15 Vividly Vintage Postcards of Boston

"You don't know beans until you come to Boston."

In an age where traveling is often documented religiously on Instagram for all to see, good ol’ fashioned snail mail can be a welcome change of pace. Postcards aren’t yet a lost art, but these vintage ones of Boston from the ’30s and ’40s offer a peek at city life through a retro lens.

Printed by Boston-based printing firm Tichnor Brothers Inc., this collection of postcards in the Boston Public Library’s Digital Commonwealth archive showcases colorful, textured snapshots of the Common, the Charles, and plenty of spots beloved by locals and tourists alike. Here, find 15 of our favorites.

1. The Boston Common and the State House

2. The City’s Slogan in the Mid-1900s

3. The Lake in the Public Garden

4. The George Washington Monument in the Public Garden

5. Boston Light

6. Commonwealth Avenue

7. The Frog Pond During Summertime

8. The Hatch Shell

9. Tremont Street

10. The Museum of Fine Arts

11. The Frog Pond

12. The Copley Plaza’s Merry-Go-Round Bar (Yes, it existed.)

13. Azaleas on Bussey Hill in the Arnold Arboretum

14. The BPL and Old South Church

15. An Aerial View of the Public Garden