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Local History Department - Photo of the Month

Plainfield Souvenir Postcard, ca. 1900s

The City of Plainfield Celebrates 150 Years!

The John Grady Historical Collection
Vintage Postcards - Now On Display

This is just one of the images from John Grady’s collection of vintage Plainfield postcards. The cards show the fun variety of novelty postcards available to tourists and residents back in the early 1900s. Postcards were introduced in 1873 and could be mailed for only 1 cent! Many of these classic souvenir images were used on postcards across the country – most surprisingly those with beach themes.

The cards are made of cardstock, wood, and leather. The ones with felt and glitter decorations, as well as the pullout accordion album of miniature photographs of Plainfield sites, would be a little more difficult to send through the mail today.

In 2005, John donated nearly 1000 glass plate negatives and prints, taken by local photographer Reina Lawrence (1869-1948), to the Plainfield Public Library. This was the beginning of what would become The John Grady Historical Collection. To date, he has donated approximately 60 linear feet of historical materials. His generosity has provided Plainfielders with The Dorothea Dix Lawrence Papers; 107 images in the John Hoffman Photograph Collection; a run of photographic prints and negatives taken by local photographer Paul R. Collier that document local residences; records and photographs from local Plainfield families; sundry artifacts and paper ephemera from local businesses, organizations, and houses of worship; and 352 unique vintage Plainfield postcards. Additionally, John donated the files and photographs documenting the history and restoration of his Arlington Avenue home.


Past Photos

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