Pictures of a postcard (14)

‘Bus & Station’

Collecting is a strange but at the same time interesting thing that’s to say if the collection does have a certain extra. Decades ago I started to gather postcards with rail on it and all other forms of public transportation or infrastructure like station buildings. Trains, trams, bus with no restriction and no matter how small or big the subject on the print appeared. All subjects are equal though there’s a certain preference but that’s a private matter.
Another thing is the period; born after the war (W.O.II) things from before are beyond any recognition or connection and more or less just a subject for collecting only. Those from thereafter being a remembrance as well, the reminiscence of been there, saw it yourself, breathing the breath of a certain circumstance or regret you never did a possibility for one reason or another that never happened.
The world is a constant change the only things remaining for a longer period are the buildings and that’s the charm of postcards especially the contemporary ones; fresh from the printer and still full of history if one have a closer look at the portraying. The minor details makes it interesting while on many occasion the postcard photographer was anyone except a fan of the means described above. He just took a picture a momentum in time. A still so to say frozen for ever.
Nowadays the postcard industry seems to be waning in terms of the ones others than with fantasy subjects. Ordinary street life, a square, a building, the station… Apparently one doesn’t send a friendly hello anymore from the places visited. A small example: in 1968 during my first visit at Vienna in Austria less than a half hour walk through the Mariahilfer Straße (street) and different shops selling cards resulted in a pile for the collection. These days one can stroll for hours and must be happy if find one or two.
Of course one can take his or her own picture and in the digital age this is done many times, maybe another reason why the postcards with an ordinary city view slowly disappeared from the window. What you see today is the modern traveller at the internet shop plugging his camera into the computer and sends a full report to the beloved ones stayed behind. Writing letters or sending postcards are things of the past, and here’s my problem: I like the past.
So far I collected 162 images within the frame of station and the things around and turned it into a set on my Flickr account. Click here and you’re connected with the main page; find the set Bus & Station and making a journey throughout time. A random choice from different European countries, a bit of America and touch of Asia.
Anyone willing to distribute a card for the collection is most welcome. Who knows what’s hidden in an old box tucked away in a cupboard, lost on the attic or even cellar. It became a forgotten piece of paper unless it supports a personal memory but than why hidden in the drawer, it should be framed and standing on the mantelpiece.

Germany – Bahnhof Oberhausen with a bus ready for depart somewehere in the eighties.


About Robert von Hirschhorn

Author / Performer or in Dutch: schrijver / dichter
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