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Tuesday, June 17, 2014


On my travels I always like to pick up souvenirs from where ever I stop.  My go-to souvenir has got to be postcards.  They are usually cheap as hell and an easy way to get a memento.  If you are smart enough to buy stamps, you can even use them to rub your trip in your friends home-bound faces.

I addition to collecting modern postcards, I always look for vintage postcards when visiting thrift shops and antique stores.  I really love the art form of the postcard.   I thought it'd be fun to go through some of my favorite postcards from my collection.

I've always loved the designs where they try to fit pictures of buildings and attractions within the name of the City, one of the classic postcard designs.

See what I mean!  Those cards make you want to vacation in three places that no logical human being would ever want to visit.  BTW, you can really see the steel mills from the Beach in Indiana.

Of course nothing beats this postcard from Hell, MI that my wife sent me.

So for those keeping count the scene portrayed in Hell, MI are a car wreck, a zombie, a tyrannosaurus, and a flaming skull.  The post office even singes the postcard with a lighter before they send it out.  And come on......"I wish YOU were here".   Talk about a passive aggressive postcard.

Here are people having a blast on a lake that catches on fire and all the fish are dead.

I also love postcards with maps on them.

Something about maps with little illustrations on them are endlessly charming to me.

One thing thing that is interesting I have found looking through hundreds of vintage postcards is that often they will stamp different town names onto cards with identical graphics.

I have seen this same postcard stamped with the names of other Michigan cities.

I also found a set of weird blank postcards with no city information posted on them at all.

A postcard from nowhere I guess.

Here are a couple of cool cards from some of my favorite cities.......

Of course for me traveling is all about roadside attractions, so I am always drawn to cards from such locations. 

Here is Fort Pedro, from the spectacular South of the Border.  Look closely and you can see ghostly people in the parking lot caused by the long exposure.

And here we have Ghost Town in the Sky, back in its heyday.  Let's wish them luck as they try to re-open once again this Friday.

Here's a postcard of the World's Largest Duncan Fyfe Chair in Thomasville, NC, with added tourist to give it scale.

 Here's the chair now.

In Birmingham, AL they have a giant statue of Vulcan, the Roman God of Fire, for some reason.  I have not had a chance to see Vulcan in person, but I hope to rectify this soon.

Speaking of things I have no seen in person, here is a wonderful state of legendary rail driver, John Henry in WV.  This statue exists, but has actually been moved to a new location in a public park.

And here we have the Brer Rabbit Statue from Greensboro, GA.  It now sits outside the Uncle Remus museum, but judging by this pictures he used to be placed somewhere else (and had a snazzy red coat). 

Here is Brer Rabbit today.

This postcard isn't simply a celebration of Deliverance star Burt Reynolds' rugged masculinity, it is actually a postcard for his museum in Jupiter, FL.

Here is a postcard of the wonderful diorama found at The Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, FL.

A true classic.....

Here is a postcard of a traditional Seminole Alligator wrestler.

At first I thought he was just wearing a bad 70s sweater, but that is actually traditional Seminole garb, as shown in this statue in the Everglades.

Here is a group of lesser known presidents from the Presidential Hall of Fame in Clermont, FL.  Look at William Henry Harrison...."I died in 30 days!"

And here is the now defunct, Mammoth Cave Wax Museum in Cave City, FL.  That's Buzz Aldrin holding his precious moon rock (its real). 

Here is an assortment of these random characters I photographed on my visit.

 Here is the notorious Chimney Rock in Chimney Rock, NC.....

And the even more notorious Blowing Rock in Blowing Rock, NC.   Yes, we have two different cities named after rocks.  Blowing Rock was featured in Ripley's Believe it Or Not as the only place where snow falls up. 

Supposedly, the wind blows upward under the rock and if you toss garbage over the edge it will fly back in your face.  Of course, like all cliffs it has a story about a Indian jumping off of it.  The legend states that an Indian Princess lept from the Rock, only to be lifted by the winds and dropped in the arms of her lover.

Here we have the confederate monument Stone Mountain....

I bought this postcard at the Copper Mine museum in Copperhill, TN.  The postcard itself is made out of Copper.

Here is the crucifixion scene from Christus Gardens, now known as Christ in the Smokies, which can be found in Gatlinburg, TN.  Luckily I have this postcard, because they won't let you take pictures inside.

The Sunsphere in Knoxville, TN, referred to as "The Wigsphere" in that Simpsons episode....

A postcard from Lake Buena Vista, FL

Here is a parrot with an Umbrella from an old school Florida attraction known as "Parrot Jungle".

Speaking of old school Florida attractions, check out these postcards from "Monkey Jungle" in Miami.....

Back in the day the monkeys would perform while dressed as cowboys, Indians, and astronauts.  Its still around today, but they have ditched the costumes.

This card is from the classic Florida attraction Cypress Gardens, now known as Legoland Florida.....

Here is a somewhat creepy sponge diver from Tarpon Springs, FL.....

Then of course we have my all time favorite Florida attraction, Weeki Wachee Springs....

Then we have this Florida postcard that simply advertises "bathing beauties".....

Of course no attraction has produced more wonderful postcards then Rock City in Lookout Mountain, GA (home of its own jumping Indian legend).

Another great collection is this postcard book I from the marvelous Santa's Land in Cherokee, NC

Speaking of Cherokee, no Southern postcard collection would be complete without a postcard of Chief Henry, the World's Most Photographed Indian.

Some of my favorite postcards are these cards that I got from Dinosaurland in Whitepost, VA.....

The 40 something woman that sold me these cards told me she was actually the kid in the picture below, as her family owned the park....

She told me that she was happy that they let her stay home from school.....

All these wonderful creations are still standing after all these years, even this hairy Sloth.....

I found this old postcard of a strange masonic marker off the Smokey Mountain Parkway.  

I followed the directions on the postcard and was able to find monument still standing.....

Of course its not just roadside attractions and cities that get their own postcards.  Even restaurants like to get into the action.  Including this seafood restaurant with a ghoulish mascot.

Or this restaurant that serves pie balanced on its crust....

And this weird postcard from a chocolate store....

While in Jimmy Carter's home town of Plains, GA I found an amazing shop that specialized in political memorabilia.  I picked up these gems featuring the Reagans.....

I also love this postcard of Lyndon Johnson leering like a creepy outside of the White House....

Then there are some postcards that defy classification.  Just check out this postcard featuring Yumion, the mascot for Vidalia Onions.

A postcard celebrating a cow named Elsie.....

Chester Brent.....

Two deer punching each other.....

And this imp thing........

A postcard of Elvis, with a roast beef recipe on it....

But one of the strangest of all is this postcard that diagrams the crash of Korean flight 007, I'm not really sure what instance you would send this to your mom....

But the prize of my collection will always be this postcard of the Goat Man, Ches McCartney.

You can read about the Goat Man HERE.  Essentially, Ches was a preacher who traveled the country for decades with an old railroad car pulled by Goats.  His only form of financial income was postcards such as the one about that he would sell for a quarter, or 3 for a dollar.

(I own physical copies of all photographs shown here, but I obviously did not take the pictures on them.)

The Carpetbagger

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  1. What a great collection! I have several from Santa's land, but I wish I had the one of the girl combing Santa's hair! I loved that a lot of their stuff in their gift shop seemed to be from 50 years ago! I also really love that blank postcard with the photo of the highway. what a lame card to send home!

    1. The greatest thing about Santa's Land is that it never changes.......Its a living breathing time capsule of a past time

  2. These are all great! I always pick up postcards too, I especially love the old linen ones. I have been to Hell Michigan twice and sent a bunch of friends that postcard! I love the odd cards (no city name shown and the ones with ghost people). Oh, and Vulcan in Alabama is one of my all time favorite tourist attractions.

    1. I am hoping to see Vulcan in the "flesh" before the end of the year

  3. That gives off an impression of being fabulous anyway i am still not very beyond any doubt that I like it. At any rate will look much more into it and choose by and by!  4 x 4 postcard printing

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