Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Capitol by Moonlight, 1946

Recently uncovered postcards from my aunt Hoohoo's trip to our nation's capital and Virginia in 1946. I love the nighttime moonlit view of the Capitol Building in D.C., above. I also like the artwork on these vintage postcards. Illustrations can really set a mood. The scene above, not long after the Second World War ended, shows a peacefulness over D.C. that certainly wasn't there during the war.

This is the cover to a folder containing eighteen attached postcards of Richmond, Virginia, also dating from 1946. They're all in perfect condition, sixty-four years later. The artwork, and the printing process, really adds to the softness and vintage appeal of these cards. I guess this package is meant to be sent in its entirety, as the address line and space for a stamp shows.

Just six of the images found inside, including a shrine to Edgar Allan Poe, bottom left. Technically they can't really be called postcards as the images are printed on both the front and back. They are attached nine to a side, and fold out like an accordion.

The back of the folder features this iconic postcard treatment, filling the destination's title font with images from the cards inside. This was done by hand of course, in 1946, but I'll never forget the first time I figured out how to do this by myself in Photoshop, lol. I was suddenly untethered from the technical person in the small design group I was working for, able to work out design treatments by myself on the Mac, instead of having to wait for someone else to render them. I realized pretty quickly that this was the program I was going to spend the rest of my life working in! And I have.




  2. I don't think I've ever seen a picture of the White House in the moonlight. It is peaceful, maybe an image we don't want to portray to the world.

    I've got a box of vintage postcards around here somewhere. Haven't found them yet. When I do I will scan them for a blog post. They were cards that were actually sent, and for about every holiday or celebration you can think of.

    In my other place I had a little standing frame - I would change the postcard with the season or celebratory event.

  3. Sorry...duh..The Capitol....oh well message is the same.

  4. I love old postcards! I have a bag of Valentine's cards from about 1880-1930, they're delightful. They're "under the layers" around here somewhere, but I'll find them before Feb 14th!

  5. I have a number of these fold-out postcards that my Grandma sent me during the 50s. Florida, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington. They are just wonderful and it really takes me back. There's no subtlety (sp?) any more. Everything is much too real nowadays! Boy, dont' I sound like an old fogey!! And proud of it!

    Paul, NYC

  6. the best of all possible worlds for me would be the aesthetic qualities of the past with the social equalities and norms of today! I wonder if my own I Dream of Jeannie could do that for me?