Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Motoring Pioneers in Postcards

The early years of motoring coincided with the height of postcard frenzy – the decade leading up to the First World War. It made a popular subject for humorous novelty cards. The mechanical wonder of the age seized the public imagination and despite being only available to a privileged few, the motor car became an object of intense curiosity and fascination to many. For the pioneer motorists times were good – no requirement to be insured, no speed limits and no driving licences to obtain. Mechanical reliability could not be taken for granted and postcard publishers were quick to portray the potential for misfortune. The romance of the open road was born in these times and the motor car rapidly acquired a reputation as an enabler of another type of romance. There were few better ways for the male motorist to make a positive impression on the object of his affections than a road trip to Box Hill or the Thames at Maidenhead - the motor vehicle as an agent of seduction. The driving seat was all but monopolised by the male but there is one card where the females have taken control and relegated the uniformed chauffeur to the humiliation of the back seat. This is the world of adventure described in these postcards. 

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