Automobile mileage reminder advertising premium used to track oil changes.  Brass. 1930's(?)โ€‹โ€‹

Ben Bey Cigars     

Like many other early 20th century families, the Elson family used picture post cards to stay in touch with family and friends, serving the same purpose as today's telephone, emails and social media. Many families of the period saved and even collected the post cards they received.  What is remarkable about the Elsons, however, is that a collection of post cards was handed down through the generations and remains extant today.  Dr. Mary Elson Carlson, the granddaughter of Nathan, acquired this precious collection through her father, Ralph, the youngest child of Nathan Elson.  It is not known who actually assembled the collection in the first place and preserved it for future generations.

The collection consists of 216 picture post cards, dating from 1905 to the early 1920's.  Most are from the 1908-1915 period.  Included are post cards from Nathan to his wife and children, post cards to Nathan from his wife, other family members or friends, and post cards to and from others within their circle of family, friends, and business associates.

The post cards almost exclusively represent personal notes--brief expressions of caring and reports of the news of the day.  Unfortunately, almost no information about the cigar business is present.  However, the post cards are invaluable in that they chronicle the movements of family members and give voice to the strong bonds that existed among the Elsons and their friends 100 years ago.   In doing so, they help to bring to life these sensitive, kind, caring, and loving Elson family ancestors. 

Mary Elson Carlson graciously made this collection available for scanning so that it can be shared with others through this web site.  Scanning was performed at 1,200 DPI, which provided high resolution images for future reference, research and printing purposes.  However, due to the limitations of the internet, they are presented here as 96 DPI images. These images should provide very satisfactory clarity for viewing even fine details. However, if a high resolution image of one or more post cards should be desired, please make your wishes known via email through the "Contact Us" link on the home page.

The images are organized on separate web pages by sender or recipient.   The icons above provide easy access to them and permit you to navigate from page to page.   The enlarged images of the post cards on each page are presented in chronological order, unless undated. 

If you would like to print an image, which might be particularly helpful for those cards with messages written "sideways", right-click the image and click "Print".  To copy and save an image, right-click on the desired image and select  "Save Picture As" and then click on the desired destination folder.

Our thanks go to Mary Elson Carlson for making this invaluable collection available for sharing with others!

The Post Card Collection

โ€‹of Mary Elson Carlson