1919 Virginia Souvenir Tourist Postcard Booklet

Ken Lopez
Posted by Ken Lopez on Feb 28, 2021 7:00:00 AM

Prior to the introduction of the smartphone, I think most of us (over 40) had sent or received one of these at some point in our lives. Here, a father sent a postcard booklet in October 1919 showing scenes from Virginia to his daughter in England. 

Right now, this is a seemingly insignificant detail about two people who have most likely passed away. Their house at 161 Cleveland Road in Sunderland, England is now a barbershop.

Fast forward five years from now. OurHistoryMuseum is on many people's mobile devices. A woman descended from Elsie Benson is exploring her genealogy. She is Elsie's great-granddaughter. Imagine the joy she might feel knowing that there exists a document from her great-great-grandfather written in his hand that tangibly demonstrates he missed his daughter and loved her.

I've only been posting articles like this for two months, and I've already been contacted by multiple descendants of people mentioned In these articles. It's an amazing thing to know that you're related to somebody, especially as DNA testing becomes widespread. It's an entirely bigger deal to see and experience their backstory. That's the promise of OurHistoryMuseum.

Every day people lose items like this to disaster, neglect, or the trash bin. People don't know what to do with all the stuff when they're cleaning out their parent's house. They know that many of the items would be valuable to someone sometime in the future, but they have no place to store them. So, into the black contractor bag, they go. Their physical burden is eased, but it makes their heart hurt.

Instead, imagine a time in the not too distant future when you'll be able to snap a picture, quickly enter some information about the item, and feel relieved to preserve history. That's OurHistoryMuseum. We are designing and building that app now.

It almost happened to me, so this is personal. Friday, March 5, will be the first anniversary of my stroke. I'm grateful to be alive, and I'm grateful that my collection will be preserved as part of OurHistoryMuseum's future.

With that introduction, here are some interesting scenes from Virginia, all seemingly colorized photographs. The choices of sites depicted interestingly reflect the times. Railroads were still significant, and the first passenger flights between Europe and America would not occur for twenty more years.

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Topics: Alexandria, VA, George Washington, Mount Vernon, Photograph, Christ Church, Post Card, Carlyle House, Arlington House, Robert E. Lee, James Monroe, St. John's Church, Norfolk & Southern Railroad, Lawrence Washington, Charlottesville, VA, Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, Natural Bridge, Old Point Comfort, VA, Monitor & Merrimac, St. Paul's Church (Norfolk), Elks National Home, Weyers Cave, Places, Things

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OurHistoryMuseum is a crowdsourced and virtual history museum that anyone can contribute to. We are prototyping with our hometown first — Alexandria, Virginia. The app will be available nationally in early 2022. In the meantime, sign up for our blog or follow OHM on social media (both at the bottom of this page) to keep updated.

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