Friday, August 2, 2013

Ontra Cafeterias Los Angeles California linen postcard

Ontra Cafeterias Los Angeles, CA, linen, 1951.

Another striking example of linen era Roadside America postcards - the Ontra Cafeteria chain in Los Angeles. This card postmarked 1951. Caption on reverse reads in part - visit Ontra Cafeterias while in Los Angeles and "you will KNOW the reason for their nationwide popularity". 

Unfortunately, no menu information or prices to let us know what we missed...

Click on picture for further details.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bug Light Breakwater Lighthouse Portland Maine postcard

Breakwater Light or Bug Light, Portland Maine circa 1910

The breakwater lighthouse at Portland Maine - or Bug Light as it is known locally - was built in 1855, being replaced in 1874 when the original structure decayed and the breakwater was extended further. 

A tiny dwelling, a wood-frame structure with two rooms, was finally built adjacent to the lighthouse in 1889.

The house presented an unusual and precarious-looking appearance as it hung over the edge of the breakwater on both sides. 

The outhouse connected to a central shaft to the sea below. One resident reported that he was careful to check wind & tide before using the facilities! 

The keeper's house was demolished in 1935 and the light extinguished in 1942 during wartime. Fortunately, steps towards conservation were taken in 1985 and renovations in 1989 and late 1990s saw a relighting ceremony in 2002. 

Click the image for further details on the postcard. You can find out more about the history of the light here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

US Navy Ship Postcards

Most people are familiar with various types of mainline fighting ships used by modern navies - frigates, destroyers, missile cruisers, and aircraft carriers come readily to mind - but navies also have special purpose vessels that receive much less attention.

Here's a sampling of a few of the latter type used by the US navy in the late twentieth century.

Click on the pictures for complete details of these postcards.

The USS Norton Sound started out its service career as a seaplane teader with the Pacific Fleet at the end of WW II but underwent conversion to a floating laboratory platform for guided missile projects during the Cold War.

The USNS Observation Island was a forerunner for use in the Polaris/ Poseiden missile programs, operating in the Military Sealift Command of the US Navy.

The USNS Hayes served as an oceanographic research ship operated by the Military Sealift Command for the Office of Naval Research.  It's catamaran design was adopted to provide a stable work platform with a center well to operate research equipment at great depths.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ship Postcards

The Kaiser Wilhelm II in New York Harbor
I've added more ship postcards to my store. Here's a sampling of new additions. 

Click on the picture for complete listing details. The ships category can be found under the Topics category on the store page.

The Christopher Columbus, whaleback steamer, between Chicago & Milwaukee, Lake Michigan
Steamer North Land off Mackinac Island, Michigan

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pinning The Postcard Depot on Pinterest

Want to keep up with The Postcard Depot's new listings? 

Follow us on Pinterest. 

Click on the image above to see our Pinterest postcard boards. 

The New Finds board is updated regularly to provide a sample of our new listings on multiple venues including our own web site as well as our auction venues hosted by eBay, BidStart, and Etsy. 

In addition to the New Finds board, we also have specialized boards where we pin postcards by category or theme, including Roadside America, Beach scenes, Lighthouses, Ships, Railroad, and major cities such as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. 

Hopefully, you'll find something there to like and enjoy. 

Here are a few of our recent pins - click on the pictures for links.

Car Ferry Bayfield - Madeline Island Wisconsin 1960s postcard
 Mount Washington Bretton Woods Hotel White Mountains NH postcard
Main Street & Cars, Brockville, Ontario, Canada 1950s postcard

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Roadside America - Tennessee Motels, circa 1950s

Lloyd's Alamo Plaza Court Motel, Shelbyville, Tennessee, circa 1950s

Cleveland Motor Court Motel, Cleveland, Tennessee postcard, circa 1950s

Can't get away this summer? Yearn for an earlier time when the pace was slower, life was simpler? 

Why not slip away to Tennessee for a few days and at the end of a long day pull into a roadside motel offering, as does Lloyd's in Shelbyville, electric heat - wait, no!, we need air-conditioning!!! - tile baths, and Beautyrest mattresses for a good night's sleep. 

 Click on the images for complete listing details.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Big Bear Lake California Large Letter Linen Postcard

Big Bear Lake California Large Letter Linen postcard

Produced in the linen era of postcards, circa 1935 to early 1960s, large letter linen cards have a strong following among collectors and local history buffs. 

Their influence lives on in the many derivative products that abound in the form of posters, decorative wall hangings in restaurants and so on today that encapsulate the large letter style. 

This example celebrating the outdoor western life to be found at Big Bear Lake, California, published by Curt Teich & Co, is typical of the stylish lettering, multiple images, and vivid colors of the genre. 

 Click on the postcard image to see the complete listing.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Car Ferry postcards: A Lifeline To The Other Side

Ohio River Car Ferry Boat Fly OH Sistersville WV 1965c postcard

Car ferries - and before them wagon ferries - were a common sight in the development of the United States. Where the road was punctuated by a river, lake, or the sea, often the quickest and cheapest way to continue the journey was to float one's way across. Broad, flat bottomed craft, the ferries were built for load over a short and shallow journey; grace and style were left for the paddle steamers and ocean liners. Money for bridges would come later as the economy grew and eventually result in the disappearance of the car ferry.

 Shelter Island Car Ferry Boat Greenport Long Island New York postcard

These postcards provide a sample of car ferries still operating in the 1950s and 1960s.  

The Ohio River ferry boat between Fly, Ohio and Sistersville, West Virginia, nears Fly, OH on one of its many trips across the river. The caption on the card notes that the ferry was still operating in 1965, the year of publication, despite may other ferries having given way to modern bridges.

The "Islander" approaches its slip in Greenport, Long Island, New York, completing a routine trip from Shelter Island off Long Island, loaded with cars and a truck and their passengers.

The ferry operating across Lake Champlain between Grand Isle Vermont and Plattsburg New York was operated by the Lake Champlain Transportation Co.. Built in 1953, the card's caption reports it was 138 feet long, 37 feet wide and powered by two 425 horsepower diesel engines delivering a speed of 11 knots. A fine vessel like this could carry up to 26 cars. On the day of this photo, it looks like it was a light day with six cars and a bus!

Grand Isle Car Ferry Boat Lake Champlain Burlington Vermont 1950s postcard

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Steamers South & North American at Docks Holland Michigan postcard

The steamers South American and North American at Holland Michigan circa 1940s.

The South American was built in 1914 for the Chicago, Duluth & Georgian BayTransit Co. of Detroit.  It was in service for over 50 years before being sold for use as a floating dormitory,  and eventually scrapped in 1992. 

Built in 1913 for the same company, The North American had a history of running aground through its history, finally doing so in 1967 and sinking in 200 ft of water.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Newest Members of The Pacific Postcard Team

Meet the newest Members of The Pacific Postcard Team, a group of folks on Etsy collecting & selling vintage postcards or making new ones today. You can find them at Butterfly in the Attic's blog.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Ford Anglia on San Pablo Dam Road Cars El Sobrante California 1960s postcard

San Pablo Dam Road Cars El Sobrante California 1960s postcard

A street scene of San Pablo Dam Road in El Sobrante, California in the 1960s.  El Sobrante translates to "remainder" in English. One wonders in what way it's a leftover...

A small curiosity in the viewthe light blue car with the odd shaped angled view rear window, just to the right of the car in center of the picture, is a Ford Anglia, manufactured by Ford of Britain.   Its American-influenced styling included a sweeping nose line, and on deluxe versions, a full-width slanted chrome grille in between prominent 'eye' headlamps. It had muted tailfins, much toned-down from its American counterparts. 

This is much like my first car, same design and color. It got me through my last year of high school, college, and got me to my first job in another city before giving up the ghost.

It's small surprise that I would've picked an Anglia as my first car. As a kid, I played with one of these for hours along with the rest of my much treasured Matchbox toys:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring Fling - A Day At Carolina Beach Wilmington North Carolina postcard

With spring upon us, finally, is it warm enough yet to put a toe into the bracing surf at Carolina Beach, NC like these young ladies did in the 1920s or 30s?

Bathers at Carolina Beach, North Carolina, circa 1920s or 30s.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hotel Claridge St Louis Missouri linen postcard

Hotel Claridge St Louis Missouri linen postcard

The Hotel Claridge in St Louis, MO on Locust at 18th St - with the newest & finest cocktail lounge in St Louis!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Tribute to Palm Springs California in Postcards & Photos

A tribute to the beauty of Palm Springs, California by Butterfly in the Attic blog - check it out:at

There are all sorts of postcards and other fun things to see at Butterfly in the Attic.

Roadside America - White's Motel Court Gettysburg Pennsylvania 1954 linen postcard

White's Motel Court Gettysburg Pennsylvania 1954 linen postcard

Near to the entrance to the National Cemetery at the Gettysburg civil war battlefield, White's Motor Court offered 23 Modern Units with all conveniences - Radio and thermostatically controlled heat. May as well leave the cell phones and iPads at home....

Friday, April 26, 2013

Roadside America - 7 Gables Motel Restaurant Lake Cumberland Burnside Kentucky linen postcard

 7 Gables Motel & Restaurant Burnside Kentucky linen postcard

Visiting Lake Cumberland, KY in the 1950s? Why not pull off US Highway 27 at Burnside and stay the night - comfortable beds, tile baths, air conditioned restaurant open 5 am to 10 pm, serving the finest food in the South.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Electric Shovel Coal Strip Mining Southeastern Kansas linen postcard

Electric Shovel in action Coal Mining in SE Kansas linen postcard

An industrial monster in action as depicted on a linen postcard. Electric powered, the caption on the reverse records this shovel has a 33 cubic yard bucket that is able to uncover coal at a depth of 45 feet. It could complete a cycle performance in 50 seconds.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Let's Go Bowling - Plaza Bowl Kansas City Missouri 1948 linen postcard

 The Plaza Bowl Bowling Alley Kansas City MO linen postcard

Let's Go Bowling at the Plaza Bowl at 430 Alameda Road Kansas City Missouri. This linen postcard showing the Plaza's bowling lanes, is dated 1948 on the reverse.  

Unfortunately as is often the case with such delicate paper or cardboard items it has some creasing that lowers its quality but the image is still a stunning example of some of the better linen postcards produced between 1935 and the early 1960s.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Exchange National Bank Olean New York 1906 postcard

Interior of the Exchange National Bank of Olean New York

Home town banks were one of the centers of the local community.  They were built in an architectural style that spoke to solidity, security, stability, and permanence.  Your money is safe here! So the bank exterior shouted to an anxious depositor passing by.  But instability came by the stroke of the pen or, today, by the click of mouse.  No amount of marble could underpin that.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Insane Asylum Kankakee Illinois State Hospital

It's been a long time since I last posted...

To kick things off - postcards of a dismal place ... no, I haven't been spending time there!

What was referred to as the insane asylum a century ago.  A popular topic on postcards then - often the sender writes on the back "I spent a night here" or "I hurried on by quickly" - and still popular among collectors today.

Opened in 1879, the hospital underwent several major changes in the course of a century or so, becoming the Samuel H Shapiro Developmental Center in recent decades to serve the developmentally disabled.