Postally Used

Thank you for joining us in a journey through postcard history this past week. In my search for good blog posts and my research for yesterday’s History Room Live Presentation, I found so many more postcards that I wanted to share with you! I’ll have to keep them in mind for next May, when National Postcard Week comes around again.

2010.8.1.366c, “Centennial of the Patten Free Library,” from the Oscar R. Marsh Collection.

We started the week with one image of our library, so it’s only fitting to end the week with another. When I saw this postcard, it quickly became my favorite, partly because I love the illustration, but moreso because of the reverse side.

2010.8.1.366c verso, “Centennial of the Patten Free Library,” from the Oscar R. Marsh Collection.

“Dear Oscar,

Didn’t know if you had one of these, postally used! Might be a rarity some day (maybe in 2089) Got this yesterday in the library – 6 cards for $5.00 to support the library.

John M.”

Let me count the ways I love this postcard:

  1. It’s a true DIY postcard. PFL left the back of the card blank when we printed it, which means it’s not considered a postcard in the eyes of many experts. That didn’t stop John M. from transforming the card into a perfect modern postcard, complete with a dividing line, space for a stamp, the “Post Card” label, and even the customary instructions.
  2. The card is addressed to Oscar Marsh, an avid postcard collector who ammassed a collection of over 800 locally-relevant postcards now in the History Room collections.
  3. John M.’s message clues us in to the original price of the card: 6 for $5.00 is a great deal – and it went to such a good cause.
  4. It was a very kind gesture. John M. knew how much Marsh cared about postcard collecting, and he made an effort to show that he shared his friend’s enthusiasm for the hobby.

I hope this DIY postcard inspires you to make your own card to send to a friend. Have a look at this DIY Postcard Instruction Sheet, which Amanda from the Children’s Room helped create.

Want to know more about the history of postcards? We recorded yesterday’s History Room Live presentation, “Postcards Past and Present,” and you can watch the recording on our YouTube channel or have a look at the presentation slides.

I can’t wait to share more postcards next year. Until then, consider sending your own postcards to the History Room for inclusion in the COVID-19 Story Archive.

Check the blog next week for information about studying Jewish American heritage in Maine.

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