The history of postcards dates back to the 1840s when they were first introduced in England. Their appearance in North American followed a few years later, but their use was rather sporadic until the turn of the century when a wider acceptance was established. This was the result of the privatization of postcard production and the introduction of the ‘divided-back’ which enabled a greater amount of text to be inscribed on the cards.
The greatest era for postcards, however, was from the early 1930s through to 1960. It was during this period that postcards gained their greatest popularity, no doubt initially due to the effects of the Great Depression. Because of their lower postage rates compared to more detailed and heavier correspondence represented by letter writing, the use of postcards became prolific as a cost-saving measure. It was also during this time frame that linen type cards were introduced which made them more durable. The use of ‘rag material’ which was infused into the card-stock, made so-called linen cards the standard until the 1960s, when the glossy, less expensive (and arguably less appealing) chrome-style postcards began to dominate..
Given the charm of the village of Georgeville and the natural scenic beauty of Lake Memphremagog, it is not surprising that the two entities were well represented with respect to the production of postcards during this era. Many of these cards were published in the state of Vermont, notably, the town of Newport which also borders the southern portion of the lake on the American side. Many were released by ‘Bigelow’s Pharmacy’ located in Newport, as well as a few by the town’s newspaper, the Express & Standard. Other companies throughout the state were involved with the issuance of cards relating to the lake. The publishers of most other postcards, however, were either not identified or issued by various national or international companies involved in the industry.