Friday, September 3, 2010

Pine Bluff History in Postcards

For ancestors who lived during the 20th century, postcards are a delightful way to learn more about their lives and communities. 'Picture' postcards were very popular worldwide by the dawn of the 20th century due to their novelty and the fact that postage was cheap. From automobiles to street scenes and hairstyles to people, postcards provide enticing glimpses into the past.

If you are lucky enough to have postcards sent or received by your ancestors you may learn tidbits of information about the family, gain handwriting samples and even find addresses to help you track family movements. Even if you aren't fortunate enough to have access to a family postcard collection, you can often find postcards depicting your ancestor's hometown, clothing styles of the time period, etc.

Start with the local historical society in the area in which your ancestor lived or at local antique stores. Many postcard collections can be found posted online, and postcards can also be obtained through online auction sites.

Look to postcards as a wonderful way for illuminating the lives of your ancestors, as well as for spicing up your family history books, scrapbooks and other genealogy projects.

Please visit a wonderful site which will walk you through the History of Pine Bluff in Postcards from 1882 to the present.  This is a wonderful site, posted by Paul Perdue, which gives a visual history of the beautiful city we call home.

Acknowledgments by Paul Perdue

Welcome to

Who knew there were so many postcards from Pine Bluff?  I began collecting them over 20 years ago and now have more than I ever thought possible.  In the first few years, I found the postcards the old-fashioned way – at flea markets & antique shops.  Just when I thought I must have every old card from Pine Bluff, another five would turn up.

I only had about 20 PB postcards when a co-worker told me about this little on-line auction thing called “eBay”.  After mastering eBay my collection doubled, tripled and quadrupled, eventually surging out of control (and out of my little plastic card file) with no less than 468 postcards, with, apparently, no end in sight.

Old Pine Bluff postcards are everywhere.  I'll bet I’ve bought them from eBay dealers from every state in the nation.  After all, the last place to look for a used postcard is in the place of origin, right?  (And besides, I live in Dallas, Texas.)  And without eBay, most of these little pieces of Pine Bluff would be catching dust in antique shops all over the country, never to be discovered (by me, anyway).

I would be remiss in not thanking the new friends I've made the last several years who have also helped me fill out my collection.

Ray Hanley, that guru of Arkansas postcards, unselfishly opened his collection and provided great copies of many cards I did not have.

Regina Priest, between shifts at JRMC, gave me access to her collection, providing me with some great ones I had never seen.

Karlyn Spencer, who came to Pine Bluff all the way from Tennessee to share her collection.

Sue Trulock at the Jefferson County Historical Museum for loaning me cards to copy.

Allen Whitwell, my favorite Pine Bluff postcard eBay competitor, has provided me with lots of good ones.

Ernie Wallis provided the wonderful card of the three couples in the hot air balloon setting – one of which is my Great Aunt Evelyn Perdue.

Johnie Martin (Design By Jmar), who has a done a great job with designing and building this site.

And there’s more!  I already have a stash of new acquisitions to add, and have agreements with other collectors to get theirs onto the site, as well.  Plus, there will be new features added to this site after I catch my breath.  So add to your favorite sites and keep checking in.

We’d love your comments and suggestions (or fact errors) on the comments page. And if some of these postcard scenes jog your memory, please tell us about that, too.  This site could eventually serve as a memory book for all Pine Bluffians, past and present.

And if you have any old Pine Bluff postcards that I don’t, please contact me.  (If you don’t want to part with them, I only need a color copy or scan.)

Paul Perdue
Copyright © 2007  Pine Bluff Postcards. All rights reserved.