Personal Greetings

Ways To Say Hello.

Send others a special message from afar.

At a time when few households had telephones, the postcard was often the fastest way to communicate with friends or family members.

The US Postal Service delivered mail to homes twice a day, six days a week. This made postcard
communication the most immediate and reliable way to send news, announce plans, or to offer congratulations, thanks, or best wishes.

It is not uncommon to find postcards mailed in the morning and delivered within the same city in the same day – so that correspondents could arrange meetings, plan for guests, or organize a meal within
one day’s time.

Millions of plans were announced by postcard, such as, “I am coming on the 10 AM train”, or “Meet me at the trolley stop”. One may infer from reading a multitude of postcard messages that train and trolley schedules were widely-known among residents of a community or region.

Everything that is now requested by text or email was made, in the early 20th century, by postcard:
requests for a recipe, the return of a borrowed item, the address of a mutual friend, for example.

Until the 1920’s. the postcard was the most common method of acknowledging days or events having personal significance. Millions of “Happy Birthday” postcards have survived into the 21st century, in addition to congratulatory messages for weddings, anniversaries, or births.

Absent a special occasion, friends and neighbors sent millions of postcards to share the minutia of daily lives. Headings such as, “Thinking of You”, From a Friend”, or “Loving Thoughts” were common.

Any random collection of vintage postcards is likely to include messages related to the stresses or anxieties of life – illnesses, hospitalizations, accidents or injuries changes in employment, or risks to crops, livestock, or horses.

Because country roads were usually unpaved and unimproved, and because street lights ( outside of cities) were largely nonexistent, many postcard messages begin with greetings such as, “ I got home safely on Sunday” or “How did you get back after the meeting?”.

Because all postcards are a form of postcard greeting, in this archive greetings related to holidays, to natural wonders, to Church and Sunday School activities, are categorized separately.

Likewise, postcards bearing scenes of natural wonders, distant points or interest, or scenes from places outside the United States are found in their respective categories.