Postal Souvenirs from the Grand Tour of Europe

I know some of you have had the task of going through the house when your parents have died, or moved, and the responsibility of what happens to all their stuff is on your shoulders.

Sometimes it’s kind of fun. I have fond memories of when my brothers came to town after my folks died and we were all going through the stacks of miscellaneous in the basement. Most of it was easily recognized, but this item was not familiar to any of us:

The only clues I got were from some labels inside and a few addresses that indicated the owner lived in Topeka, KS.

She evidently took the Grand Tour of Europe trip in 1913, and she got even more postcards and photos than I would have collected.

These photos aren’t shown here in any particular order. The one below is the first page of the book, showing the New York Bible Teacher’s Training School and the ship “Neckar.”
(Wikipedia: SS Neckar (1901), in service 1901–1917; seized by United States; served as troopship USS Antigone (ID-3007); served as SS Potomac for United States Lines, 1921–1922; scrapped at Baltimore, 1927)

The collection is a combination of postcards, photographs, and newspaper clippings.

IMG_5924Some of the cards are addressed and stamped, some are blank.

IMG_5925 I’ve held on to this for 12 years now, knowing that it was probably not important to my dad (otherwise, why would he have risked it getting moldy in the basement?) but also attracted to it because I have a postcard collection myself. IMG_5926There are some cards of Dresden, which might be of special interest, since the photos were taken so long before WWII.
IMG_5932And here we are in Italy.

IMG_5928I thought about just incorporating these into my pile of cards that I mail out, but I’m not sure if my mailing them now would reduce their value, if they have any.


So I decided to list the entire book (more than 270 items!) on eBay. I put an awfully high price on it, but sold individually, I know these would all go for more than $1 each. They are mixed up, but they also tell the story of someone’s trip, which I think makes it special.


So far, lots of lookers and no bidders. But it’s early yet. It would be hard to decide what to do with them all, unless you have a flea market booth with postcards from all over the place and want to sell them individually, or are into sending really cool postcards to your pen pals. “Here, I’m sending you a postcard over a hundred years old. Beat that!” Nah, I’m more into home made cards of my own photos or art work.
In any case, thank you, Miss Sweet. I’ve had lots of fun seeing the photos and mementos of your trip.



2 responses to “Postal Souvenirs from the Grand Tour of Europe

  1. What did you call the book on ebay? I can’t find it.

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