Postcards and the New Year

Salem State University Archives & Special Collections
Between 1908 and 1925, postcards were the most common form of communication and were used similarly to how texting is used today. In the days before telephones, friends and family would send short messages to each other through the postal service. These messages were not private but at the small cost of two cents including postage, they quickly caught on.
Many postcards were for general use with themes such as travel, local landmarks and visually appealing artwork. However, like greeting cards today, postcards were also made to honor holidays. The samples below were both sent to ring in the New Year of 1908. The postcard on the left featuring four witches is representative of a theme peculiar to Salem, showing that the city was beginning to embrace its dark heritage year-round. The postcard on the right was created specifically for the 1908 New Year. The floral landscape artwork calls upon spring, following a record setting winter in 1907.

*This article was written by Jen Ratliff for use by Salem State University Archives and Special Collections.

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