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One might have imagined that the postcard would have died a death in the internet age. But there’s a growing trend for cool types to send “retro” postcards, according to Katherine Hamilton-Smith, director of cultural services at the Lake County Discovery Museum in Chicago, which holds the Curt Teich Postcard Archives, the world’s largest public collection of postcards. Cards have become collectable: the work of John Hinde’s studio is highly sought after, as are works by historic postcard artists such as New York-born Ellen Clapsaddle and Australia’s Ida Outhwaite. Far from destroying the postcard, the internet has attempted to emulate its essence. The first
e-postcard site, The Electric Postcard, was created in 1994 at the MIT Media Lab, and since then apps such as Postcard on the Run and Postagram have been invented that convert messages into physical cards. But even with this innovative technology, old-fashioned postcards will never die out, says Hamilton-Smith. “They’re both
a tiny physical gift and a message; evidence that someone somewhere is thinking of you.”