My Postcard as an Historical Artifact


Blueprint of Castle Milk.

Castle Milk’s card tells a story of the time period of which it was created as it is possible to date it. As we know, in 1902 the requirement to have an entire side for the address was relaxed (Atkips, 2013). In 1907, the Universal Postal Congress declared that postcards produced by governments of member nations could have messages on one side and the address on the other (Greetings from the Smithsonian A Postcard History, n.d). The postcard of Castle Milk, Lockerbie, is a split back card, containing an area for both a message and the address, allowing us to conclude the card was distributed after that point. Additionally, as a Valentine & Sons card, it is a representation of one of the most popular postcard publishing companies of it’s time. Valentine of Dundee’s photographic company became internationally known as the producers of the picture postcard during the 1860’s and continued to progress (Hart, n.d).


Blueprint of Castle Milk.

Printed in Great Britain, the card is a rich historical source that art historians, researchers and archivists could use to study not only the architecture, but the ideological view of Scotland as well. Although a rugged landscape, highlands and wildlife are not portrayed in this depiction, castles do hold an important role when thinking about what Scotland looks like. The production of this particular card was very dependent on the technology of the time period. Advancements from the mid 19th century allowed photomechanical reproduction and correspondingly the photographic postcard such as Castle Milk, Lockerbie to surface (Prochaska, 2001). 

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