Friday, July 25, 2008

Thanks for the historical help – I sort of thought the Boer War was earlier than 1910. Maybe the postcard had been lying around in the shop. I doubt if Kirkmichael was the sort of place where people would walk about in uniform much if there wasn’t a war on. I will certainly send you a scan, Helen, when it turns up. Which could be today.

I hope some earnest local history magazine has looked into the story of the photographers who went about making these wonderful pictures for early postcards. They seem so much more expressive than anything to be had nowadays. And also, oddly, so much more specific and local. “Oddly” because digital photography and computers and such should make the possibility of very short print runs more not less viable nowadays. But you don’t get postcards like this one much any more.

Perhaps its because there are so many more outlets for photography now. Nobody bothers to put the good ones on postcards.


I finished the front of the dinosaur sweater, as hoped, and embarked on the long task of tidying and tightening the backs. It’s boring but it’s also peaceful, a pleasant respite until I get tired of it from the nervous tension of dinosaur-knitting.

Emily, this is a picture of my Maya. Cathy taught me how to turn the flash off when in "auto" mode while we were in Kirkmichael earlier this month. It helps.
Your enthusiasm has edged me a step nearer to attempting a Liesl. The gauge, judging from the label, should be about right. I could be swatching and sketching for the swallowtail coat of a beautiful blue at the same time. That has to be ready by early October, a not impossible goal, and only has to be big enough to fit a teddy bear.


  1. Anonymous9:41 AM

    Hello Jean,

    I have been admiring the postcards and dinosaurs recently. Thanks for the daily inspiration.

    Curiousity finally drove me to google "swallowtail coat of a beautiful blue" and found this


  2. Your Maya looks lovely, I'd think it would work really well for Liesl. I must start mine!

    I love those old postcards, too, just of local houses and so on. There are several places (particularly Powys in Wales, and Nine Barrow Down in Purbeck, Dorset that I've seen over years and years, and old postcards bring all that back rather better than anything else!

  3. I think that interesting everyday life types of postcards became less common after cameras became more common. When one could make one's own snapshot, it was less compelling to buy one. Perhaps that's why the grand scenery shot is now more likely to be on a postcard- because most of us still cannot take that kind of picture. I'm going to have to look into postcards from my small town. The ones you have shown us are quite compelling.

  4. I think digital photography and postcarding haven't matched up well because of the internet. People blog about their daily lives with photographic illustrations and most don't think to use snail mail at all. Also, trying to send postcards to friends of places one's seen isn't as penny friendly as a blog 'postcard'. Sad, but true. Likewise, people don't tend to send snapshots anymore; I have to remind myself to send hardcopy photos to my parents or they wouldn't have any bragging photos of the Tilster!