WINDHAM IN POSTCARDS
Postcards, once the most popular souvenir of Windham, were often sold by local boardinghouse owners and store proprietors. Large postcard publishers, such as Frank Swallow of New Hampshire, would print custom postcards featuring various scenes from around Windham. One of their customers was N. W. Garland, the owner of Garland's store. Swallow postcards can often be easily identified by a printed birch bark border around the image on the postcard. Other local postcard publishers, such as George Seavey, had their postcards printed in Germany. However, for locals or tourists wanting a more personalized postcard, real photo postcards were another option. In 1903, Kodak introduced the No. 3A Folding Pocket camera, which was designed for postcard sized film. The photographs could then be printed on postcard paper. When divided back postcards were introduced in 1907, allowing for a message to be written on the back, along with the address, Kodak introduced their "real photo postcard" service.
"Stock" postcards were less creative than the more custom postcards, but offered a convenient and cost effective way for local businesses to sell souvenir postcards. The postcards were designed to be overprinted with the name a town or tourist destination. Each card was designed to have a broad appeal, and the postcards often featured poems, witty sayings, or whimsical drawings. Featured above and below are two such cards from Windham.
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Derek Saffie is an avid Windham historian who enjoys researching and sharing his collection with all those interested in the history of the New England town.