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American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

Real Postcards From The Edge

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Some of us hoard postcards; some of us so obsessively, we forgo food and new underwear.


But postcards -- one could rationalize -- are of high educational value.


Beyond the tinting, cosmetic enhancements and faked backgrounds, postcards give a sense of what the road looked like, even as gauzy versions of the real thing.


Even more interesting are the traveler's notes on the back.


True, 99.9% are of the "wish you here," "having a wonderful time," "will be home in three days" sentiment.


But there are those rare postcards that capture the reality of the road -- the good, the bad and the boring.


Last December we scooped up a collection of postcards written by a gentleman rambling around Florida in 1933. Like an amateur anthropologist, he observed that the "houses of Negroes or poor people are on up stilts of brick or stone." In St. Augustine, he stopped at the famed Fountain of Youth, but found the water "sulphur-like" and the admission too steep (80 cents). Billboards advertising "Good and Bad Furniture" perplexed him (and us, too). The postcards, among other things, documented the price of produce along the way. Apparently A&P's California green-top carrots were a steal at 3 for 25 cents. Wish you were here; the cauliflower is 3 pounds for 25 cents!


We invite you to share your real road story postcards.



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