Post Cards--Another Old Medium Vanishes?
I can't recall the last time I sent or received a postcard. I haven't the foggiest notion how much postage one would put on a postcard.
Local historian Jerry McCoy has put together a guide to the D.C. Public Library's collection of more than 2,000 postcards depicting bits of Washington history from 1898 to the present, with a heavy emphasis on the 1920s through the 40s. These are the funky postcards you still see for sale at flea markets and on eBay, quick, creatively designed glimpses of life in those times. Drugstores, photo studios, sports teams, schools, museums, and theaters published postcards to promote themselves, as of course did various tourist spots, hotels and government agencies.
Check out this list of D.C. restaurants whose postcards are included in the collection:
Alfio's la Trattoria
Blackie's House of Beef
Bonat French-American CafÃ©
Old New Orleans
Purple Tree Lounge
Reeves Coffe Shop
Ruby Foo's Den
Seafare Restaurant and Lounge
Surf Room Lounge
Torino Italian Restaurant
Water Gate Inn
What medium will preserve the images and memories of today's hot eateries and local hangouts? And what could possibly replace the funkiest of all postcard genres, the motel postcard? Web pages, most likely, though their survival as historic documents is not at all assured.
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