Who sent postcards?

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The number of postcards showing the town of Settle suggest that, providing it was primarily tourists driving the use of postcards, that tourism in this area was high at the time. One of the frequently seen publishers in the collection gives us important clues as to why so many postcards of Settle were produced and perhaps why tourism was so high, a key player in the creating the “golden age” of Postcard Popularity. Francis Frith & Co actively photographed every town and village in Britain, creating a business model for the postcard industry. Their carefully added Francis Frith & Co logo to either the front or back of the postcard would have aided the popularity of tourism in areas such as Settle, Yorkshire.

Settle Resident

There are many examples in the collection of postcards relating to not only views of Settle but postcards of the local residents themselves, celebratory gatherings and football teams published on postcards. In one example shown here a woman writes to her sister on the back of a postcard showing her house. Although it is not stamped it may have been handed over in person, a substitute for showing a photograph. Using the postcard she can provide a visual description of where she lives and reference surrounding businesses.

Young Person

The last example shows that people of all ages were using postcards to communicate with friends and family. A Settle boarding school resident uses a postcard of her school to show her aunt where she is residing within the building and how her studies are progressing. The younger user of postcards is at ease with communicating in this manner.

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Postcard Popularity

Why did people buy postcards?

Who made postcards?

Why postcards and not photographs?

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