This huge collection of Swedish postcards captures 100 years of history in images

Lee Roden
Lee Roden - [email protected] • 30 Aug, 2017 Updated Wed 30 Aug 2017 16:00 CEST
This huge collection of Swedish postcards captures 100 years of history in images

A new campaign from a travel firm has detailed a century of Swedish history in images by collating postcards of six different cities from the 1800s to the late 1900s.


Expedia gathered postcards from enthusiasts covering the 1890s through to the 1980s. They chose six Swedish cities from across the country: Umeå, Sundsvall, Filipstad, Karlstad, Kalmar and Kristianstad.

Lars Owe Helmersson from Filipstad, one of the collectors who submitted cards to the campaign, said he feels the older examples are more special than modern varieties.

"They all have their different charm. The appeal is you get a closer insight into the life the person who wrote the card might have had. The cards I collect are from the 1890s up to the 1960s. I feel the ones produced after that, the more modern cards, lost their charm," he told The Local.

Kristianstad in 1910. Photo: Expedia

Umeå in 1905. Photo: Expedia

“A lot of the cards give the viewer a snapshot of how the time period may look. What people were wearing, clothes, horses, cars and trains," he added.

Along with the notable changes in clothing and transportation, the impact of advancements in photography can also be observed, and some old-fashioned special effects also appear in one example of an Easter card from Karlstad in the 1950s.

A traditional Swedish "easter witch" flying through Karlstad. Photo: Expedia

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Mikael Blomquist, who is from Karlstad, said he likes the cards from the middle of the 20th century where a lot of changes were taking place in a short time.

"My favourite period is the 50s and 60s. More traffic started appearing on the cards – cars, buses, trains and trams. I find the modern postcards very bland and boring."

Karlstad in the 1940s. Photo: Expedia

Blomquist also shared a card that is not part of the project depicting the Swedish capital Stockholm in the late 1800s, as well as an institution still standing to this day: Grand Hotel.

"This card was issued during the Stockholm exhibition in 1897, drawn by Anna Palm. The reason it’s my favourite is due to the fact that it’s very realistic. It’s like a piece of art."

Stockholm's Grand Hotel is still an iconic destination to this day. Photo: Mikael Blomquist

See more of the cards in the interactive widget below.



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