For years, I have chuckled when someone mentioned the “Hysterical” Society, usually in reference to blocking some modern development. I never paid much attention. That has changed and for the good! On Monday, May 18, the Belfast Historical Society sponsored a lecture at the local library on Charles A. Townsend. Maybe not a figure of national reputation, but this guy took a boatload of photographs of Belfast in the first thirty years of the 20th century, and made many into postcards of particular quality. Whereas Townsend’s postcards sold for four for a quarter, other postcards sold a “dime a dozen” . Of extraordinary interest to us were the photos taken of our house, The James P. White House. A very kind gentleman here who collects old postcards gave us several of our house mailed back in the early 1900s. Santiago and I are now the newest members of the old post card club. The first picture is a postcard of the White House, circa 1903, and the second is circa 1904.
Random fact #1: in 1898 the US Congress authorized the postcard to be used in the US Mail system; one side was the picture, the other was reserved solely for the address. Random fact #2: in 1907, the Congress authorized writing on one half of the side with the address. Bet you did not know that!