Postcard Exhibit: "Wish You Were Here..."

Lawrence History Center, Immigrant City Archives and Museum held an exhibit at the Lawrence Heritage State Park in 2007 entitled:

Wish You Were Here - A Written Art Form ~ Lawrence Post Cards


Postcard from Ned Leone ~ Finno's Pool Hall Collection

This 1942 WWII postcard to Finno's Pool Room on Common St. reads: "Hello Tony, The reason I addressed this card to the pool hall is that I don't want to let the folks know I'm broke so see if you can scrape five bucks and send it to me and I'll see you on pay day. Johnnie"

This post card exhibit highlighted wonderful examples of postcards from the Lawrence History Center Collection as well as from local collectors. Deltiology, the formal name for post card collecting, became popular in the United States prior to World War I. Examples of post card types include Views, Greetings, Historical, Art and Photographic.

The idea for the exhibit came from a collection of postcards from a local young men's hang-out on Common Street during WWII. The post cards were sent to the hang-out, hung on a bulletin board for all the friends to read. The post cards, although written during war time are often humorous and full of jokes and bravado.

Looking further we gathered post cards from other war time eras, the most poignant being from WWI. One collection is from an airman in the war in France; another is a collection written between a newly wed couple.

The Lawrence Views collection included scenes we are very familiar with as well as some we might find hard to imagine being in Lawrence. Holiday Greeting cards as well as business cards were quaint and colorful. The Photographic collection was a fine example of personal stories communicated in an art form of the post card. There were some unusual Historical images on display as well as some unusual Art post card formats.

Highlighting the local US Post Office was one theme along with the the origins of the Lawrence Philatelist ( Stamp Collecting ) Society. Other exhibits and historical information completed the exhibit.

The Lawrence History Center is very grateful to collector's Joe Bella and Phil Laverierre for their donations to the exhibit. The Lawrence Post Office came through a real post office box - the smaller, post top variety some us remember in "earlier"years. It was just the artifact needed to remind us all of a time when we heard the clang of the box lid closing , rather that the ping of the email arriving. The staff of the Heritage State Park, as always, offered their assistance and expertise. We thank the LHC staff and volunteers who developed and implemented this exhibit. And most of all we are grateful for all the visitors who came to the Park and for the support, comments and suggestions they offered.

Eagle Tribune Post Card article

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Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.