I love my …

postcards. In my will, my son, Steve, gets them. But I’ve been thinking of giving him a box or two now.

Of course, he hasn’t any time to spend on them. His work is demanding and he won’t retire for a few years more. Besides, I’ve put them in some order,, mainly by country.

The collection was one that someone else put together. It came to me in a complicated way I won’t try to explain. but the cards date from around 1880 to 1910 or so. and there are a lot of them; I estimate about five thousand or so.

Mostly European countries are represented: Italy has the most cards, followed by France, England, Spain and the Netherlands. there’s Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Switzerland and Germany. There’s one shoe box full of american cards too. In that box there are several sets of Native Americans, back in the days when they would pose for the camera or the artist. The other American cards don’t interest me much. All too familiar, I guess.

This postcard collection inspired me to collect modern postcards. I have seven boxes of them. They are only partially organized. For a period of time in the seventies until recently, postcards were used a lot for advertising, publicity and by politicians.

I think the internet has taken over those roles. I don’t receive many postcards any more. I do receive postcards from my dentist and from my local community college announcing art shows. Besides them, only politicians seem to use them. My mail is dull these days.