Over 250 new postcards from the Braswell Memorial Library have been recently added to DigitalNC.
Before the ease of digital cameras and Instagram, postcards were the way that travelers documented and remembered their trips. Today, postcards are often seen as archaic souvenirs, though thoughtful; however, in the early to mid-twentieth century, they were a primary form of documenting travel, even in small towns across the United States.
Many of the postcards include personal notes, detailing some aspects of their travels. From these recent additions to Images of North Carolina you can track the travels of children writing home to their parents on summer adventures, farmers documenting the sales of produce as they traveled to markets, and couples reminding themselves of each motel where they stayed during a long road trip.
Not only do the postcards tell small snippets of individuals’ travels, but this collection highlights many small businesses in Rocky Mount, N.C. and the surrounding areas of Edgecombe and Nash counties. Today’s postcards highlight the most prominent sites and views in a city, but these postcards display roadside motels, bar-b-cue restaurants, and downtown streets in small towns. Even the local high schools and churches were common features of postcards from this period.
These images of North Carolina offer a unique look at travel, tourism, and advertising from the early half of the twentieth century.
To see more from Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount, N.C., please visit the contributor page. To see the more of the recently added postcards, limit the format of items from Braswell Memorial Library to “postcards.”