Ah, postcards. The saviours when we have no letters or envelopes. The history of postcards has been a great one, with many a quirky twists and snarky turns during the course of it. Postcards have progressed through the ages (we have an underwater post-office that sends out postcards now, for god’s sake!) and some of them were especially memorable for their creative quirk factor.
Here are 5 quirky postcards that every creative traveller needs to check out!
1. The Trouser Affair
Here is something for the woman power; or not, depending on how you see it. During the Edwardian Era, when a revolution started for ‘rational clothing’ (hint: trousers) for women cyclists, the response was wide and varied. Some agreed, some didn’t–you know the drill. This one postcard takes a comic look at the whole debate and presents it just with a hint of satire, posting the situation as it is without any censorship, which, kudos. I especially love the hassled old man in the back. Also, we definitely are satisfied.
2. Hobby Horses
A hobby horse is a special preoccupation. This postcard from the Edwardian Era satirically approaches the drinking habits of that time (shooting invisible arrows), and shows a preoccupation with ale. The postcard has a man at Brigg sitting on a cast of ale, drinking (woah, capacity!), which in itself is a comic representation of the debate. Everything was a joke back then, it seems.
3. Gandhi’s Monkeys (or not)
In 1912, a series of wise monkey postcards were released in Berkeley, but they were not at all limited to monkeys. Women, especially models and geishas, were especially represented on these postcards in the famous wise monkeys pose. The photo selected above is just one of the few. The idea was used liberally to give representation to women and geishas on postcards, which was a very innovative way of looking at the theme. Looks like our Gandhi ke bandar were a bit different out west.
4. Ouch, the Sass!
In 1940s, a series of postcards called the ‘Bawdy Seaside’ were released. But due to their raunchy content (do you see that), they were suppressed by the censors. The cards were full of snarky women with heavy bosoms, speaking in double entendres and about their henpecked husbands making them miserable. Just another snarky take on the common domestic drama, with a fresh hint of women’s point of views. So ladies, if you want to complain to your husbands, send them a postcard.
The journey of postcards from one year to another has been great. But it was especially during the 1900s that many an experiments happened. From Geisha getting representation, to women talking unabashedly about double meanings and good-for-nothing husbands, to even revolutions like the issue of trousers for women, everything was captured on postcards. Seriously, we need to learn to experiment, but…
5. Surprise element, folks!
Taking a time machine, we come to 2015, the recent times, where a photographer, Sergej Komkov, is embracing the city’s unique architecture and using snaps he takes of unusual doors and windows to make postcards. Komkov says that he got this idea when is occurred to him that people will see these photographs and speculate whether they have been here before or not, since doors become like a puzzle to them. And while the idea of a door being interesting is difficult to understand, look at the doors please. The human nature loves to solve puzzles that puzzle us (okay, that didn’t fit right). Komkov is currently in talks with many local authorities to see if they are interested in buying the postcard, which, I want one.
Postcards have a different charm altogether, a different memoir in itself. This journey of postcards from 1900-2015 was indeed a quirky one, wasn’t it?