John E. Findling
Arcadia Publishing, 2009 - History - 127 pages
Founded in 1778 as a portage point on the lower Ohio River, Louisville was closely tied to river commerce for a century. In the 1880s, the Southern Exposition and the growth of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad did much to establish the city as an important commercial link between the North and South. By 1900, Louisville was the 18th largest city in America, with a population of just over 200,000. The city had a vibrant downtown with elegant office buildings and hotels and one of the finest park systems in the country, designed by the Olmsted brothers in the 1890s. In Louisville, more than 200 postcards present a visual record of the institutions, prosperity, and charm of the river city.
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Arcadia's Postcards series offer a nostalgic view of their subjects due to the time frame of vintage cards. John Findling, a retired History professor who taught many years at Indiana University Southeast in nearby New Albany, IN, offers a unique perspective. His large collection of Louisville and area cards, as well as access to the definitive collection of Louis Cohen, has enabled him to present an assortment of cards that are not the run of the mill views of Louisville. His presentation of the cards in a geographical format is unique among the series, yet reflects Louisville and its growth during the period extremely well. Arcadia's series format prevents in depth description text on the cards but Findling makes a good effort in providing background info in the limited space. Highly recommended for any one interested in the Louisville KY area.