Bygone Boston: A Postcard Tour of Beantown
Book/Pages: 206 Paperback, 100 color reproductions, 6" x 4"
Oliver Wendell Holmes called it "the hub of the universe," and certainly Boston stands out as the site of many U.S. "firsts." This vibrant city has drawn visitors for more than a century, so it’s no wonder that it’s the subject of thousands of fascinating picture postcards. Quincy Market, "T" wharf, King’s Chapel, the Public Garden, tunnels and tramways, Old Scolly Square, horse-drawn fire engines, Mary Baker Eddy’s "Mother Church," the Swan Boats, Boston Harbor LIght -- all were photographed and turned into postcards that could be saved as keepsakes or mailed for a penny.
Bygone Boston presents 100 of the most interesting old cards, accompanied by informative captions offering bits of local lore from Revolutionary times to the present. Yes, it’s a nostalgic glimpse of Boston 50 to 100 years ago, but -- in this tradition-conscious city -- you’ll find that many of the sites shown here are still recognizable today.
"This book is a wonderful history- each of the 100 postcards reproduced here has a descriptive background on the location, full of surprises even for the longtime Bostonian." --Bostonia
"!!!!! Must Read" -- Today’s Books
EARL BRECHLIN is a registered Maine guide and author of several books, including Bygone Bar Harbor,, and A Pocket Guide to Hiking on Mount Desert Island. He is editor of the Mount Desert Islander and former editor of the Bar Harbor Times. An adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, he was named Maine Journalist of the Year in 1997 and has served as president of the Maine Press Association and the New England Press Association.
Caption for postcard of Boston Light
"Like so many other points of interest in Boston, Boston Harbor Light was the "first of its kind" in North America. A bill to build the lighthouse was passed in July 1715. A stone tower was built on Little Brewster Island, and the beacon was lit for the first time on September 14, 1716. A tax of a penny per ton on all cargo transiting the harbor paid for its construction. A cannon served for the fog signal. During the Revolution, the lighthouse was burned or destroyed and then repaired several times. It was rebuilt to a height of 75 feet in 1783, and raised to the existing height of 89 feet (show here) in 1859. The second-order Fresnel lens installed at that time is still in use today. On April 16, 1998, Boston Harbor Light was the last in the nation to be automated."