Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In Praise of Postcards

Hi Jamie, I have a strange question, if you don't mind...

I love your website. For each of your Drive of the Month web pages there is a small, classic poster image (at the upper right of each page). For example, for June there is a poster picture of the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone.

My question is: Would you mind telling me where you found these posters and is there a website where they can be purchased?

Thanks for your help.


Dear Bill --

Thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA, and I don't mind your "strange" question. It doesn't seem strange to me at all - I love the images you are interested in, and they come not from posters but from old postcards, which I have collected over the years at antique stores and flea markets all over the USA. Unless you want to trawl thru shoebox after dusty shoebox like I do, the easiest way to find postcards these days is by using E-Bay, the online auction site -- they have thousands for sale, like this one:

This is a 1934 Old Faithful Inn postcard, listed for $9.95...

You pay more for the convenience with Ebay -- I think I got mine for a 25ยข at a flea market in Massachusetts. I use the older ones because I understand they are more likely to be out of copyright, and thus available for reproduction in my books (where I have dozens more as illustrations, usually of older historic sites I visit in my travel guide books. I love the colors.) I haven't seem any of these postcard images as posters -- the resolution is probably not good enough for enlargement. (Unless you could find the original artworks , wherever they may be.)

Hope this helps -

w/ best wishes,

Jamie Jensen, author, Road Trip USA


hey again Jamie,

thanks for replying to my "strange question". I normally don't go to antique stores or flea markets but I think I'll start and maybe I can find some interesting post cards.
Just FYI - I found this website that sells posters with similar images to your post cards:

On another subject - I think you might find this interesting:

Last week I was returning to Illinois from Phoenix, so instead of driving as fast as I could to get home I decided to drive north to Salt Lake City then east through WY, NE and IA. And instead of staying on the freeway all the way I decided to take some side trips on some of the back road highways.

After leaving Las Vegas I drove north on US 93 to Caliente, NV then over to Cedar City. Then in Wyoming I got off the freeway at Walcott, WY and drove US 30 to Laramie. And finally, in WY and NE I drove from Cheyenne to Torrington,WY then southeast to Ogallala, NE.

What a joy to be driving some of these back road highways on a beautiful day. There is very little traffic and some beautiful scenery you wouldn't see if you stayed on the freeways.

Since returning from my trip I've gotten interested in the Oregon Trail - especially in Wyoming. When you drive through that country you see how utterly desolate things are and you marvel at the people who drove wagons through this country when there was no civilization. I think it would be a really neat trip to drive the roads that as best match their route through the west.
Maybe someday I'll do that.

Anyway, thanks for your email.


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