Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Monday, May 4, 2015

Many Barrels and Boxes of Thanks

The back of this postcard tells the tale.  Although the card is postmarked 1911, the photo of the hotel shows what seems to be a dirt Main Street, and we know from history that it was paved in June of 1910, right before the Elks convention.  As detailed in the Menasha book,  Main Street was previously paved with cedar blocks; a thin layer of dirt on top provided an extra cushion, but made the road muddy when it rained. However, concrete paving was a matter of civic pride and efforts were made to have the work finished by the time of the convention.

The style of the card dates it between 1907 and 1910, because postcards before 1907 did not have divided backs.  Notice how this card directs the writer that the left side is for correspondence, a new experience for postcard writers at the time, who formerly had only that narrow white strip at the bottom of the photo to write on.  This must have been a transition card, for in a short time, the white strip would soon be a thing of the past.

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