Grand Canyon National Park Postcard E-Book
“Postals from Western Wonderlands: Grand Canyon Postcards and Postcard Messages” is the first ebook in a series of ebooks we propose to produce over the next few years. The series title “Postals from Western Wonderlands” refers to western national parks and monuments. The series will be based on postcards of units under the management of the National Park Service (NPS) in the western United States. These units include national parks, monuments, memorials, preserves, historic sites, and various other designations.
Our current collection of western NPS postcards numbers more than 12,000. This collection includes a wide range or locations. These postcards have been acquired over many years. The first souvenirs Susan acquired was a box of Haynes postcards of Yellowstone National Park in 1967, the summer she graduated from high school. This Grand Canyon ebook contains 375 postcard messages, 280 postcard fronts and 360 postcard backs. The postcards date circa 1900-1985. Some of the postcards in this ebook predate the Grand Canyon National Monument, established in 1908. Many more predate the Grand Canyon National Park, established in 1919.
There are 20 chapters in this ebook. The largest chapter is based on mules and mule rides into and out of the canyon. This was a popular activity and many of the visitors to the Grand Canyon wrote postcard messages relating to the mules and riding the mules. There are a number of chapters on the various buildings and structures at the Grand Canyon. Native Americans and the Hopi House are two chapters in the ebook. Other chapters include messages relating to transportation, traveling, weather, camping and hiking. We also feature turn-of-the-century Private Mailing Cards, one-of-a-kind real photo postcards, advertising postcards, and uncommon postcards. The selection covers a wide range of topics and different kinds of postcards.
One of our goals is to educate the reader about postcards, and postcard messages, as important historical documents. Postcards are three dimensional objects that exist in real time. Messages written on postcards are personal narratives that are composed in the moment. Many of these postcards were sent through the mail to family and friends. The hand-written messages reveal the inner emotions and personal observations of the author.
A second objective is to show the range of postcards that have been published. Postcards are the quintessential souvenir. They are an affordable and effective way to communicate. Literally billions of postcards, and postals, have been sent through the mail with a message since they were first introduced in 1898. We maintain that postcards have shaped the public’s perspective of national parks and monuments more than any other single souvenir.
National park postcards have been sent around the world to people who would never have the opportunity to visit that particular park or memorial. Many of the postcards have similar messages that read “… and it looks just like this.” Recipients of national park postcards who never visited that park had to base their perception, and interpretation, of the park on the postcard image and message they received. This was as close as they would get to being inside the park and experiencing what it was like.
We invite you to sit back and enjoy a journey down memory lane to the olden days of the Grand Canyon, via vintage postcards. Back when visitors took the time to write personal messages to family and friends on the backs of postcards. Take a trip with “penny postcards” as your magic carpet to the western wonderland that is the Grand Canyon of Arizona.