This Long Grove History article appeared in the April, 2018 issue of Long Grove Living magazine.Nostalgic photo postcards, known as “Real Photo Postcards” back in the day, were popular in the early 1900’s. Kodak even produced a special camera from 1903 to 1943 (the model #3A) and added a special postcard developing and printing service in 1907. This made it easy for anyone to make their own photo postcard. Mailing a postcard was only a penny and the photo postcard itself cost between one and two cents. They became an immensely popular and personal way of keeping in touch with friends and relatives. Remember that around 1907, most people didn’t have electricity, or a phone or car – but they did have mail service to their farms and homes, so the postal service was the internet of the day. In 1913 alone more than one billion postcards were mailed – that’s more than 10 cards for every living person in the country! Professional photographers got into the act as well, making up postcards of local scenes and distributing them through local businesses. You can check out a few old photo postcards of Long Grove at our website, LongGroveHistory.org – scroll down on the home page and click on photo archives over on the right hand side.
The word nostalgia means “to feel warmth for a former place”. The word former is key – most of the places shown in the post cards don’t exist anymore. Long Grove is fortunate to still have a couple of those old places and things around. Nicholas Modelin, manager of the newly opened Covered Bridge Creamery and Signature Popcorn, is pictured inspecting a couple of these early 1900’s Long Grove photo postcards – one of our Historic Bridge and one of the Long Grove Community Church.
Preserving history is precarious because all it takes is one weak link in the chain, one lapse in judgement that allows something historic to fall… and it’s gone for good. This month’s Save the Bridge limerick is about the inherent value found in historic places:
Not much value in an old photo or flyer
but the real McCoy – it finds a buyer
Are like wings
That enable us to reach much higher