Monday, September 14, 2015

Post cards from the Past

On the third floor of the cottage, right outside the master bedroom, is this corner piece that I am using as a curio cabinet to store my vintage collections. I don't have many things, just a few interesting beach-themed items that I've picked up here and there.

Today I am going to share with you some lovely vintage post cards from the past.....

I have an old, leather bound photo album with black pages to store and display my collection of beautiful vintage "by the sea" post cards. I use photo corners in the album so that the post cards can easily be pulled out to read the messages on the back.

Let's take a closer look at some of these charming turn-of-the-century messages that someone long ago sent to a friend or relative.

Aren't they just the sweetest little girls? I love the way the sender in 1906 wrote in French all around the edges, on the little girl's bloomers, and in the background. I wonder what it says about the little girl who has an arrow pointing to her?

I love examining the stamps and postal marks -- the next post card was written in 1908 in Freeport, Illinois.

"Ethel" sent another post card to someone at the same address:

One of my favorite post cards is this one below which features two bathing beauties in a "bathing machine." Proper young Victorian or Edwardian ladies did not remove their clothing at the beach in public! It was not allowed and not at all proper. Bathing machines were available along the shore for fully clothed women to enter the shelter and remove their clothing in privacy to protect their modesty. Either a horse or humans pulled the machine into the water, and the ladies exited out the back, far away from the prying eyes of young men on the shore.

I love this one -- these men can't help taking a peek at the bathing beauties of their time!

For a little history of Victorian bathing etiquette:

I've also framed some of my collection so that I can enjoy them whenever I walk by the curio cabinet.

I hope you enjoyed strolling down memory lane, seeing some beach post cards from the past. How different things are today!!

Have a wonderful week, and thank you for dropping in at Sea Glass Cottage.

Sharing this post at: Bella Rosa Antiques: Let's Talk Vintage
                                 Coastal Charm: Show and Share
                                 Ivy and Elephants


  1. fabulous fun Joanne! What a perfect collection for Sea Glass Cottage~ I have never heard of the bathing machine before, that is just incredible! I do wish there was a little of that modesty left these days :) Wherever did you find the old cards?

    1. Hi Jenna - Antique stores, ebay, etsy, garage sales, consignment shops.....always on the lookout for anything vintage "beach themed" these days.

  2. What a wonderful post. I love old postcards and these with the beachy themes are fab.

    1. Glad you stopped by for a visit, Kim!

  3. I love these old postcards! Love how you have framed yours.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  4. This is a fabulous collection! I love that some of them have notes written on them. What a great vintage display. The old history teacher in me is fascinated when something is not only vintage, but can be truly connected to people from the past.

    1. Oh, Beverly, I didn't know you were a teacher, too! I taught elementary school and middle school literature, and history is my passion. I must be an old soul as I love everything that has been passed down from generation to generation.

    2. Yes, I taught history to both high school and middle school students. I've always loved items that are passed down and especially those with stories to go along with them. You combine two of my favorites-coastal decor and historical touches-it's no wonder I love following your blog!

  5. How fun! I love seeing old cards and post cards like those. I know they were very modest back then, but I didn't know about the process of the bathing machines!