Jotting a message on a penny post card at the turn of the 20th century was an American tradition. A plain card was inadequate for many travelers, who wished to share something of their journey or description with the recipient. In addition to carrying messages, picture post cards or view cards became an art form themselves, sought by collectors then and now. And railroads, as the dominant form of transportation during the card craze, were a prime subject.
Railroad depots became one of the most popular images, as they were one of the first things an arriving traveler saw of a town, and were otherwise a busy portal for any community which depended on the daily experience of train time, to provide it with essential transportation services.
While most of the old depots are gone, as are many of the railroad lines themselves, their images are eagerly sought by post card collectors. Here is a look at the golden era of the railroad station and train travel in one Midwest state, Nebraska, as depicted on post cards from the 1900-1915 era.
Life at the Depot, pp. 13-32;
Train Time, pp. 33-40;
Burlington Depots, pp. 41-56;
Chicago & North Western Depots, pp. 57-72;
Union Pacific Depots, 73-86;
Depot Connections, pp. 87-94.
Bibliography, Index, pp. 95-96.
There is one full page picture of the Rock Island depot at Beatrice, Nebraska. The chapters not specific to any railroad include photographs of the various railroad depots from the railroads that served Nebraska.
South Platte Press, softcover, 96 pages, 10 x 8.5 x .25 in., B&W photographs. Includes more than 100 historic postcard images.