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