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Send Me a Postcard

March 10, 2017

Brightmore University Spring Series presented, “Send Me  A Postcard”: History with Postcards presented by Elaine Hensen, Historian and Deltiologist (postcard collector). What an abundance of history Elaine presented when sharing her collection of vintage post cards with us! Elaine showed and presented the history behind the seven types of post cards (Pioneer Era, Private Mailing Card Era, Undivided Back Era, Divided Back Golden Age Era, White Border Era, Linen Era and the Present Day Photochromic Era) from the mid-1880s to the present through historic Wilmington, Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach cards. The presentation started with a vintage postcard of our Wilmington Landmark, The Bellamy Mansion, dated back to 1905. The first postcards seen have been dated back to the 1850’s and the value of vintage postcards can range on average from $.50 cents to $15.00 depending on condition and well sought after postcards can cost as much as $50 to $80.00. The first postcards were called “Penny Postcards” because, of course, they only cost $.01 cent. Today the cost of a stamp is $.34 cents for a postcard and $.47 cents for letters. Elaine had some great postcards that brought back some wonderful memories for our residents. Some included the old Hanover Center Shopping Center, the Hemeway School that burned down during the race riots in 1971 (in which several of our residents attended school there and worked there after graduation), the Elberta Hotel (otherwise known as Whitey’s that was just torn down two years ago), Fisher’s Restaurant that is now Indochine, the Carmen Restaurant (a dinner and dancing restaurant), and Saffo’s Diner downtown. One of our residents, Lewis Smith, who is also interested in Wilmington History, brought Elaine some very interesting facts he found from his subscription to the Saturday Evening Post which will be a welcome addition to some of her presentations.

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