Snail's Postcard Post

Today’s Finds

From the Pasadena, CA Antique Mall:IMG_6280IMG_6281IMG_6282IMG_6283The severity and perhaps morbid curiosity of a Three Mile Island postcard stands in stark contrast to the pleasantry with which we generally associate postcards due to their prominence in the world of tourism. But historically, postcards have often served as snapshots of such events. To quote Leonard A. Lauder in The Postcard Age: “The postcard bears witness to events, such as one series that chronicled the last moments of the life of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, before he was shot in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. The last card of the series in my collection has a cross inked above the head of one of the assailants, conjuring up the card’s original owner, who might have marked it as if to say, “That’s him–I saw him do it,” before he sent it along to a friend.”


“The bomb-thrower Cabrinovic” 1914. Photographed from the book.

Another example from The Postcard Age:img_5969For more tidbits from img_5975 check out this post.

Eerily surreal, I found this postcard at the Pasadena Antique Mall as well:IMG_6284

“Alpe di Piora”
According to the Piora Valley page on (the official website of Switzerland tourism), dairy farmers use the milk from these cows to make a local cheese called Priora-Alpkäse. (The valley seems to be called Piora, while the alp above it seems to be called Alp Priora now.) The rare cheese gets its flavor from the pastures on the mountain where the cows graze in the summer. 

I was intrigued by this postcard because I have a similar one content-wise, but with a completely different feel:img_5509

The medieval Fénis Castle in the Aosta Valley, a semi-autonomous region of Northwest Italy. 

The third postcard I chose from the antique mall struck me with a sense of humble joy:IMG_6285

My first postcard from Nicaragua! If you look closely, the boy is smiling at another child under the table.

This photo captures what I was getting at in my recent post about work when I wrote of how the parking lot owner describes his view of his business–a tiny plywood kiosk –in The Parking Lot Movie, a new favorite film of mine. He relates that before establishing the parking lot, he did a lot of traveling, and wherever he went in the world, there were little specialized stalls. He recalled one such stand in Morocco, run by a man who made fresh squeezed orange juice. The stand was basically a box with an open window, not even a door. So the orange juice man wood sit outside the box, and when a customer came along, he’d hop in through the window, squeeze the juice, and hop out again. The parking lot owner remembered that sweet simplicity.  IMG_6286

I was sadly limited for time at the antique mall, barely scratching the surface of their postcard collection. I can’t wait to go back and dig deeper. The clerk told me they also have a stash of turn-of-the-century love letters!

It’s not a love letter, but I did receive the autograph of a ship captain today. It’s on the back of a postcard Mama Snail rediscovered from a recent trip, which she gave to me. 


This entry was published on August 6, 2013 at 8:45 pm. It’s filed under Historical, This Just In! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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