Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Image Search Before Google

In the days before the Internet, when people wanted to share what places looked like, they often used photographs and mailed them.  One easy and convenient way to do this was to mail post cards.

So the other day, my mom calls me and says, "I have I bunch of old post cards, I was going to throw them away, but then I thought you might like them."  Now in my marriage, I'm the pack rat collector and my wife is the organized one.  I'm getting better, but if I have a buddy who says, "Hey Nate, I've got ten five-gallon buckets, do you want them?"  My first inclination is to bring them home, because you never know when you might use them.  My wife doesn't see things the same way.  She looks at them and thinks, oh great, more junk he won't use, how long must I let him keep these until I can toss them without his notice.

So, being the thoughtful husband, I told my mom, "No, go ahead and toss them."  I immediately had second thoughts and said, "Wait, tell you what, bring them over, I'll take a quick look through them and then toss them."

When I came home, I was in for a surprise.  I had wrongly assumed that my mother was talking about a few post cards from maybe the 1980s or what not.  There in my living room was a large sack of post cards mostly addressed to my great-grandmother, and many of them about 100 years old or so with penny postage.

So I've been having the time of my life going through the sack.  Before too long I'll start scanning them and posting them here.  Unfortunately for my wife, all the work my she had put in getting me to say, "Oh, that's okay, I don't need it," has for the time being, been completely undone.


Jules said...

WOW! What a treasure! Sure glad your mom didn't throw them out!

Judi said...

So glad you caught yourself in time and have these delightful items to go through! How about a picture of the big sackful?

Virgil S. said...

I think it's always a good idea to look at something before deciding what to do with it!
Also, Nate, it seems to me surprising that you and I don't look more alike, since we seem to think so much alike...(though I suspect your thoughts are often deeper than mine.)
I hope you enjoy this new treasure and find a way to eventually pass along what you don't keep.

Anonymous said...

I scan and use turn of the century postcards and pictures in craft projects. There are those who will pay quite a bit of money for them on the collectors market. Although, since there is family history there, they might better be kept in an archival binder or some such. That would be a lovely bit of history for the family genealogist.

Nance said...

A treasure trove! can't wait to see them. At my house, we are opposite. I'm the "yes, don't throw it away" person and he's the "we don't need that" guy.

Anonymous said...

I hope those cards weren't in the garage - I heard a rumor the garage was cleaned recently. :) jjane

Momma Nic said...

I have a family treasure like this myself. Don't forget to check out Ebay. I was amazed at the market. It is truly amazing to hold a family postcard that was posted 100 years ago. Have fun sorting it all out. I would imagine you will find lots of bits to trigger your history buff brain.

carla said...

Buckets you can replace. Family heirlooms you can't replace. Okay, I'm a packrat, too, but it absolutely enrages me when one of these organizational idiots on television or in BH&G advises people to "take a picture of that Christening Gown then give it to Goodwill. That's the way you honor it." Nonsense! Your grandchildren can't wear a photograph to their own Christening, and your descendants might like to hold in their hands something of family history. I remember being in the Livingston County Courthouse in Kentucky and holding in my hand, the marriage license application that my great-grandfather filled out in the 1840s. We have almost no family memorabilia because of the 1937 flood, so I was overjoyed to find this document. Sadly they were going digital and probably destroyed everything after it was recorded.

Yea Nate for saving the postcards.

Chuck Kelly said...

This is going to be fantastic!

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