Title: Authors offer looks at Louisville history
Author: Martha Elson
Publisher: Courier Journal
In the early part of the last century, sending penny postcards was a cheap and popular way to communicate among friends and family members.
Mail was picked up and delivered twice a day, and dinner guests might send a postcard in the morning to say they would arrive at 6 o'clock, said John Findling of Riedlonn, who has a new book out about the history of postcards in Louisville.
"Phone service was expensive and undependable, and a letter cost two or three times as much," he said. "Phone service was minimal until the late 1920s." Postcards were today's equivalent of a digital photo attached to an e-mail, he said.
His book, which reproduces more than 200 postcard images, is the "Louisville" entry in the "Postcard History Series" published by Arcadia Publishing, which has offices in Chicago; San Francisco; Charleston, S.C.; and Portsmouth, N.H.
Findling, a retired Indiana University Southeast history professor and stamp and postcard dealer who co-owns Collector's Stamps LTD in St. Matthews, will autograph copies Saturday at Carmichael's Bookstore in Crescent Hill.
He'll be joined by architect Steve Wiser, also of Riedlonn, who will autograph his latest history book, "Louisville Tapestry: People & Places Who Helped Create America's 'Most Livable City,'" published by the new Louisville Heritage Publications and printed by the local Merrick Printing Co.
The publishing entity was started by Wiser, with support from the Louisville Historical League, to issue modestly priced local history books such as his, which is $14.95.
Both Riedlonn authors are members of the league, but they say it's happenstance that they released their Louisville history books at the same time.
Findling's book serves to chronicle the history of the city and main towns in Southern Indiana from about 1905 to 1940.
Findling's shop, in a building at 4912 DuPont Circle, has a separate room from the stamp area with about 1,200 historical postcards.
Picture postcards came out in the 1890s, he said.
Findling also has co-edited two other books, a dictionary of the Olympics that became "Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement" and "Encyclopedia of World's Fairs and Expositions."
Wiser's other books include "Louisville Sites to See by DESIGN" and "Illustrated History of St. Frances of Rome Parish" in Clifton, a collaboration.
Among the "Louisville Tapestry" topics are the Olmsted Parks system, Abraham Lincoln's visit to Farmington, sculptors Enid Yandell (Hogan's Fountain) and Barney Bright, and street names.
The book is an outgrowth of the U.S. Conference of Mayors' recognition of Louisville as the "Most Livable Big City in America" in 2008.
"There are a lot of great things here," Wiser said, characterizing the city as having both a "big town" and "small town" feel.
Reporter Martha Elson can be reached at (502) 582-7061.