Goodnight Raleigh - a look at the art, architecture, history, and people of the city at night

Greetings from Raleigh, North Carolina

This week’s Flashback Friday feature is a so-called ‘Big Letter’ postcard, popular with the American traveling public of the 1930s and ’40s. And, quite by coincidence, we revisit with it the ‘Ronson Twenty Questions’ radio show of the 1940s.

Addressed to ‘Ronson Twenty Questions’ —

Here’s my question
“The Fiddle Nero played while Rome burnt” (Mineral)

Yours truly
Arthur J. Sullivan
1317 W. 4th St.
Wilmington (34) Del.

Animal, vegetable, mineral? — You can read more about the ‘Twenty Questions’ radio show in an earlier Flashback Friday post  we published last month. Curiously, although both postcards depict Raleigh scenes, neither was mailed from here.

This week’s feature is an example of the popular ‘large letter’ (aka ‘big letter’) postcard.

A large letter card is a postcard in which a drawn place name in large letters becomes its subject. The name is usually that of a state, but many cities and popular tourist spots also had their own versions. They were always accompanied by graphic work that could be simple to complex in design. Large letter cards were most popular as ‘linens’ published between 1938 and 1942. Their designs grew more complex through the 1940s, but they gradually went out of fashion along with linen postcards. Variations of this style still continue to be made.

Back in March 2011 we ran another example of a large letter Raleigh postcard in a Flashback Friday post. That card identified the scenes depicted in the ‘big letters’ — I wonder how many readers can identify the buildings depicted in this week’s featured card.

Our Flashback Friday postcard this week was published locally by the Raleigh News Agency.

“Flashback Friday” is a weekly feature of Goodnight, Raleigh! in which we showcase vintage postcards depicting our historic capital city. We hope you enjoy this week end treat!


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