Arts & Culture

Vintage Southern Postcards

Long before smart phones and even before color photography became commonplace, “linen” postcards were the original social media. Printed on textured paper with bright inks, they cost a penny a piece and became so popular in the 1930s ’40s that American travelers snapped up nearly a billion of them. For the first time, they could easily share an image of moss-draped oaks in North Carolina, a dark passage in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave, or a sweeping vista from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee with friends and family back home. A new book, Postcard America, by collector and University of Texas professor Jeffrey L. Meikle, showcases more than 200 of these iconic souvenirs—in all their colorful nostalgia.

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