Friday, August 23, 2002

Postcards of the Past II
Forgive my lazy afternoon geek fest involving postcards, but I've been Googling for vintage views of cities in Massachusetts. There are some awesome resources online, although I've yet to find any collections of postcards from Somerville or Cambridge.

Postcards from Framingham sheds flattering light on what is now a rather uninteresting city. When I first moved to Massachusetts in 1996, I worked in Framingham, and this collection of cards acquired over the course of 25 years shows several sides of the city that aren't visible any more. The cards are organized well, and the archivists include publishing and other information. Who'da thunk Framingham could be so interesting?

Shirley Bruso's online exhibit of postcards from North Adams is not as well organized as the Framingham collection, but the cards are still beautiful. Bruso's archive comprises more than 100 cards depicting scenes between 1900-1970. While it is slightly frustrating to pop back and forth between the cards themselves and the menu, I appreciate Bruso's efforts. Some of the cards are accompanied by personal recollections of the scene in question, and Bruso surrounds the card archive with additional historical and local information.

Lastly, Bob Trachimowicz's Worcester, Massachusetts, Postal History provides just that. In addition to the categorized collection of Worcester postcards, "Track" expands on the history of postal markings and methods in this city west of Boston. I didn't find the analysis of "fancy cancels" and auxiliary markings as interesting as the cards themselves, but his approach is innovative and in depth.

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