The City at Night – Macon, Georgia (1908)

Mrs. R.S. Giles lived in New London, a village in north central Ohio.

(The name reflects the Connecticut roots of the early settlers, and the architecture of the town (and the village green) show the influence of New England.)

In September of 1908 (?), Mrs. Giles received a postcard from her daughter, Louise.

Louise and others in her party were “resting up” in Macon, Georgia because they had an “awful day, yesterday”.

It is not clear if the strains of travel required recuperation or if there was some strenuous task to be performed.

Louise complains that she has not heard from her mother “since last Wednesday”, and wonders if the mail had been delayed “or you are neglecting us.”

Louise did receive a letter from Lawrence (possibly her brother) who reported that he was taking Mama driving today.

The face of the postcard is a nighttime photograph of Macon, Georgia.

The postcard was published by Powers Curiosity Store of Macon.

These night views of cities were very popular in the early 20th century.

I believe that this popularity may reflect how new and astonishing the prospect of wide-spread illumination would be.

In 1908, most people experienced a very pervasive darkness at night.

Cities were the first areas to be electrified and to install street lights.  

Visitors from rural towns or villages, where lanterns and candles provided the only illumination, would be dazzled by buildings and streets that were fully visible at night.

One hopes that Louise recovered from the awful day and that she received a letter from her mother.

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