A Unit of the Center for Appalachian Studies & Services at East Tennessee State University
This selection of postcards comes from the W.B. “Pat” Watson Collection. Mr. Watson operated Pat’s Trading Post, a salvage and collectible store, at 106 Main Street in Johnson City, Tennessee during the 1930s and 1940s. Later, Mr. Watson managed an insurance company. Many of the documents in this collection came from his grandfather, James F. Beals. The postcards shown here are from the early 20th century and feature various locations across Tennessee.
Interestingly, not all of the postcards in this collection were sent with the common “Wish you were here…” traveler’s sentiment. Instead, many of the postcards served as a means of keeping up with friends and family. They were perfect for the times when one wanted to say “hello,” but did not have quite enough news to write a letter. Affixed with a one cent stamp, these postcards were a means to communicate health, news about the town, visiting friends, domestic work, and gossip (just to name a few). Both the images and the correspondence give us an insight to the past and are a part of communication history.
Click on an image to learn more about the postcard. The right sidebar has a navigation feature to browse through the image gallery. If you have a story to tell or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below! We’d love to hear from you!