Welcome to the Upstate Postcard Archive!
Here you’ll find a digital library of vintage postcards that have been received in Upstate New York.
Today we send texts, emails, tweets, and snaps if we want to say hello. At one point though, the handwritten postcard was the most popular way to keep in touch. The United States Postal Service reports that the very first postcards in the U.S. were launched on May 12, 1873 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Here in New York State the first postcards were made available on May 13, 1873. The following day, the New York Times reported that postal clerks in New York City sold 200,000 cards in just two and a half hours. Since then, countless messages would be passed from town to town, or into the next state, and across seas.
Today, many of those personal notes lie in decay. They can be found scattered on a table in a flea market, or an old cigar box in our grandparents’ dresser. Perhaps someone saved them for years without knowing quite what to do with them. Perhaps someone else later decided they weren’t worth saving and donated them, or sold them. Worse yet, maybe they were even thrown away.
The Upstate Postcard Archive intends to preserve those historic images of Upstate New York, and the personalized messages sent among friends, families, and those wanting to connect.