Schenectady, NY

This was called the Great Western Gateway because it’s the most level route to the interior of the U.S. anywhere between Maine and Georgia. The “Great” part of the name fell out of use somewhere along the way.

Wilmington, DE

This card was sent by Bob to his mother in 1950. The message reads simply “having a lovely time”. A year later, he sent a nearly identical one. This time: “having an ace time on Dupont bowling trip”. Note the penthouse that was added to the building. On the one hand, it is possible that it was added during 1950. On the other hand, it is possible that the first card just airbrushed it away.

1950 would have been a prosperous year for the company, I think. Some combination of Mylar, Dacron, Orlon and Lycra would have been in the pipeline. Hosting a company-wide bowling tournament would have been no big deal, especially when you own the hotel and it’s in the same building as your corporate headquarters.

Given that one of these cards is postmarked from Pennsylvania and Bob elsewhere refers to driving here, I think he was based at the one of the satellite offices. And although there is no direct evidence for this, I suspect he was a pretty good bowler.

Elizabethtown, PA

I can’t quite imagine anyone sending this card – it seems too stark and intimate – but that could just be my modern sensibilities at work. I have seen plenty of cards sent from hospitals with messages that say “this is where I’m going to be for the next few days”. In this case, though, it would be more like “this is where I’m going to be for the remainder of my life”.