Three hundred and thirty one


Day 61, from In between postcards

2013 from Guy Atkins, postcardese

Guy Atkins quite possibly has more postcards than me. Writing about the 150 year history of postcards on his blog, he explores the evolution of their use and what they have come to mean today. Atkins’ most recent postcard adventure is to send a digital postcard from his phone every day for 100 days, temporarily trying to forget the dear old hand written card that drew him to the medium in the first place. We are constantly sending images, videos, ‘snap chats’ from our phones to friends and family, often with a little message, and very much in the way postcards were used historically. As Atkins points out, in the Edwardian times there were up to 6 posts for postcards a day (12 in central London), allowing people to quickly message each other; effectively, this was the beginning of our now avid texting culture. So Touchnote (the postcard app) marries the two: you have the immediacy of a photo you have just taken, and the romance of it arriving physically at your door. So my postcard 331 is Atkins’ digital postcard to me (day 61 of his 100); aptly he takes a photo of a postcard featuring an image of an Edwardian postcard collector. As well as sending lots of postcards, the Edwardians liked to collect them and here we have the dignified lady collector in a moment of poise with her album. Though I was delighted with my postcard of digital origin, I fear it lurked at the bottom of my post basket for a day or two; face down, only it’s digital lettering faced upwards, it looked suspiciously like a multi-mailer. Thus we have the shortcomings of a digital postcard – there is no handwriting to recognise, no betrayal that it has passed through the hands of the sender. Despite all this, the personality of the image (taken by the hand of the sender) and tangibility of the postcard might just save it. We are likely to look at it more than once, which is more than can be said for most text messages.


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Filed under Postcards, Twenty First-Century

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