‘Greetings from Kent’ showcased historic postcards

‘Greetings from Kent’ showcased historic postcards

PrintWe thank everyone who visited the Society’s summer exhibit, “Greetings from Kent: An exhibition of historic postcards” at the town-owned Swift House. The final days of the exhibit coincided with the Kent Sidewalk Festival in early August and the inaugural Kent Arts Night, Aug. 20. There were many people who took advantage of the opportunities to see the show.

Reaction to the exhibit, “Greetings from Kent: An exhibition of historic postcards,” was extremely positive.

Some of the comments shared in the guest book included: “Love the show, history’s the best, interesting photos; Awesome history tour! Thank you for this trip back in time. Grew up in Kent. Great trip down memory lane! What a great exhibit. Super! This was great. Thank You! Great fun and memories. Love it! Nice job!”

Visitors to the special location, the town-owned historic building, the Swift House, discovered enlarged postcards that fill the walls of the building. Those who’ve lived in town for years delighted in seeing the older buildings and remembering who lived and worked in the areas depicted in the postcards. Newcomers to Kent saw the similarities and the differences in the scenes shown that range from Main Street to farming in the outer reaches of town.

The Kent Historical Society celebrated postcards with the exhibit that showcased the local landscape as seen through the lens of postcard photographers.

There is much to be celebrated in what postcards can provide – a look back at the town of Kent over more than 100 years. Many of these images were from postcard kits that were popular for individuals to create their own cards. The Historical Society put this exhibition together through loans from local residents and collectors, as well as its own collection. Trustee Melissa Cherniske was the guest curator.

We are thankful to those who assisted by sharing their personal collection: Susie Rundall, Michael Ward, Susi Williams and Gail Tobin.

We are indebted to our volunteer docents at the summer historic postcard exhibit, “Greetings from Kent” and particularly to Kathi Lee, who served as our volunteer coordinator this summer. We had a small but dedicated group of people who made sure the exhibit was open on Sunday afternoons in June and July and several gave additional time in August for the special exhibit hours. Our special thanks to: Catherine Bachrach, Susan Begnal, Darlene Brady, Jann Carmody Tanner, Melissa Cherniske, Claire Lee, Kathi Lee, Charlotte Lindsey, Linda Palmer, Lynn Mellis Worthington, Rick Levy and Sue Lopardo. The Society could not have offered this exhibit without their volunteer assistance!

Postcard production began in the 1800s, with the first patent being approved in 1861, according to the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Postcards were a popular form of correspondence because they were quick and an easy way to communicate. The Golden Age of Postcards was from 1907 to 1915, according to the Smithsonian.

This special exhibit featured large enlarged images of postcards. There were also a number of reproduction postcards available for purchase.

A view of Kent's Civil War Monument before it was moved.
A view of Kent’s Civil War Monument before it was moved.

The show was open weekly on Sundays June through July,  as well as some additional hours in August.