Apr 23 2012: A Postcard from Warsaw to The Secretaries of Sherwood Road (1977)

Mailed in the summer of 1977 and inscribed “to my lovely secretaries from sunny Warsaw”, there’s a wonderful inversion in this small postcard showing an almost generic 1970s scene of towerblocks and flyovers that could just as easily have been sent from Birmingham as from behind the iron curtain. Perhaps this just confirms the generic … Continue reading

Apr 13 2012: A Sheet of Six Moroccan Stamps (Collection de Timbres Post, Date Unknown)

A set of six used stamps on a postcard, showing variations on the image of a man I assume, from that ‘Royaume du Maroc’ tagline, to be the king of Morocco, though the general effect is not unlike Andy Warhol’s near-contemporary arrays of differently coloured silkscreen portraits of celebrities and collectors. Here, the King is … Continue reading

Apr 1 2012: Eleven Postcards Showing Airlines And Aircraft Of The World (1960s – 1980s)

Until the sell-offs of national aviation companies during the 1980s, such as the wholesale privatisation of BA in the UK and the contracting out of such infrastructures as Air Traffic Control and baggage handling in the US (the latter had rather more to do with facilitating the 9/11 attacks than apologists for cost-cutting privatisation have … Continue reading

Mar 29 2012: Ten Postcards Showing A Variety Of Traditional And Modern Views Of Japan (1960s)

This isn’t the first time Japan has figured here, and earlier representaions were mainly drawn from the envelope of souvenirs collected by a certain Mr Ernest Dring, of Attenborough, Nottinghamshire, who – on the evidence of those contents – had a busy 1964, taking in the Tokyo Olympics and Milan, as a bare minimum in … Continue reading

Mar 3 2012: A Gallery of Twenty-Nine Postcard Collages and Portraits (i.m. Wislawa Szymborska, 1923 – 2012)

When I heard news of the death of Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska on the 1st February 2012 it can’t have been too much of a surprise, given her advanced years and the presence of a cigarette in pretty much every photograph I’d ever seen of her. But, in an irony she’d perhaps have appreciated, a … Continue reading

Jan 28 2012: Before Urbanisation: Forty-Two Photographs from The World Reader (c.1910)

A set of forty-two postcard-sized hand-coloured photographs from The World Reader, a book aimed at schoolchildren to educate them in the nature of agriculture, business and industry both within the British Empire and in places outside it. Although very badly damaged and missing many pages, the book itself is built as a kind of geographical … Continue reading

Jan 26 2012: Guillaume Apollinaire, Poet of Mystification (from M.D. Magazine, March 1967)

Not much to add to this anonymously authored article on the life and work of the French modernist poet (arguably the primary initiator of Modernist poetics in France) Guillaume Apollinaire, whose Calligrammes, Alcools, Zone and other works proved key to the twentieth century’s future development and remain essential reading to anyone interested in the possibilities of poetry itself, … Continue reading

Jan 16 2012: A Folder Containing Thirteeen Small Postcards from a Former Soviet Republic (1955)

I’m not a hundred percent sure of my translation, so I’m not sure where the landscapes and views preserved in this 1955 folder of souvenir postcards from a former Soviet Republic are located, exactly, though it seems likely that they’re in the region of Azerbaijan or Armenia. The mysterious (to me, as someone unable to decipher the script, … Continue reading

Jan 4 2012: Life in the Lilliput Village: Eleven Images from Bekonscot and a Model of Bankside (The Childrens’ Encyclopedia, 1950s)

Life in the Lilliput Village is a feature in a 1930s childrens’ encyclopedia showing images from the model village of Bekonscot, which was built by R.R. Callingham on a site near Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, presumably as one of the many such attractions created around the country during the mid-twentieth century. Quite why wandering around miniature towns … Continue reading

Dec 25 2011: Christmas Greetings from Television Wales and West (Cardiff and Bristol, c.1965)

Well, it’s a short but very sweet one for today: a very sincere Christmas Greetings card from a period I assume is sometime in the mid-1960s, as sent by TWW at Pontcanna Studios, Cardiff, and Television Centre, Bristol. TWW stood for Television Wales and West and it held the franchise for Independent Television in the … Continue reading