Historical Views of the Rockaways
Old Souvenir Postcards From Rockaway – Have A Good Laugh On Us!
From The Rockaway Museum
by Emil Lucev, Curator
Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke
In the old days people were not as sensitive as the populace is at present. Postcards by the thousands were mailed from the Rockaways, and on one Fourth of July in the early 1900’s, fifteen thousand postcards went through the local post offices. As in the past, Historical Views takes a break from the regular… so we all can have a laugh or two. Enjoy.
Twice a year, in May and Nov-ember of each year, an international antique postcard bourse (show) is held in Manhattan. Dealers come from all areas of the states, and from all over the world. No matter what your favorite subject or category…there are postcards to cover it! Rockaway history is my bag and my tag whenever I do attend….and I do all the time!
World dealers came from Herenth-out in Belgium; Herzilla in Israel; York in England; Budapest in Hungary; Gentilly and Frejus in France; and Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.
Dealers were set up by the Metro-politan Postcard Club in the New Yorker Hotel on 34 Street in Manhat-tan. For the event, the Grand Ball-room, The Crystal Ballroom, and the large foyer between the two, were filled with 50 dealers in antique postcards. Visitors to the show kept the hotel’s Eighth Avenue entrance revolving doors spinning during the Vet-eran’s Day weekend.
The club was founded in 1946 by a handful of people and has grown and prospered since. Meetings are held monthly in the hotel and a mini-show is held in March to help shed the winter blahs! Club auctions and album competitions are also held during the year. Once an album of postcards about the Ole! Night Party won a prize. See, I told you there were cards for all subjects!
Today’s Historical Views presents photos of the international bourse of November 2002, and one postcard I found in the patriotic category. The card is white with a light blue border, and Old Glory is in the great red/white /blue colors with green leaf florals at the gold flagpole crossing God Bless America!
As all Wave newspaper readers already know, the history of the Rock-aways and Broad Channel has been well documented through the picture postcard, since they were first issued in the 1890’s. Artists’ drawings were gravured at first, followed by the black & white halftone printed photos, followed by color gravure photos, and then sepia-tone real photos; black & white real photos; and real color photos.
It was run by a fellow from Coney Island, Alex Stein, who happened to be a collector of Coney Island memorabilia! And a rabid one at that!
During a conversation I mentioned that I was into bottle collecting, especially Rock-away Beach and Far Rockaway. Alex then said that he wished he had a Coney Island bottle. I said that I had one… And at that…he grabbed my hand and filled it with Rockaway postcards, stating that if I brought him the Coney Island bottle, he would give me all he had of Rockaway postals.
I did, he did, and a friend at work told me about the metropolitan Post-card Club, which I joined as soon as possible.
My research on the old Rockaway bottles was well underway at the time, but the postcards showed me, and followers of my Historical Views column in The Wave, what old-timers talked about, but had no pictures of! The rest is history!