Before there was Twitter, there were postcards, which forced people to be succinct in their messages to someone else. On May 19, 1898, the United States Post Office authorized the use of postcards. I never really thought about it before that postcards came after letters, but there was a time before they were created.

Of course, postcards are becoming obsolete, as people can take pictures with their mobile phones and send them instantly anywhere in the world. But the nice thing about postcards, is that they make colorful, small, easily carried souvenirs of sights you have seen, and they are nicer to pass around to a group than pictures on a phone. When I traveled in Great Britain and Ireland last summer, I saw too many tourists taking picture after picture rather than enjoying what they were seeing. Because of that, I decided I would just look and not take pictures, but just savor the view. I bought postcards of everywhere I wanted to remember, mailed a few, and brought the rest home.

In days gone by, postcards were an art form. You can see a wide array of vintage postcards at They come in subject areas as diverse as lobsters, log cabins, and chickens. Well worth a browse, and they can be valuable too. In the chicken category, I saw one labeled Grade 1 that was selling for $75. So if you have old postcards in a trunk in your attic, you might want to dig them out!

Of course, I live in a very scenic state, and you can find many wonderful postcards of the Oregon coast, the forests, the mountains, and the high desert country, as well various cities, Portland being the most common. The postcard below is of Crater Lake, the nearest scenic area to me. It truly has to be seen to be believed, but you may enjoy the postcard for now.


Quotes about postcards

The world before us is a postcard, and I imagine the story we are writing on it.–Mary E. Pearson (The Miles Between)

Wherever you travel to, I would love to receive a beautiful postcard.–Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom)

Zoe’s mom liked to send silly postcards that made her laugh, but they usually dwindled as the summer wore on.–Christine Brodien-Jones (The Glass Puzzle)

I’ve always felt there is something sacred in a piece of paper that travels the earth from hand to hand, head to head, heart to heart.–Robert Michael Pyle (Sky Time in Gray’s River)

If it takes the entire army and navy to deliver a postal card in Chicago, that card will be delivered.–Grover Cleveland

For email, the old postcard rule applies. Nobody else is supposed to read your postcards, but you’d be a fool if you wrote anything private on one.–Judith Martin

I love that works of art are printed so that anyone can buy them. The variety of what they put on little postcards astounds me.–Leonard Lauder

Tacked above my desk are photos of artists I admire – Hopper, Sargent, Twain – and postcards from beloved bookstores where I’ve spent all my time and money – Tattered Cover, Elliot Bay, Harvard Bookstore.–J. R. Moehringer

Every time I see an exhibition, I make a pit stop at the museum gift shop to buy a postcard of something that inspired me.–Ruzwana Bashir

I resolve to make better use of the wonderful Royal Mail, and send letters and postcards to people.–Tom Hodgkinson

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at

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