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Newtown Historical Society Offers A 'Wish You Were Here'



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Newtown Historical Society Offers A ‘Wish You Were Here’

On Monday, November 10, at 7:30 pm, in the Meeting Room of the Booth Library, 25 Main Street, the Newtown Historical Society will offer a program of postal and postcard history presented by Carl Kallgren. Mr Kallgren will use slides and actual examples to illustrate the history of postcards, what people collect, and the value of postcards. He will also be available to look at and offer his opinion of postcards brought by the audience.

The postcard has held a romantic spot in the national imagination since its introduction. Originally simply a way of sending a brief message cheaply, it was quickly taken up by business and other large-scale users, but with the introduction of the picture postcard it truly revolutionized travel habits. Even after a century of technical developments, one does not say to a traveler “Show me your slides when you get back,” or “Call my cell while you’re there.” People still say, “Send me a card from your vacation spot.” The postcard remains the ubiquitous souvenir, and the icon of connection to the traveler.

Mr Kallgren has collected postcards for about 40 years, amassing a collection of some 300,000 cards, including 8,000 cards of Connecticut alone. Among his treasures are mechanicals, with moving wheels that change the message or design of the card, dressed cards with fabric clothing or human hair on figures, and hold-to-light cards taht change from day to night scenes when light comes through cutout backing on the card.

The postcard also came to serve as a pictorial, sometimes humorous, celebration of every holiday in the calendar year, often designed by prominent and popular artists.

Mr Kallgren became a postcard dealer when he “ran out of money,” and is a frequent exhibitor at postcard shows.

He is the founder of the Connecticut Post Card Club’s annual show, having hosted the first event in his garage. The show now offers well over a million cards, and attracts people by the hundreds.

All Newtown Historical Society programs are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the presentation. For further information call the society at 426-5937.

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