My Postcard as an Historical Artefact


Postcard provided by the University of Guelph's Special Archival Collections


Brief History of the Postcard

Even though postcards are just an image with a handwritten note on the back, multiple areas of history can be discovered through them. These areas include culture, language, civic achievement, and aesthetics. By analyzing this postcard, some of Scotland’s national identity and public success can be seen. The national identity would be that of the Gorden Clan, and the civic achievement would be that of the Forth Bridge. Postcards became a part of everyday life in the 19th century, where postage was delivered numerous times a day in order to keep oneself best updated (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica "Postcard" 2018). Hundreds of thousands of postcards were issued as it became a national and global craze (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica "Postcard" 2018). Postcards were also a collector's item, and for this reason, exhibits such as the Scottish Postcard Exhibit are available to the public eye.


Gordan Tartan provided by Stewart Borland via Highland Titles

Gordon Tartan

The background of this postcard features a plaid design that is known as the Gordon tartan. This postcard is therefore meant to provoke an emotion out of the Gordon family that is designated with an emotional sentiment. The Gordons were first welcomed to Scotland from Normandy by Kind David I during the 11th century (Borland 2019). The Clan Gordon tartan has many variations, but the most known one is black, blue, and green, with a yellow stripe (Borland 2019). Today there are descendants of Clan Gordon dotted across the globe. Many members of the House of Gordon return to Scotland to visit the magnificent lands and castles that were once their family home.

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