Signs, Signs, Everywhere are signs...

Imagine if you will a small bustling seaport city in North America. This is the turn of the 20th century on Water Street in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Those were the days of horse and buggy, cobble stone streets, gas street lamps and no telephone poles or electrical wires cluttering the view.

But every postcard has a story and this one is no different. There is something odd about this old postcard. Maybe it's not as old as one would think? One sign in it is much clearer than the rest. Check out that Kray's sign. The photograph doesn't show other signs that clear does it? Kray's was a clothing store in Newburyport that was around from the 1800's to the early 1990's.

postcard, horse, buggy, newburyport, 1900
Postcard: Doug Peabody

Upon further investigation (simply flipping over the card) it's disclosed that this card was postmarked in 1976 and has 9 cents of postage on the back. Kray's evidently had the photo doctored to enhance their sign in the old photo. Kray's started business here and ended business on Pleasant street a few blocks away. Kray's used these postcards to promote a "private" sale for their best customers.

The lower Google Street View photo Kray's is no longer in existence. A few buildings to the left are gone, victims of urban renewal in the 1960's. A redesigned Market Square, off in the distance, was once criss crossed with several telephone and electrical wires. but those are gone as well. Wiring was put below ground as part of the urban renewal plan. The result is almost the same unobstructed view as the old photo. Newburyport also brought back the "gas" now electric, street lamps that are smartly decorated with baskets of summer flowers.

Google Street View
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