Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "vintage"

Some time ago, Audrey (aka belladomanda) from the US sent us a tip about this wonderful paper artist she had stumbled upon. Have a look:

CATERINA ROSSATO - deja vu series of postcards CATERINA ROSSATO - deja vu series of postcards CATERINA ROSSATO - deja vu series of postcards

These stunning landscapes are made by Italian artist Caterina Rossato, who lives in a quiet town north of Venice. We were mesmerised by her intricate sceneries and the way she juxtapose details from dozens of different postcards to create new imaginary worlds. Curious to know more, we reached out to Caterina who kindly agreed to reply to a few questions about her work.

Hi Caterina! Could you tell us a bit more about yourself?

My name is Caterina Rossato and I live in Bassano del Grappa, where I have my base camp. I like to move around, follow multiple projects simultaneously and suddenly fall in love with something that makes me forget what I was doing. I do not like to wait for the right moment and I hate perfection.

On weekends I like to climb mountains or go skiing on the glaciers with my partner. From this height you can see a bigger slice of the world.

CATERINA ROSSATO - deja vu series of postcards
How did you start doing these mini landscapes? What inspires you?

It all started with the idea of breaking down the images and put them together, then with the need to sublimate into a single image multiple points of view or all the photos taken during a trip or a day. I create images in which all possible visuals and temporal variations of an experience are concentrated. They are two-dimensional images but developed in a sculptural way, made of levels, intersections, overlaps and joints. The viewer feels a sense of familiarity and alienation at the same time. Right now I’m working on a project with CNC milling machines that will allow me to combine these fragments into a third dimension.

CATERINA ROSSATO - deja vu series of postcards
And on a more practical level, where do you find all these postcards?

In the case of analog collages, I buy stock of postcards from Ebay or local merchants: about 4000 – 5000 postcards every time. I always try to buy postcards from different areas and I usually change suppliers. When I compose digital collage I use hundreds of photographs taken by me in a specific landscape or I do research on the internet to find what I need, always in really high resolution.

Both analog and digital cutouts are organised in very detailed catalogs: analog clippings are divided into a filing cabinet with many drawers, digital ones go into folders and subfolders on my mac.

CATERINA ROSSATO - deja vu series of postcards
Are you a postcard or letter writer yourself?

For many years I’ve been writing letters and postcards to my grandmother who lives far away from me. I started because I had the need to find a personal way to communicate with her, as she’s not able to send messages by mobile phone and with age her hearing has deteriorated making talking on the phone impossible. Given that other old uncles also live in my grandmother’s building, I started to write to all of them, in order to avoid upsetting anyone… so the arrival of the mail has become a highly anticipated moment, both for me and for them.

Whenever my grandmother receives a postcard she sticks it under the calendar. I’m interested in this shared time devoted to the thought and the gaze.

Can you show us a picture of your workspace, or a mini-landscape work in progress?

CATERINA ROSSATO - studio CATERINA ROSSATO - studio

Thank you Caterina, that was wonderful! 😊 You can find these and other projects of Caterina on her website, caterinarossato.com.

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While browsing Flickr for inspiration, we found this charming set of Easter cards, uploaded by the National Library of Norway. They’re all really sweet, so we thought we’d share some of them with you!

Glædelig Paaske Glædelig Paaske Glædelig Paaske Glædelig Paaske Glædelig Paaske Glædelig Paaske Glædelig Paaske

Eggs, chicks, bunnies and children! Glædelig Paaske — Happy Easter! :)

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Maude Hart

Over one hundred years ago, in February 1913, Maude Hart and her husband embarked on a journey across the world. Postcards were at the height of their popularity back then, and Maude wrote back to their family often during their 9 month trip, especially to her sister Myrtle (who she calls Toots) and her mother “Mussey”.

Family mementos like postcards and their stories have a way of getting lost when people move or families unite and separate… but somehow, Maude’s postcards survived 100 years until Patricia Eacobacci (Maude’s great grandniece) discovered them in her mother’s things and put the story together. She scanned, deciphered and uploaded every card with a lot of care, and set up a blog to share her Postcards from Maude.

The first time we laid eyes on this collection we were quite speechless. Postcards are often seen as a one-off thing, but Maude’s postcards (as well as her photos and letters) tell the tales of a epic adventure from another era, one that took place over the course of 9 months. The trip, organized by Thomas Cook & Son, started in San Francisco, and went on to Hawaii, Japan, Philippines, China, Singapore, India, Egypt, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland and then back to the US. Here are some snippets:

Postcard from Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan April 5
Hello Toots
We are doing Tokyo – a wonderful City. 3 millions natives living here. Only 50 Americans. Just think of it.
Maude
Postcard from Egypt
Port Said, Egypt. May 22.
My Dear Mama, We are now going through the Suez Canal in Egypt. Can only go 4 miles an hour. It is very narrow. Tomorrow we get off & go through Egypt for 14 days. This is a most interesting country. Will take 18 hours to pass through Canal.
Much Love,
Maude
Postcard from The Netherlands
Amsterdam, Holland – Sunday night Sept 7.
My Dear Mama.
Hello Mussey dear, how are you? Here is a view of a wooden wind mill. You see hundreds of them here & the people are dressed just like this. We leave here tomorrow. Hope I hear from home when I reach Brussels.
Tons of love,
Maude

Towards the end, you can feel Maude’s homesickness and her eagerness to return to her dear family. On October 22nd 1913, she boarded the SS Majestic bound to the United States on the final stretch of her trip, and wrote again on October 31st, delighted to see New York once more.

These postcards (and the story within them) are a real treat. Thank you Patricia, for all the work and research, and for sharing them with the world! You can see all of Maude’s postcards and follow her voyage in the Postcards from Maude blog.

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Today we’d like to present you a special kind of postcards… linen postcards! Have you ever heard of them, or received one?

By the name alone, one might imagine that linen postcards were made from… well… linen! However, while the surface pattern of the card resembled linen fabric, the cards were actually made from a very inexpensive paper stock with a high rag content and finished with a pattern that resembles the crosshatched surface of linen. The reverse side of these kinds of cards was smooth like other postcards.

Linen postcard

Linen postcards were extremely popular from the early 1930’s to 1945, when they were ultimately replaced with photochrome postcards, boasting a glossy finish and realistic looking photos. Some manufacturers, mostly located in the south of the United States, still produced linen cards up until the 50’s and 60’s. During their heyday, the biggest publishing company of top-notch linen postcards was Teich. Founded in 1898, they didn’t receive any real recognition until they began to come out with imaginative scenes on their linen postcards. They were the ones responsible for the creation of the Large Letter postcards, remember?

Linen postcard

It was owner Curt Teich who realized that by creating more of a surface area on the cards, you enabled the heatset inks to dry faster, allowing the dyes to remain stronger on the surface. This concept gave linen postcards their unique vivid color, which was a huge advance from the previously popular “white border” postcards that could only muster up a bland and blurry finish.

Linen postcard

The subject matter of linens was extremely varied, ranging from town and scenic views, to interiors and comics. Roadside establishments such as diners, motels, bus and gas stations were also showcased, representing a significant era of American culture. Some companies also used these cards as a way to advertise their products. These cards alone document many important events in history, making them quite valuable as collectibles.

I must confess I quite like them because of their unusual texture! :) Have you ever received on of these? What do you think of them?

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How do you imagine things will look like one hundred years from now? Minority Report-style interfaces? Teleportation? Universal translators? Or perhaps space colonies… It’s hard to make predictions, right?

100 years ago, French artist Villemard did just that, in a magnificent collection of postcards which Vivento brought to our attention some days ago. They provide a delightful glimpse into the imagination of our great-grandparents, and what they thought the future would look like in the year 2000. The postcards are currently owned by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, who suggests they might have been used to accompany food products, similar to Hildebrand’s chocolate packaging.

Some predictions were rather accurate, others… not so much. Take a look:

larchitect

An operator would sit in its cubicle, while machines would break rocks and assemble a building.

Villemard - En l'an 2000

Firemen had wings to better fight fires!

Villemard - En l'an 2000

In the school, books were somehow processed in a machine (with a hand-powered crank) and then transmitted to students.

Villemard - En l'an 2000

A chemical dinner – it’s funny how a meal was portrayed in a very elaborate and formal setting, even if food had been condensed into pills and could technically be swallowed in 2 seconds…

Villemard - En l'an 2000

At the tailor, measurements would be mechanically taken, and a machine would then produce a suit from rolls of fabric.

Interestingly, some things weren’t going to to change all that much in Villemard’s imagination… like fashion sense! :)

The collection consists of 25 postcards, and they’re all fascinating – with lots of flying machines! You can check them out on Tom Wigley’s set on Flickr.

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