. I was hoping I would be one of the lucky ones to receive a postcard and I did!!! I will cherish the card and your kindness for years to come. Thank you for making my day! Nancy from Minneapolis MN

  • Lilli

    I received lucky number 13! It shows a view of the Emerald Pool in Yellowstone and the style of clothing on the tourists looks like it may be from the 50s or early 60s. Very interesting. Love your stamps too. Thanks Naomi!

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