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"A Penny for Your Thoughts"--Send an e-Postcard from the Collection

Postcard_Harvard_girl "A Penny for Your Thoughts: Postcards from the Golden Age, 1898-1918" Now On View in the Van Gorden-Williams Library

"A Penny for Your Thoughts: Postcards from the Golden Age, 1898-1918" is a charming new exhibition now open in the Van Gorden-Williams Library. In the early 1900s, when telephones and cameras were few and automobiles were limited to the well-to-do, the postcard filled a necessary and appreciated role. Costing only a penny each to send, postcards were an inexpensive way to convey short messages. Images on the cards showed American pursuits and pastimes, customs, costumes, morals, and manners. Sold everywhere-in drug stores, souvenir shops, dime stores, specialty shops and even on street corners-many postcards from this age still exist today.

In "A Penny for Your Thoughts" more than 100 examples from the Golden Age will be shown, along with postcard scrapbooks. The images capture the optimism, the people, the industrialism, and the transportation of the period from 1898-1918. Visitors will see favorite tourist destinations, cityscapes, and period automobiles. They will also be able read the messages on these antique postcards. A variety of styles and subject matter will be shown, including color lithographic, photographic, novelty, and fraternal postcards.

The exhibition is drawn from gifts from Martin A. and Mildred H. Gilman and various museum purchases. Bertha Petersen, Martin A. Gilman's mother, collected many of the postcards when she lived in New Jersey and Connecticut from 1904-1917.

Send An e-Postcard!

Have some fun with our free e-postcard greeting feature! Just click here, choose an image, and send an instant greeting to friends and family--for even less than a penny!

Postcard, ca. 1907.  F. Earl Christy. Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives. Gift of Martin A. and Mildred H. Gilman


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