Vintage Postcard Motherload- Boston Public Library Flickr

How cool is it that the Boston Public Library has a Flickr page to share even a sliver of the cool things in its collection? I happened upon this while doing a Flickr image search and could spend days going through their sets. One that I think is right up the Retro Roadmap alley is their collection of Tichnor Brothers vintage postcards of all of the New England states.

The Tichnor Brothers collection contains approximately 25,000 office proofs of postcards of the United States published by the Boston firm Tichnor Brothers Inc. These are color postcards with a linen texture, dating from the late 1940’s to 1960’s. The concentration is on American vacation places.

There are a little over 4500 New England postcard photos in this collection, so give yourself some time to admire them up close and at your leisure. The cool thing about the vintage postcards being scanned is that they can be enlarged so you can see the detail of the card (like the fact that Barbara Stanwyck was starring in a film playing at the Capitol Theater on Main Street in Ansonia CT)

AND even cooler, all sizes of their postcard photos are available for download under a Creative Commons license. The mind reels at the creative possibilities and historical details that await!

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  • dinerhotline
    December 5, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Great link Beth!

  • 50s Pam
    December 5, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    What a great find. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Retro Kustom
    December 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Great site! I’ve added you to my blogroll!

  • Richard @ The Bewildered Brit
    December 7, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    What a fantastic resource, thank you! I’ve only had the chance to look at a few so far, but this is wonderful!

    This is something I’ve going to have to take some time to sift through carefully. Bookmarked! 🙂

  • Bill
    December 12, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I just got ‘rouand to perusing the Boston Public Library’s page on Flickr and wow, what a find. Not only are these amazing Tichnor postcards available to look through but the library’s overall collection is astounding.

    The Library has always been one of my favorite places to while away a day in Boston. The amount of architecture, arts, photography, ephemera, etc on display there is a great way to spend a day.

    Thanks Beth for the tip to this archive. I’ll be glancing through for many days to come.

    P.S.- Besides the postcards, my other favorite is the collection from “Nuf Ced” McGreevey (He of Red Sox Royal Rooters & Tessie fame).

  • C. Dianne zweig
    December 27, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks so much for finding this wonderful collection of colorful vintage postcards . I will share your with our Post card forum on

    But first I need to click on all the cards….


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