Pictou County Postcards
Vintage Postcards from Pictou County, Nova Scotia


Pictou County was (and still is) a picturesque place to live and the postcards shown in these pages record that. One might think that a mint condition, unused postcard would be more desirable in a vintage postcard collection, but this collection is not really about pretty pictures.

I actually prefer cards that have been used. A careful study of the message, the recipient's address and the postmarks, can tell us a great deal about the history of the area, the personalities of the sender and recipient, their locations and they offer a "fly on the wall" glimpse into what was going on in their lives. Similar cards can be compared, in order to gather other historical clues, something that is illustrated by looking carefully at the three postcards shown below.
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The real photo postcard shown above is postmarked November 21, 1905, something that firmly dates the original image to the summer of 1905 or earlier. This front of this card has a blue rubber stamp that identifies the sender as J. W. Crockett and it is mailed to Gaston Porcher in Dourdan, France, a mysterious person whose name shows up several times on the earlier postcards. Research has given me some interesting clues as to who this Mr Gaston Porcher might of been, but so far it is just a guessing game. I have often wondered if perhaps he was the person who pointed the Torry's to the Belgian printing company that produced a large number of their postcards.

The Crockett's were friends of the Torry's and they visited the store frequently and bought quite a few postcards from them. The Torry postcard that is shown below, was clearly reproduced from the real photo postcard image shown above.
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The very pretty Torry published postcard above, titled "A Shady Nook", is addressed to Miss Hilda Langille, of Oliver, Colchester County, NS. The whereabouts and the marital status of Miss Langille in the year 1907 are firmly established by the notes and addresses on these postcards, facts that might be of interest to genealogists.

The sender writes "Hello Hilda, I got here safe. I had a great ride on the train coming. We are going to a picnic this afternoon. I expect we will have a great time. I have not got homesick yet. If you want a fellow Hilda, first come to Trenton. There's a nice one not far from here. I'll tell you about him when I go home. He uses a staff. Bessie. Trenton, Pictou County, NS. Be sure and send me a card." One is left wondering just how successful the matchmaking endeavour was.
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The third postcard was mailed March 2, 1910, and was printed in Germany but the publisher is not identified. The image is nearly identical to the image on the other two postcards, with the only real difference being the pose of the woman in the canoe and the position of the paddle. It is quite obvious that the original photos for these two images, were taken the same day, sometime during the summer of 1905 or earlier, and probably by the same person.

All three of these cards are very rare and they are among my favourites. I am hoping the original glass negative will be found when we finally tackle the task of going through the glass negatives that are in my sister's collection.