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.

This huge collection of Swedish postcards captures 100 years of history in images
Sundsvall in 1920. Photo: Expedia

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

READ ALSO: Six super Swedish Easter traditions

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.



VIDEO: Three times Sweden poked fun at Eurovision

With Sweden one of the favourites to win Eurovision this year, let's take a look at the times when the country showed up the sheer ridiculousness of the song contest.

VIDEO: Three times Sweden poked fun at Eurovision

Eurovision is often known for eyebrow-raising entries featuring bizarre local traditions or, frankly, eccentric outfits. Although Sweden takes the contest seriously when it comes to its song entries, that doesn’t mean Swedes don’t sometimes celebrate the weirdness of Eurovision.

Love Love Peace Peace

Who could forget Måns Zelmerlöv and Petra Mede’s run as Eurovision presenters in Stockholm in 2016? Zelmerlöw, who won the contest the year before in Vienna, was joined by comedian Mede, who had presented the contest in Malmö three years earlier.

The two performed a sketch titled, “Love Love Peace Peace”, an attempt to make the perfect winning Eurovision song. The clip features former winners Lordi who won for Finland in 2006, and Alexander Rybak, the Norwegian violinist who won for Norway in 2009.

Watch the clip below and see how many references to previous Eurovision entries you can recognise.



In this bizarre clip from Sweden’s Eurovision Song Contest qualifiers Melodifestivalen in 2009, Swedish comedy group Grotesco perform a mid-show sketch full of Russian stereotypes, including Cossack dancers, matryoshka stacking dolls, and a chorus of men dressed like Russian soldiers. The choreography also featured several scantily clad women wearing tight-fitting shorts with a single red star splaying their legs toward the camera in unison.

The clip caused controversy in Russia, after The Local reached out to Russia’s embassy in Stockholm for a comment – a spokesperson called the song “offensive” and “disconnected”, and condemned the sketch in an official statement:

“We do not react to eccentricity by some lunatics whose Russophobia should place them in an asylum rather than on Globen’s stage.”

See the clip for yourself here:


Lill Lindfors and her wardrobe malfunction

Lill Lindfors, a Finnish-Swedish singer and comedian, presented the 1985 Eurovision Song Contest in Gothenburg following Sweden’s win the previous year in Luxembourg.

Prior to hosting Eurovision in 1985, she had placed second in the 1966 contest with the song “Nygammal vals”.

In a clip which reportedly displeased the European Broadcasting Union who manage the contest, the bottom half of Lindfors’ dress was ripped off by a piece of set, exposing her underwear.

Lindfors paused, feigning shock, before quickly pulling a new dress down from the remaining top half of her outfit.

You can watch the iconic moment here (narrated by Terry Wogan, the BBC’s Eurovision commentator for many years) and decide for yourself whether it was meant to happen or not: