Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

As I was posting another Edwardian postcard  in HoL's collection of old images of Harringay just now, it occurred to me to ask myself a few questions about the artefacts I was republishing.

In digging around the web for a few minutes, I found a fascinating university paper which looks at Edwardian postcards in the context of their place in the development of our communication infrastructure.

The authors write:

"..a key feature of the early postcard and the frequency of delivery – up to as much as 6 to 10 deliveries per day possible in urban areas. This enabled the kind of micro-coordination of activities... identified in connection with the mobile phone."

... if
George is not coming today
our George will come and fitch
the peelinges and bring
you a bit of pork
so don’t get any meat 

Up to 10 deliveries a day!  Can you imagine! So nothing like the omnipresence of today's social media, but more of a step on the way towards it than I'd realised.

Paper attached.

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Replies to This Discussion

Weirdly I remember that paper coming out as the Telegraph did a short piece on it and I used its evidence in discussions on here when people were discussing the value (or lack of it) of Twitter.

Odd to read what you wrote 5 years ago, however I stand by what I said then I'm still a huge fan of Twitter and believe that its merits far outweigh its drawbacks. These days Twitter messages seem even more like Edwardian postcards with the ability to attach pictures to tweets and that show up in your timeline without having to click through, but yes our great grandfathers and mothers definitely got there first...

Well I never Mrs E. Now you get to read the original research!

It's intersting if you read novels of the time, characters are forever putting notes in the post in the morning to ask things of people they have invited for lunch. For a penny, short conversations were carried on that way so I suppose the analogy with Twitter isn't that far fetched.

Very interesting analogy - thanks for this.

The discussion Liz links to is also interesting!

I shan't worry so much about how much time my kids spent on the pc now; in the olden days I probably would have worried about them straining their eyes writing numerous letters and postcards by candlelight, no to mention the possibility of them setting themselves on fire, being burnt by dripping wax etc.

Funny and fascinating! We're lucky to get one delivery a day now from the postie so cleary we need email and Twitter… I love these old postcards. The way people turned photos of themselves into postcards for friends and relatives was wonderful. I have some old family ones going back to the 30s and 40s. 

Here's another posted at 4:45 PM, confirming an appointment for "tomorrow".



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