A hundred years from now, when you're able to "think" a message directly from the chip in your head to the chip in someone else's, maybe the texts and tweets that connect us so instantly today will seem antiquated. They might seem as antiquated as the idea of communicating by postcards seems to us now, but really, how far have we come?
"The dress is ready. Please come up for another fitting." This was a postcard someone received in the early 1900s from a shop called Trudell and Tobey on James Street North, colloquially known as the "2 Ts," Jon Soyko tells me. Jon is the editor of the newly published and splendidly presented "This Is A Beautiful City: A Look at Hamilton and Wentworth County, Ontario, Canada, Through Picture Postcards."
A former BBC researcher from Osterley has published a novel inspired by her late father-in-law's ordeal as a prisoner-of-war in Germany. Estella McQueen, of Syon Park Gardens, never got the chance to speak to Vincent McQueen while he was alive about his time in the Heydekrug and Fallingbostel POW camps. Like many veterans, she says, the former flight engineer found it hard to open up about his harrowing experiences during the Second World War. But a series of postcards written while he was interned, and a short account of bailing out over German territory he penned for Questors Theatre, in Ealing, where he was an amateur actor, helped her piece together a picture of life behind the barbed wire.
In the late 1770s, a clever Frenchman, who happened to own an
engraving business, proposed something quite radical: Why not produce
engraved cards, slightly larger than a calling card, with a person’s
name and space for a message on one side, which could then be addressed
and sent through the mail? People were appalled. Not only would one’s
servants be able to read the message, but so would anyone in the postal
service. But the seeds were planted for the postcard. It wasn’t until nearly a century later Austrian Dr. Emanuel Herrmann
published an article discussing the concept of the postcard and
extolling the many ways it could be employed.
A local history enthusiast from Cardiff is appealing for help to trace the family of a Welsh World War One soldier, after a book of his photographs was found in a Cornish junk shop. The album was originally discovered by Robert Aindow at a shop in Truro, but sparked the interest of Derek Gigg who bought it, after seeing an article about it online. The soldier has been identified as Alfred Thomas Griffiths from Adamsdown in Cardiff. He was part of the Devonshire Regiment and served with the 9th Battalion, surviving the Battle of the Somme.