Don’t Forget the Back

When looking at old postcards it’s easy to get fixated on the image on the front of the postcard or pass a postcard by because the image doesn’t capture your attention. I think it’s important to take a minute and look at the back of the postcard. If you are lucky it will be a used postcard. Let me show you some used postcards in Nebraska Memories that have some interesting backs.

Let’s start with this postcard of the Omaha High School, Omaha, Neb. It is an interesting picture of the High School but I find the back to be pretty amusing. I wish I knew more about Margaret, Cheaty and Helen.

“Der Elsa: How would you like to go to this High School. It certainly is a whopper. Cheaty aught to teach here. Ha!Ha! I could go and see him real often. (Would he like it) and have Helen in my hair. Write and tell me the news.Omaha High School, Omaha, Neb.

Margaret Paisch 1041 – 1 ave. So.”

Before moving on I wanted to point out that luckily we don’t have to read the handwriting on the back of these cards. The text from the postcard can be found in the Transcript field which is located on the Item Description area.

The text on the back of the Convent of Mercy postcard is pretty short. It reminds me of a message that I’d actually send as a text message.

Convent of Mercy, Omaha, Neb. “Dear Sis. & Bro.

Will drop you a line to let you know Pappa & Mamma & Kruses are coming over to see you Sunday. Seems as if your papper never will come.

They will be their Sunday for dinner.

Love from all. your Sis Dora”

There are too many postcard backs I  like for me to share them word for word. Here are a few teasers and links so you can read the complete transcript if you want to know more.

  • Omaha, Neb., Farnam Street, looking east  “Say don’t you wish you could tell me something over telephone? HaHa” This card is postmarked 1911. I wonder when telephones became conman in Nebraska and Kansas.
  • Here is another one that reminds me of a text message. How would you like to revive a postcard reminding you to do the dishes?
  •  This next postcard is from SMD telling Isabelle that “No I haven’t got a girl yet. Honest.”
  •  We know the X on the right side of this post card is where John lives.
  •  (Don’t tell ma) we are here. I wonder if here is the St. Philomena Catholic Church or here is Omaha.
  • Emma is mailing her shopping list. She would like them to “buy fresh yeast 15 cents worth”. She’s very persistent: “15 cents worth. don’t forget.”.
  •  Would you go see Bessie after her talk of Scarlet fever?

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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