My Postcard as an Historical Artefact


Despite postcards being physically just an image, many different aspects of history can be interpreted and analyzed from them. With having over millions of visitors a year, Scotland’s rural countryside has been an integral part of the tourism industry for generations. From this postcard a glimpse of Scotland’s national identity and tourism industry can be observed. The beginning of the nineteenth century was the postcard golden age, with billions of cards being sent each year (150 Years of Postcards 2019). With this came many uses for the postcard, one which was advertising. Following the age of the guidebooks and the increasing demand for travel and tourism from the 1850’s onward, as mentioned by Goodwin and Johnston (Goodwin 2013) (Johnston 2013), postcards were a new form of merchandise for tourists to purchase while discovering new countries. Publishers took advantage of this using them to display beautiful images of scenery and landscapes in the highlands such as this one.


The reputation that the Highlands today and in the 1900’s has achieved, is a result of many major factors. Many of these factors are listed by John and Margaret Gold, artists like Turner and Landseer, novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, musicians Felix Mendellshon and Malcholm Arnold, and nine-teenth century operas of Donizetti and Rossini have built on the atmosphere of the Highlands (Gold 1995). The variety of factors is very broad, from postcards to historic poems by national celebrities like Sir Walter Scott as mentioned by Kevin James in Literary tourism, the Trossachs and Walter Scott (James 2013). This postcard is proof of these factors having an impact on the Highland’s reputation, since it has been designed around this idea so tourists will be attracted to it. Overall, the famous landscape has influenced many parts of the world, and has received a reputation built by many important figures. This reputation is expressed by postcards such as these, for tourists to purchase as a travel item.   

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