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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fun Along the Road

Christine Pyle, Manager of Historical Resources, Guest Blogger

Did you know that postcards and automobiles came on the scene about the same time?  And neither of them were too welcome.

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Postcards were seen as the end of letter writing, and on top of that – anyone could read them including the postman!!  


Laws were passed to keep automobiles off the streets, and some towns authorized the police to shoot out tires. 

Eventually the two began to be accepted and soon they were working together.  The automobile brought about new services and products, and postcards provided an inexpensive means of advertising them.

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In the early 1900s, it was unclear which method of power would dominate – gas, steam, or electric.  Electric cars were favored by women even though they had limited range.  They were simple to operate, quiet, and odorless. 

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Supposedly the first two autos in the state of Ohio managed to crash into each other, bringing about the need for businesses such as Rosey’s Auto Graveyard. 

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Automobiles were always breaking down on the road, and most men kept overalls in the car to keep their suits clean while changing a tire or doing whatever other repairs were needed.  

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The first roads were also very dusty! 

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In 1907, Gabriel Introduced the first shock absorber in America, the Snubber. 

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Puncture proof tires were a big selling point in new autos.  The “Torture Test” involved driving over 25,000 20-penny nails, 24 steel knives, and 30 pounds of broken glass. 

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As the auto became more common to the average household, a new part of American history was unfolding.  New roads were being built like the Dixie Highway, and the family vacation was born! 

 And what’s the best way to share a family vacation?  Send a postcard, of course! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

"What Were They Thinking?" Postcards

By: Corinne Court, Collections Cataloger at Curt Teich Postcard Archives

9CK1507:  What were they thinking?

I can't count how many times, while cataloging, I've come across postcards that make me say, "What the heck?" or "What were they thinking?" I know our previous blogger wrote a few posts titled, "Bad Postcards," and I thought I would continue with this tradition, but with a twist.  I call them the "What Were They Thinking?" postcards.

Some time down the road I'll write a blog post about cartoon artist Clare Victor Dwiggins (June 16, 1874-October, 1858) who drew  postcards for prominent publishers, such as Raphael Tuck & Sons. But today, I want to share a few of his postcards. I cataloged a large collection of 'Dwig' postcards a few years ago and would say to myself, "What was he thinking?" Here are a few:
SBN205: Is this a dog? Is this a rat? What's wrong with his ears? What was he thinking?
SBN322: Yea...What the heck?
SBN171: This baby scares me. What was he thinking?

The next few postcards are not, "what were they thinking when they printed these?" but more  "what were people thinking by sending them?"  These are images of rest rooms and sewage treatment plants.  Nothing says I love you more than poo.  If I were to receive a postcard with an image of a sewage treatment plant, I would say to myself, "What do they think of me?"



A15498: Filteration Plant, Ranger, Texas. Or better known as, Wastewater Treatment Plant.

8AH165: The brown lines are the sludge lines. Yum!
Rahway Valley Sewage Treatment Works, Rahway, NJ

The last postcard is what started it all. Please explain to me, 
What were they thinking?!?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The 61st Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's Reign!

Last year around this time, Britain spent four days celebrating the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's reign, known as the Diamond Jubilee. At the Curt Teich Postcard Archives, we were surprised to find we did not have a postcard of the Queen's Coronation, which was on June 2, 1953.  However, a recent donation of royalty postcards came to the archives, and the Queen's Coronation was amongst them.  Now we'll be set for her Platinum Jubilee!

Her Most Excellent Majesty Queen Elizabeth was crowned in Westminster Abbey on June 2nd, 1953.  At the age of 25, the Queen ascended the throne of 25 countries, including United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Union of South Africa, and Pakistan.  The coronation took place a year after the death of her father, King George VI (February 6, 1952). It is custom for Royals to be in a period of mourning following the death of their last sovereign.

Here are some highlights of the Coronation! The event followed a similar pattern to previous coronations.  We do not have a postcard for each part of the event, but it was televised internationally, so I'm sure there is a youtube clip of it. Can you imagine being Queen Elizabeth that day? You're being crowned Queen, and it's one of the first major international events to be televised! I would make sure they glued the orb to my hand if I were her.

Then Entrance of the Church: Here we see Queen Elizabeth walking down the aisle at Westminster Abbey, assisted by six Maids of Honour.

The Recognition and the Oath: (I wish I could explain this in more detail, but there are so many people involved and their titles go right over my head. So please forgive me if it's too general). This is the part where the Queen stands before the many high bishops of the Church of England.
The Anointing: The Queen kneels at her faldstool, and the people kneel in their places.
This is a faldstool. I thought I would bring more visuals.
The Presenting of the Spurs and Sword, the Robe Royal, and the Delivery of the Orb: Queen Elizabeth is dressed in the Royal Jewels, and given two regalia objects to hold, the Sceptre with the Cross and Soverign's Orb.  And at this time, the Robe Royal is placed on her back.
The Putting on the Crown: The Archbishop places St. Edward's Crown on the Queen's head. As this happens, everyone chants, "God Save the Queen."

The Benediction: The Queen is blessed.

The Enthroning: The Queen walks to her Throne, King Edward's Chair, and takes the Coronation Oath, swearing to govern each of her countries.
The Homage: The Bishops kneel before her Majesty.
The Recess: The Queen leaves Westminster Abbey and parties!!!
Here are a few more postcards of the Queen's big day!