Why Use A Postcard
With the invention of the automobile tourism soared. People used postcards to show where all they had been on their travels. With cars, people began to vacation in numbers like never before using new streets that were developed. Postcards of an early-developed street and what many streets of the time looked like were quite popular especially for those that couldn't afford the luxury of a car. Before postcards were developed, many tourists would have used a gazetteer. A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary containing any landmarks or specific attractions of the place a person is going. People would tend to look at a gazetteer before of after they went on vacation to see what they were going to see or what they missed.
Postcards also serve as advertising functions. As stated before, a tropical island can be shown on a postcard, and automatically anyone who looks at it usually wants to go. Advertising could have been as simple as just putting pictures of beaches to attract tourists. Even if one's vacation was dreary and filled with disappointment, postcards still portray the beauty of the vacation spot. Postcards at one time were quite posh and reserved "bragging rights" at the local get together.
Architecture is another aspect of why people collect postcards. Buildings today have changed from those of the past which you could see using these architectural postcards. Also, you could use architectural postcards to see if any important people of the day lived in a certain town Historical buildings are an important factor to find out about different jobs or businesses of the time.
Improvement of education is another aspect where postcards can be used. You can take a postcard of a school from fifty years ago and compare it to a picture of a school and see the major improvements to show your students. Postcards are a great source for any historical information needed.
Postcards have been used as propaganda during war times. For instance Uncle Sam may have been used trying to persuade people to get involved in the war efforts. As for politics, postcards were used to show who was running and to tell people who to vote for.
Many people think that postcards are just something that gets sent to friends when they go on vacation and although this is true, one can see there are a number of other reasons. The most common people who would use postcards today would be historians and postcard collectors. Historians would use postcards to learn more about cultures and lifestyles of the past. For example, comparing the dress of people or the crowded streets of a certain city. Individuals who collect postcards may do it as a pastime or they may be interested in social history as well..
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