I think some of the most fascinating aspects of collecting old postcards are the messages that can be found written on them. Each and every one tells a story of some kind (if you can decipher them) and represents a little piece of someone’s life and history.
Suppose you are back in school after the holidays. I have a very nice school.L. Robbins, 1910 postcard.
Eileen wrote this postcard in September of 1908. Her writing is difficult to read, but she mentions feeling better and is very specific about wanting a nice little something. I think Carrie was in Ottawa. 377 Sparks Street no longer exists.
Someone with the last name of Robitaille wrote to wish a miss A Charbonneau best wishes for 1909. Much like the previous address, 702 Sherbrooke W either doesn’t exist or is no longer a home.
Irene in Dunbar writes:
Dear Jack & Carrie,
Just a card to tell yous we are all well & hope [you’re] all the same. I will put this card in [Mama’s] letter. Jack don’t you never intend to write! You told me to send you a lot of letters & I write about every time anyone writes and you don’t.
Love from Irene
Oh, gosh, Irene meant business.
Well, I am home once more until Wed […] when I leave for Montreal. How do you feel after your […] Thursday night, and what about your pleasant dream that you said you would [tell] me of. I never dream any more now, or I have none to tell you. I […] liked to have stayed another day but I was not sure if I had […] at once or not. Hope to hear from you.
It appears that 263 Florence St. doesn’t exist anymore, either!
Every postcard uses a different style of cursive writing and possesses different messages, if they say anything at all. It’s really cool to read what people were worried about at the time—and what sort of dramatics people were getting into with one another.
Rec. your pretty card many thanks. We looked for you up yesterday. I think perhaps we will be down next Sunday if all’s well.
Yours in haste,
Lyn, Ontario is part of Elizabethtown-Kitley township and is a very tiny village west of Brockville.
How are you? I would like to see Bill. Nic will be there at Thanksgiving. Jon[?] will be down then. I had Mrs. Neilson for a teacher a week ago. She is a lovely teacher. Write soon.
From, Bub as you call it
From what I can gather here, the writer was telling Mrs. Davis not to look for them on Sunday and “not until you see us or hear from us later”. They don’t like keeping their kids out of Sunday School. It’s not clear why they’re not going to be around, or what the issue is. This postcard was mailed in 1912!
Standard Life Centre now stands at 334 Laurier Ave W., Ottawa.
Arrived here safely last night. Found Susie here, am OK. Will H Found my umbrella and send it to me today. Hope all are improving.
28 Cedar St. in Belleville, Ontario still stands, and it’s still a family home. The front of this postcard was a real photo postcard, and the list on the back describes the ages of some of the people photographed. This piece is approximately circa 1925.
Edith must have been in a hurry when she wrote and sent this in 1911.
Will be down Sunday if it is a nice day.
A birthday message! That’s about all that I can understand, it’s wishing someone a happy birthday. I can’t even tell who wrote the damn thing.
Well Bertha this card was got in Toronto last year. Well Bertha what did you play on Friday? Well Bertha this is terrible scribbling but I am in a hurry. Well Bertha when are you coming down to our place. I think Pearl and Bella are going to Bertha D[?] next Thursday if nothing happens.
Well I guess I will have to close. Hoping to hear from you soon.1910
Edith was once again in a hurry, only writing, “Mother & John may be down Sunday.” This was in 1910.
I hope to one day find a postcard from this company that is unmailed so I can scan in that glorious header. There is so much detail and it’s beautiful.
This note expresses that they wish the recipient had stayed longer when they last visited, I think. They also mention having been to the fair and having a good time. This postcard was mailed in 1908.
I do not think this postcard is written in English. I love the hooks on the Xs and the overall writing style, though, it’s very pretty.
Sometimes I stumble on postcards that don’t have anything written on them except for where they’re supposed to go, so all I can figure is that they were sent out to share an image in much the same way we send memes to one another now.
Do you have a favourite cursive writing style? Which of these postcards stood out to you?
If you aren’t sure how to use them, then I suggest using them in adjustment layers to build backgrounds for your project. You can layer other pieces on top of them to create your own cards to paste into journals, or take bits and pieces to include in a collage. As always, I encourage you to play with what you find and have fun.