A Canadian Family

Genealogy & Vintage Postcards

A Festival of Postcards (6th Ed.) – White | Part 1, Vintage postcards & altered mail art – Links Restored

An online showcase of the best postcards in the blogosphere!Ed. Evelyn Yvonne Theriault
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Welcome to the Festival of Postcards (6th Ed.) – White – where you’ll find bloggers from deltiology as well as family, local and socio-cultural history backgrounds, sharing their best postcards and original mail art. We have 3 sections (Postcards in the Past tense, The Artful Postcard and Contemporary Postcards) with over 45 postcards from around the world that depict a wide range of subject matter such as: buildings, Christmas, food, landscapes, people, snow, ice and water.

Our Feature Article this month is by Ohio blogger Leo A. Schifferli. The title of his blog – Postcardiness – is an homage to Stephen Colbert who coined the word “truthiness”, and Leo’s mission is to “explore the ‘ness’ iof postcards, and relate the discoveres that ensue”. You can read more about him in the next section.

Feature Article

There are several reasons why Blanche is our featured post for this edition. The first is obvious – the word blanche is French for White! But more importantly Leo Schifferli’s post is a fine example of a highly detailed visual and textural analysis of one single postcard. I think it’s a must-read – especially for family historians who are not accustomed to analyzing postcards in this way. Leo beings with a description of the front, but goes on to include notes on the publisher, style etc. of the postcard, a transcription of the handwritten message & advertisement, a discussion of the U.S. Postal Club and the name Blanche and closes with a few unanswered questions. More about Leo Leo told me that he got hooked on postcards because he had an interest in local history and after obtaining an early 20th-century image of a dirigible he “marveled that there would be a piloted craft aloft at that early date, especially in the “middle of nowhere”. After a bit of research he found connections to an early American flight, a specific pilot and the St. Louis World’s Fair but he also learned that the pilot had used postcards “to advertise his upcoming appearances, typically at county fairs”. As he found out for himself, history and postcards are a great match!

Postcards In The Past Tense


“Take vintage postcards with classic tales, add place-settings at the table of food, life and history” and what have you got? Postcards From The Dinner Table! by New York blogger Karen Resta. Karen has a background as …”Executive Chef in a high-profile private dining establishment in New York City” and has set her luggage down in Paris, the Florida Keys, on a Sparkman and Stevens wooden sloop moored at City Island and finally in Brooklyn, New York. If you love postcards, food and history then this is the blog is for you. Two more links: Hey! Let’s Pig Out Inside a Giant White and Gold , and one of her best-known posts – I, Too, Always Head to the Mutton Cooling Room On My Vacation …


In the last issue I mentioned that UK blogger Linda’s site (About Postcards) is a visual smorgasbord so I think it’s only fitting this time to feature her post about Standard White Bread. After all, what would a White Festival be without some delicious white bread? Linda says that “About Postcards is a labour of love that sometimes doesn’t get the time that I’d like it to have. I started the blog to both try and encourage those who were new to the hobby and to help the established collector with postcard information”.


Kay Bauman of Kay B’s Place shares an rppc from her rich collection of family postcards – and if you like large families you’ll certainly appreciate All The Expression. I particularly enjoyed her recount of the meticulous process she followed to identify some of the people in her photograph. Kay says “I am the self-appointed family historian because I enjoy researching and collecting family stories, genealogy and photos. Why have I started this blog To preserve and share my family’s stories as well as track my research progress”.


We’re joined in this issue by another New Yorker – Harry Delf III – with several rppcs of his great-aunt who had a career in Vaudeville. Harry’s blog Family Archive reflects his deep interest in past times. In Harry’s own words “There’s something innately valuable about them. They trigger a pleasure center by disrupting the context of the present world while providing insights into the future. Some people refer to this as history others might think it’s a form of escapism, still others call it nostalgia, however you want to tag it, I’m drawn to it” (The rest of this essay is at Old Things). Spend a little time at Family Archive and you’ll find out why Harry Delf is so interested in vaudeville, the theatre and the 1920s.


Susan of This Old Paper: curious things that are flat, presents a 1910 Schlesinger Bros. postcard. What I love about this is not only the postcard but also the little story that accompanies it. Susan says “one sure pleasure of doing internet research is coming across folks with sites that share similar passions and pastimes” . You can find out more about Susan in the Food section above.


Christine’s blog The Daily Postcard is only 4 months old but she already has a terrific selection of postcards on display. Christine says this about postcards: “I love postcards because they preserve evidence of everyday life as well as celebrations and sad events. Looking at an old postcard is like holding a single piece of a puzzle; we have to imagine the rest…” For our White issue Christine entered Catch On with an article explaining the ins-and-outs of mutoscopes!


Not too many of us are as lucky as Linda Hughes Hiser who has a postcard of her own grandfather atop a Toronto first aid wagon during World War I. How did Linda’s American grandfather turn up with the Canadian Expeditionary Force? You’ll find the answer at Flipside where geneablogger Linda shares her stories and information culled from her “time traveling to the various towns where my ancestors lived, taking photos of cemeteries, homes, points of interest, etc”.


Julie Cahill Tarr participated in the Premiere issue of the Festival with her blog Who Will Tell Their Story? which is dedicated to her collection of orphan photographs. This time she’s coming to us from GenBlog with A Rare Find – a charming rppc from her own family collection. Julie has quite a roster of blogs, including: Cemeteries of Bloomington-Normal, Chicagoland Cemeteries and The Business Savvy Writer. GenBlog is where Julie preserves “the past of the Cahill, Miller, McMahon, Rottman, Stoffel, Wach & Webster families (and many other twigs).


Mary Beaulieu describes her blog Ancestor Tracking as “These ramblings (that) chronicle my search through the Web for evidence of my ancestors. I would like to connect with others on a similar journey to share ideas and Experiences”. In Faces From The Box, Mary shares a haunting rppc of mother and child with the colour white as the focal point. What a great choice for the Christmas season! Mary is a retired math teacher from Virginia, U.S.A.


Strangers In A Box is a fascinating project by Waitakere, New Zealander Dawn who describes her mission as to “… find descendants of the unwanted/unloved vintage photographs I’ve found in my travels around NS & on the internet. About a year ago Dawn found a collection of early twentieth century postcards and you can find these – and some related genealogical research – at Strangers in a Box: Clara Catherine Cradduck.


Festival newcomer Alice Keesey Mccoy is a great-granddaughter of a famous American abolitionist and she shares her research about him and her other ancestors at her blog John Brown Kin. Alice’s entry is a b/w postcard of John Brown’s homestead and final resting place at the John Brown Historical site in North Elba, NY near Lake Placid. She says she has been studying “John Brown and his family for 30+ years”.


Lydia shows contrasting sides of Denver, Colorado by pairing her vintage postcard of the elegant Cheesman Park Memorial Pavilion, Denver, Colorado (modelled along the lines of the Greek Parthenon) with a modern ideo of Cheesman Square tango dancers. Writerquake is a reflection of Lydia’s ecletic intersts including bookmanie, classical music, envrinomentalism, genealogy, hiking, politics and writing.


Festival regulars are familiar with Scott Caron’s blog which specializes in views of Old Town on the Penobscot River in Maine. His selection at Postcards From Old Town includes industrial cards (e.g. pulp and woolen mills), main streets and many charming views of the churches of Old town. For the Festival, he shares a historic view of St. Anne’s Church on Indian Island, Old Town, Maine. Scott overcame his affliction – gephyrophobia – so he could visit the church and take a little walk down memory lane!


Indiana blogger Travis Le Master submitted a b/w card (postmarked 1918) of the Jay County Courthouse in Portland along with some family correspondence. Travis is another family history blogger and TLJ Genes: preserving Our Family History has been around since 2006. Travas says he was “born and raised in Indiana, raised to aprreciate history and family”.


For her 5th Festival, Geneablogger T Casteel of Tangled Trees has entered a view of The Confederate Whie House of Richmond, Virginia. Casteel says this about her site: “Making History Your Own – A Geneablogger’s thoughts, tidbits, inspirations and, of course, brick walls – All very much randomly posed. One person’s life does not stand-along but interacts with family, neighbours, community, and history. Our trees become tangled just by living”.


With his first entry I Wonder Who’s kissing Her Now? Dr. Bill shares a little family story and a postcard that his grandfather sent to his grandmother in 1910. His blog Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories “focuses on Ancestor Stories, both the stories themselves about my family’s ancestors and discussions of where they come from and how to prepare and share them”. In fact, Dr. Bill the blogger, is Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith, author of “13 Ways To Tell Your Ancestor Stories” as well as several other family history books.


For his entry – La Seine Au Pont-Neuf, Alan Burnett of NEWS FROM NOWHERE says “I suppose I could have gone for a festive snow-scene but I decided to concentrate on the amount of white you find on my old postcards“. Another great analysis of a postcard! I’d also like to mention a new postcard activity that Alan just started. In his own words – “Like all good things, Sepia Saturday started as a joke. In writing a Theme Thursday post a while ago, I needed something to cuddle up – in an alliterative sense – with Wordless Wednesday and Fun Friday, so I invented Sepia Saturday…”


Newfoundlander Brenda Dougall Merriman of the eponymous blog, joins us for the first time with her b/w postcard that depicts the aftermath of a past Canadian disaster. Brenda has this to say about postcards “I’ve always collected postcards. Their professional photography plays a large part to fill in my own amateur camera attempts, and trigger my memories of places I’ve been. They also represent faraway or intriguing places my friends have visited”.


Ontario genealogist Janet Iles of Janet The Researcher shares a 1950s b/w postcard of Sauble Beach and says: “I am already dreaming of warmer weather, so I chose this black and white postcard of Sauble Beach“. If you enjoy classic cars you’ll definitely want to check this one out! Janet is well known in Ontario genealogical circles and also blogs at The Graveyard Rabbit of Grey County, Ontario.


With Mammoth Hot Springs, Charles Hansen of Mikkel’s Hus shares another old postcard from his father’s collection. Charles’ father “…lived in Columbus, Montana then and that was close to Yellowstone and on the Yellowstone River” and as Charles told us last time, postcards fit in well with the other Yellowstone photographs that he publishes for his Wordless Wednesday series.


This is our first entry from a Graveyard Rabbits site. For those who don’t know, Graveyard Rabbits is “an association dedicated to the academic promotion of the historical importance of cemeteries, grave markers, and the family history to be learned from a study of burial customs, burying grounds, and tombstones…” (click on link in sidebar for more information), M. Diane Rogers of the Graveyard Rabbit of British Columbia, Canada entered Cemetery Pt., Shoal Lake, Manitoba and included much valuable genealogical and deltiological information as well as links for anyone researching western Canada.


With a name like Kris and a spectacular large-letter postcard, I had to begin the Christmas section with Merry Christmas, Sugah. Kris blogs at Post Card Images: 100 years of life, love and mystery and he accompanied his entry with the question: “Will this mystery card qualify for the White issue?” It certainly qualifies – especially if you click on the enlarged version on his site and see the “dog teams, animal pelts, whaling and boating scenes, even a boxing scene and numerous p0rtraits of men, women and children in fur parkas”. You can also look over Kris’ shoulder as he tries to unravel the little mystery on the back of the card!


Lisa Raleigh of Are You My Cousin? started blogging this year and is still relatively new to blog carnivals, but this month she’s come up with not one, but two, postcards with a White theme. The first is a lovely vintage Christmas postcard that she found among her great grandfather’s possessions, while the second is from her mother’s collThey were contributed by bloggers from the fields of deltiology as well as family, local and socio-cultural history. One thing that binds all these bloggers together is their love of postcards.ection and depicts a sturdy white polar bear. Lisa researches “the families of Howard/Harwards, Maddox, Talbott, Richardson, Elliott, Haley, and White of North Carolina and Virgina”.


Grace has 4 blogs to her name (Thrifty Cheapskate, the Wandering Graveyard Rabbit, My Family Roots run Deep and the Wandering News Gatherer) but joins us with her fifth – Vintage Postcards Revisited – and says this about her passion for postcards: “I feel there is a mystery surrounding vintage post cards. First you are looking at something from the past. Then who was the person who sent it and then who was the person who received it. I have a collection of vintage post cards that my grandfather sent my grandma in the early 1900s…” Grace has posted a fine collection of vintage Christmas cards this month but chose A White Beauty as her official entry.


Henk van Kampen is a Dutch blogger and his entry is a lovely vintage postcard – Merry Christmas – from his blog Trace Your Dutch Roots. Henk has several blogs including The Graveyard Rabbit of Utrecht and Het Gooi, Masterpieces and Roots as well as Haagse Prenten (which hosts many fine postcards) and is a contributor to The Jewish Graveyard Rabbit. Henk is teaching us Dutch and our Dutch words for the month are: Vroolijk kerstfeest!


Liza Painter of the Folk Archivist’s blog began blogging only 2 months ago but she’s already taken part in the month-long Advent Calender project and Tombstone Tuesdays. For her first Festival she’s sharing a lovely vintage Father Christmas from her own family collection. Liza says she “…love(s) the research, sorting out the names and dates, fleshing out the skeletons and hunting down the missing. Yes,. even banging my head repeatedly on brick walls has become enjoyable in its own way”.

Snow and Ice

The Wandering Genealogist John Gasson – sent me his entry Eastbourne After The Great Blizzard with the comment “Sun, sand, sea … and snow?” Considering the amount of snow that the UK got over Christmas, John’s post was quite prescient. In speaking of his love of genealogy, John says it “…was born out of my interest for local history and my first family history research experiences were not with my ancestors, but with people from the local area: licensed victuallers, brick makers and photographers…”


Festival newcomer Lorlee Bartos is a descendant of Bohemians who emmigrated to Minnesota in the mid-1800s., She’s designed a delightful little blog – Dear Annie – around her collection of about 700 early 20th century postcards that she inherited from her great-aunt Annie Bartos. Her blog is an excellent example of how postcards can be used to chronicle the life and time of one individual. One example is her entry – a postcard of a gorgeous scene of horses chest-deep in snow – accompanied by this little message: “Yesterday it was 15 degrees below and today 8 below. Best place is by the stove and that is where I am most of the time. Ha, ha!”


Genealogist and family historian Bob Kramp presents Pont du Mont Blanc and an early Earth Day Celebration at his blog Life’s Journey, saying “vintage black and white postcard of Pont du Mont Blanc Mount White), Geneva, Switzerland, which includes a personal sotry of when the bridge was turned over to pedestrians and bicyclists during a very early Earth Day celectraiton”. Bob’s interests include not only genealogy but also photography, travel and writing.


M. Diane Rogers of CanadaGenealogy/Jane’s Your Aunt was really inspired by the White theme. She submitted a postcard of British Columbia”s Lion’s mountain peaks, another of Grouse Mountain, then finished off with some lovely tinted views of a place named White and a last related to pearls. Very creative ideas!


Lynne of Postcardy:Postcard Explorer presents White Mountain White. Lynne has a large private online collection with a wide variety of postcards and well-written articles. She also has a second site – Postcard Funnies – and has original artwork online at another site – Fridel’s Arts. Lynne has another great resource on her site – a big and constantly updated blogroll of postcard sites. Definitely a great way to find new sites!


Genealogist and published author/photographer Joan (Kerr) Miller of Luxegen Genealogy and Family History writes “primarily about Canadian genealogy resources and also items of interest that are not necessarily found elsewhere”. Her contribution to this Festival is a vintage postcard from the Kerr side of her family which depicts North Hatley ski hill and Auberge Hillcrest.


I’m Evelyn Yvonne Theriault and I’m sharing an early 20th century, b/w postcard that depicts one of the 19th century ice palaces that were built each year for Montreal’s winter carnivals. My blog – A Canadian Family – is where I combine my love for history and postcards into one passion – family history. Sue Edminster of Echo Hill Ancestors Weblog posted Ice Castle which doesn’t qualify for an official entry because she realized that her image of an ice castle was just “a potential postcard!” so it’s not an official entry.

The Artful Postcard

Caroline Pointer presents the Richardson Bros. posted at Family Stories saying “It’s not quite black and white that these are the Richardson brothers”. Caroline has a particular expertise in the area of family storytelling and her approach always starts with questions. Here are some that she poses on her blog: “What is your family story? Do you know it? Do you know where you came from. And who your people are?”.


Judy has participated in former Festivals with modern and vintage entries from her blog Judy’s Postcards Plus, but this time she’s got something a little different – a collage which she calls An Imaginary White Christmas. It’s so great to be seeing more entries in the altered mail art category!


Geneablogger Vickie Everhard of Be Not Forgot Begotten & Ne’er forgotten is back once again with a wonderful piece of mail art entitle Advent! Carnival! Festival – Celebrate and describes it as follows “This christmas season colalge features a mostly-white postcard that was sent by Emma to her sister in Akron, Ohio with a wish for many choice blessings for the New Year of 1915”.

Please follow the link below!

Festival of Postcards (White) – Part 2

January 7, 2010 - Posted by | .


  1. Oooh Evelyn, this Festival looks like a goodie! I have previewed a sampling and will be back to see more postcards. Once again I thank you for your special talent in bringing people together, and for ALL the work this entails. With much appreciation I hope you have a restful day!

    Comment by Lydia | January 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. Great job, Evelyn. It looks like there are some really good ones. I can’t wait to check them all out. Thanks for doing this. I have included the link to help people navigate around.

    Comment by Christine | January 8, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] December edition of A Festival of Postcards will be the WHITE Issue.  So this is your chance to share any of your black and white postcards, […]

    Pingback by All The Expressions « Kay B’s Place | January 8, 2010 | Reply

  4. These are really beautiful, Evelyn! Thanks so much for including mine and I have updated my blog to to lead visitors back to your wonderful work.

    Comment by Mary Beaulieu | January 9, 2010 | Reply

  5. “Henk van Kampen” blog — the link is wrong on this. It is linking to “Vintage Postcards Revisited.”

    Comment by postcardy | January 9, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you – I am at the moment unable to fix the link because any edits to the Festival (even minor) result in all image links being broken – and I am even finding it difficult to use the Restore funciton.
      I am hoping to be able to completely rebuild this post at a future date after passing it through some sort of utility program.

      Comment by evelynyvonnetheriault | January 9, 2010 | Reply

  6. What a totally amazing anthology you’ve put together here,Evelyn. Many hours of reading to look forward to – thank you!!

    Comment by Karen | January 9, 2010 | Reply

  7. It grows and it grows! What a lot of hard work you’ve put into this Evelyn, especially after the re-write you’ve had to do. Thank you so much for all the great links. It will keep me fascinated for a long time, I can see.

    Comment by Sheila | January 10, 2010 | Reply

  8. Evelyn – just a note to correct the spelling on :
    “… a view of The Confederate Whie House of Richmond… ”
    Again –
    Thank you for hosting the festivals – I have no doubt they are a lot of work!

    Comment by T.Casteel | January 11, 2010 | Reply

    • I’m terribly sorry about the typ0, Theresa. Unfortunately I am unable – for the moment – to edit anything in this post as it is “locked down”.
      I am going to try to find a go-around to this in the next weeks.

      Comment by evelynyvonnetheriault | January 11, 2010 | Reply

  9. […] wit and imagination.  I found Postcards From The Dinner Table via Karen’s submission to A Festival of Postcards (6th ed.) — White, and had been meaning to add PFTDT to my Links, and even had selected a welcome postcard to […]

    Pingback by Andersen’s Pea Soup « Postcardiness's Blog | January 14, 2010 | Reply

  10. May I point you to a couple of classic postcards on the theme of the errant fiance and an article about the strange history of breach of contract of marriage in England? It’s in this article:


    Comment by David | January 16, 2010 | Reply

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