Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Totally Postcard Tuesday - Street Scenes

Street scenes are one of the many reasons why I love to collect postcards. In the early 20th century more people lived in rural areas than in the hustle and bustle of the city. But the cities and towns were the life support of those that lived outside of it. It was the center for all of modern innovations and machinery; they were the epitome of the American Industrial Dream.
The pictures printed these cities touched with color to proudly display modern travel and modern life in the big cities and towns. I can't imagine how many children would look at these cards and dream of living or at least visiting San Francisco or New York. The amazing public transportation line, power lines that lit up the streets, people everywhere chatting and it seemed that everyone was busy doing something in these cards.
Without television everything was an event and most often it could not be done in the privacy of your own home. People actually had to dress up, leave their house and go see the circus or the parade. They were happy to leave the monotony of the daily life. The interaction between people may not have always been perfect but at least they interacted. They had to; there’d been no other way to convey a message or to see something. People would congregate around interesting things such as newspaper stands to talk about the daily events, crowds would form if a stranger rolled in with something new and amazing on his cart.

In present times these postcards are very collectible and sometimes a challenge to find. Their charm and appeal comes from a little touch of nostalgia many of us feel as we see the interactions beautifully illustrated. Most important is that the people are busy doing and seeing new things for themselves not virtually. The personal connection of people in the early 20th century is something that we have unfortunately lost over time and our wonderful nation has certainly changed.

When these beautiful cards were first sold people often longed to visit distant places joining in the activity of a modern city. Now many of us look at these beautiful cards and long for a distant time and to join in the activity of a society before cell phones.

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