The postal card fad (1901)

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The postal card fad

Quite the latest caper is to follow your friends about Europe. It may sound a bit difficult at first, but in reality you may sit at home in your most comfortable chair, toasting your toes before a cheerful fire, and keep track of them just the same.

And that is exactly what most of us are doing, keeping tab on the goings and comings of those who are lucky enough to write a hurried scrawl on the queer-looking postal cards that most every European city boasts of.

A picture worth 1000 words

Besides being extremely unique, they are the most convenient things that were ever invented. Letter haters who thoroughly detest writing a dutiful billet doux have found them a joy forever; for they tell better than words can all about the place. And, going one better still, they convey the distinct idea that in all the hurry and flurry of sight-seeing one has been remembered. There is a great deal in that, you know. It is no trouble to drop one here and there along the route, and it certainly is a paying proposition when it tickles one’s friends so mightily.

Click the image for a larger version.A postal with “Napoli” or “Le Mont Cerwin” on it looks terribly important and may fill you with awe; or a Dutchman chuckling with glee over a stein of beer and saying “zwei” may amuse you for a minute, and then remind you that you are certainly a badly-abused individual because you can’t scatter the same things broadcast. Either way, the postal probably has “hello” and “good-bye” on it, and maybe the date squeezed in. For the dealers are more than thoughtful, and put on everything that is necessary, and often just a little bit more.

“Real Photo” postcards

The very latest card has a photograph of the sender on it — one of those “made while you wait” kind. Needless to say, they are more popular than any other kind, but not nearly as plentiful. The idea will probably be carried out here by the camera fiend with the aid of a common, ordinary postal card. They are not half-bad. Try it and see.

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The collecting fad

The fad to gather these postals has proved to be more than a passing fancy. Only those who are patient can make any kind of a showing, and they are really the ones that count. The fly-away trifler rarely can wait six months or a year. There are far too many hobbies that they can ride at a 2:40 pace and get in at a quick finish.

Dr E H Mattner of San Francisco has more than a good collection, as one can see by looking at the page. All of these cards are from his collection. He counts them by the hundreds and then holds up five fingers. Five hundred, and every one different, means that he has visited just a few places. They begin in London and wind up in Japan, and in all that territory there is hardly a place of interest that is not represented.

Mrs Belle W Conrad has another splendid collection that she made while traveling over the Continent. Hers do not run to scenery or types as much as national emblems — the French flower, the British arms, the German flags and the numerous Swiss coats-of-arms are all there.

Some of the best postals in town are owned by Mable Hopkins, Laura Denson, W. Mitchell Bunker, Horace V Deming, Daisy Van Ness, Helen Wright, Blanche Davis, Bessie Ames, Katherine Dillon and Marie Wells.

One can learn all kinds of things from these play letters. A good collection is better than any book on travel that has ever been compiled, for somehow such reading seems like work and is speedily forgotten. The postals are intensely interesting, and nothing escapes and nothing forgotten. Maybe that is one reason why they are becoming so popular.


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