The Charlottesville, Va. Girl

17 Feb

This week’s collection object- a leather postcard- seems quite unique, though according to the donor and previous owner, during the early 20th century, these were “quite popular.”  Some quick research reveals that she was not, in fact, full of hot air.  Apparently experiencing a brief surge of popularity in the early 1900s, America’s fascination with leather postcards, and the pillows you could make from them (no joke), were all the rage.  Apparently not all of our donors were aware of the popularity, however, because this is the only leather postcard in our collection.

Possibly just as interesting as the phenomenon of the leather postcard, however, is this interpretation of what makes a “Charlottesville, Va. Girl.”  Not uniquely Charlottesvillian in any way, the girl was instead expressed as an American patriot.  Her red, white and blue ensemble is classy and acceptable per the standards of the time.  Her flag stands out most, as it is embossed with a metallic paint.  In other words, the Charlottesville girl was just a good American lady.  But, hey, at least she was stylin’!

Front, Leather Postcard, 1910

Back, Leather postcard, 1910


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