Postcards from North Platte

Written By: nppladmin - Jul• 15•21
Originally published to on 6/25/2021

Happy Friday! It’s time for a little North Platte History.

Well, sort of. I guess it is time for a little honesty between readers, history buffs, and this library director. This week has been seriously super crazy; the Summer Reading Program is in full-swing, we spent time working on the Cemetery Tour research (which will be held Sept 16-17, 2021), NebraskaLand Days is going on, and it is budget time. Well, before I knew it, the week just flew by and Friday is HERE!

I had every intention of ending this week with a fascinating historic look at how NebraskaLand Days got moved from Lincoln, Nebraska to North Platte; and even started going through the existing research. In fact, the research we have is detailed, but incomplete. And, unfortunately, it is going to take weeks, perhaps months of research, to put together that history article. In fact, I think I need to write a book on NebraskaLand Days, or put together a presentation at the very least. Perhaps I can do that after I retire next year. Anyway…

Rather than skipping this week, I am taking a history shortcut and decided to share some fun postcards from North Platte, Nebraska from the 1930’s. Undoubtedly, many of you will have seen these, but I hope that you enjoy looking at them anyway!

For those of you who are a smidge younger than me, don’t embrace the art of writing and the mailing of letters and postcards; a postcard is a card for sending a message by mail without an envelope, typically having a photograph or other illustration on one side. People always looked forward to getting a postcard from friends and family who were vacationing in far-away places. I think everybody loves mail, especially when it is a letter or card (and not a bill!)!

A little postcard history:

On February 27, 1861, the US Congress passed an act that allowed privately printed cards, weighing one ounce or under, to be sent in the mail. That same year John P. Charlton copyrighted the first postcard in America. In 1870, Hymen L. Lipman began reissuing Charlton’s postcard under a new name: Lipman’s Postal Cards. Congress passed legislation on June 8, 1872, that approved government production of postal cards. The first government-produced postcard was issued on May 1, 1873.1 One side of the postcard was for a message and the other side was for the recipient’s address. By law, the government postcards were the only postcards allowed to bear the term “Postal Card.” Private publishers were still allowed to print postcards, but they were more expensive to mail than the government-produced cards (2¢ instead of 1¢).

Happy Friday! Please tune in next week for another bite of North Platte History. I promise–we will have a great piece of North Platte history to share with you! Thank you and have a great weekend!

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