My Postcard as an Historical Artifact


Though the postcard itself is rather empty and does not provide a lot of context for the viewer, there is a lot to be uncovered about The Grand Hotel as it sheds light on tourism in St. Andrews. At first glance it is rather difficult to decipher when this postcard was created as there is no date or publisher indicated.  The back of the postcard is very important in determining its value and worth at the time, however without a date it is hard to determine its value. There is a $10.00 inscription on the back which might indicate that this postcard was very valuable and could even be a collectors item. In this case the image and associated text is enough to begin researching the postcard, where a great deal of information can be found. In about 1895, Thomas Hamilton built the Grand Hotel overlooking the famous Old Course golf course (Hamilton Grand 2019). It was the first building in Scotland to have a working elevator as well as hot and cold running water in every room. During World War II it was transformed into a training headquarters for the Royal Air Force by the ministry of the United Kingdom. 


Shortly after that in 1949, the University of St. Andrews purchased the hotel and opened it as a residence hall called Hamilton Hall for the use of their students. To this day it still acts as a functioning residence hall (Hamilton Grand 2019). Native of St. Andrews, Tom Morris, made the area quite popular due to his many successes on the golf course. The emergence of his success and the success of golf in the town, brought in a significant number of tourists throughout the years. This postcard is most definitely a historical artifact because it represents much more than just a hotel; it represents the emergence of St. Andrews as a tourist destination. The location of the hotel alone gives much historical context about St. Andrews and prompts viewers to research further, to which one would uncover the remarkable history behind the hotel.

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