My Postcard as an Historical Artifact

Postcard Front.jpg

Other than displaying the tourist accommodations in Inverness at the time, this postcard is also valuable in terms of informing historians of the period and culture in which it came from. The features of the postcard can tell the viewer when and where it was made, for who it was made for, and how it was made. The date in which the photo or the postcard were produced is not included on this postcard. However, the date in which the photo and/or postcard were created can be dated to c.1890s-1910s. This is based on two things. The first, is that the postcard has a photo on the front with the back being separated by a line for the message and the address respectively, which was not popularized until just before 1900 (Ferguson, 2005). The second being based on a listing in an Inverness directory dated between 1899-1912, which lists both the name of the Alexandra Hotel and the proprietor's name, C. Oberbeck under ‘Ness Walk’ which is the assumed specific location of the hotel (Carruthers & Sons, 1899-1900). Not only can the hotel be dated to this time, but since the postcard would have to be fairly current when depicting accomodations for tourists, the postcard itself can be dated as well. This estimation is furtherly supported based on the baronial style of architecture utilised for the hotel. This architectural style was revived in the 19th century, influenced by writers such as Sir Walter Scott (Hitchcock, 1977), and became one of the better known styles of architecture in Scotland.

Postcard Back.jpg

In terms of how this card was produced, it has both a series number (07 6722) and text in the space where a stamp would be, stating ‘printed in Germany’. Based on the standardized text, this would be a mass produced postcard in a series of others, most likely at the height of postcard use and production, c.1890s-1900s. 

While a specific target audience cannot be determined, as the postcard is simply showing a hotel, based on the period in which the postcard was produced that middle to upper class people could have stayed in this hotel and bought the postcard there. This is because by this time, travelling became more common for the middle class (Durie, 2017).

In Inverness
My Postcard as an Historical Artifact
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