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

Greetings from Raleigh, N.C.

Raleigh Big Letter_2_web

Once again, Flashback Friday visits our capital city landmarks as seen on a Big Letter postcard of the 1940s. So, without further ado — Greetings from Raleigh, N.C.!

Raleigh Big Letter_2_back_web

No message or any notation on this week’s postcard — just the instruction, ‘This space for writing messages.’

Big letter postcards used a graphic design motif in which the name of a city, state or tourist attraction become the subject. The letters framed various landmarks characteristic of the place the card depicts. They were popular with the American traveling public from the late 1930s through the 1940s. Following the introduction of ‘photochrome’ postcards in the 1950s, the popularity of big-letter cards began to fade.

Now for the test — Who can identify the seven vignettes framed by the ‘big letters’? This challenge is particularly tough, as one of the images is cropped by the letter in an odd way. Here’s a clue: the ‘mystery’ building has appeared on two earlier big letter cards, and has been the subject of a Flashback Friday post itself. The first person to correctly identify all seven images seen within the letters will receive an authentic antique Raleigh postcard selected from our collection.

This will be our final post of a ‘big letter’ postcard depicting Raleigh landmarks. We have previously published four different cards of this type over the past two and a half years. However, as we have seen no other examples ‘out there,’ we must assume that the five cards in our possession comprise the complete series.  For our readers’ interest, here are the four earlier postcards, listed by date of publication:


Our Flashback Friday ‘white border linen’ postcard this week was published locally by the Raleigh News Agency. It was printed by Tichnor Brothers of Boston, under the trade name ‘Tichnor Quality Views.’

Tichnor Brothers, Inc.   (1912-1987) Boston and Cambridge, MA

A major publisher and printer of a wide variety of postcards types. Their view-cards were produced on a national level. Their photochomes went under the trade name Lusterchrome. They also produced an early Tichnor Gloss series in offset lithography that was so heavily retouched they floated somewhere between being artist drawn and being a photograph. The company was sold in 1987 to Paper Majic.

Tichnor Bros logo


“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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