When Michael Caldwell, from Stratford-upon-Avon,
purchased wartime picture postcards on ebay he could have little notion
of the fascinating journey he was about to take. It led him to visit the town and meet a descendent of a brave band of brothers.
With pits prone to devastating fires,
explosions and disasters, coal miners took their lives in their hands
when they went to work at the industry's early 20th century peak. In
the first two decades of the last century alone some 2,000 miners were
killed while at work in 31 major disasters at the coal face. And
the victims of those disasters were remembered in a macabre and
somewhat unusual way - postcards were rushed out to pay tribute to those
who died and those who fought to save them.
"Beggars made good subjects for cards," explains
the Bond Street gallerist John Kasmin of the reason these motley sorts
adorn myriad postcards he has collected from around the world.
"Exaggerated characters or heartstring-pullers, they knew how to pose,
how to present the face, the posture of neediness, dereliction, despair –
it was their livelihood, this ability."
Interested in learning more about the history of Yellowstone Park? The Gallatin Historical Society will sponsor a free talk Saturday,
Sept. 14, entitled "Haynes Postcards and Messages from Wonderland." Jack
and Susan Davis, authorities on Yellowstone antiques and postcards,
will look at Haynes postcards and how they shaped the public's
perception of Yellowstone Park throughout the world.
Recently renovated, the house on 22 North St. in Mattapoisett was built in 1844.
Mattapoisett — The home at 22 North Street had its share of secrets before renovations this year. Inside the then faded, but still stately house, a possible hideaway for Underground Railroad passengers was discovered. When current owners Timothy and Deborah Diggins purchased the
property, it was evident the house needed work. Also, it seemed like
something was missing. The couple happened upon a historic postcard of
their house that showed a striking front porch no longer in existence.