Helen’s Postcards

In 1907 Helen left school and began working to help support her large, Polish immigrant family in Buffalo, New York. For the next 11 years, until her marriage in 1918, she kept every postcard she received in a large scrapbook. A century later, the scrapbook remains intact. Helen's Postcards is a book featuring many postcards from her collection. The messages written on the postcards help tell the story of a young woman, her family and friends. The story portrays life in a different era, though as you begin to read the postcards, you might feel as if you are reading the sort of messages sent and received via email, text or social media in the 21st Century.

Creating the Book

To create this book both sides of every postcard was digitized and cataloged.  As interesting as the original postcard book is, some cards are more noteworthy than others. To reproduce the postcard book, it was clear that one could capture the spirit of the original without reproducing the postcard 

book in its entirety.  The goal was not to create an academic, documentation of the original. 

The author preferred to create a book that would be a pleasure to page through — much like the 

experience of paging through the original book with Helen and hearing her stories.

About the Author

Scott "Tofu" St. John is a great grandson of Helen Thrun Nadratowski. He is an artist whose work includes painting, mixed media collages and handmade postcards. His work can be seen at tofuart.com 

He also is a writer of software user guides, art blogger and the author of a pair of English as a Second Language books. Born in Buffalo and raised on the East Coast he has lived at home in San Francisco for many years.

Collage Dreams is his new postcard-themed book created in 2021.

Helen's Postcards

By Scott St. John

78 pages, published 7/20/2015

Purchase book for $19.95
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