Wooden Postcards from Portsmouth
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Written by SeacoastNH.com Collection
28300SeacoastNH.com Presents
Historic Portsmouth #283

You could do worse in the coming year than to begin a collection of Portsmouth postcards. There are mailbags full of interesting early images to discover. I’ll be showing a few of those here. Early Portsmouth postmarks and "stampless" letters do well in online auctions. (Continued below)

But there are some clunkers. Here are two. Your humble historian obtained these wooden postcards dated 1905. Such postcard blanks, usually with comic themes and crude artwork, allowed users to write or carve their greetings into the wooden surface. These two depict a bumpkin tourist and a baby in a highchair. They appear to come from the wood-burning or "pyrography" craft craze begun at the turn of the 20th century. I had an electric wood-burning pen as a kid. An early advertisement offers similar printed blanks in three-ply basswood at five cents each or a dollar per hundred. Their value today? Not so much. A local historical archive said -- thanks, but no thanks. (SeacoastNH.com Collection)

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