Guide to the Victor A. Blenkle Postcard Collection, circa 1880-circa 1970
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0200
Creators:
National Philatelic Collection, Smithsonian Institution.
Extractive Industries, Division of.
Blenkle, Victor A., Dr., 1900-1978 (physician)
Dates:
circa 1880-circa 1970
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
10 Cubic feet
29 boxes
Repository:
This collection consists of postcards gathered by Dr. Victor A. Blenkle, a twentieth century physician. The postcards primarily concern geographical locations and landmarks in the United States and Western Europe, but also include materials from six other continents.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Blenkle Collection consists of 29 boxes of postcards, principally about geographical locations, landmarks, monuments and other buildings of interest around the world. The bulk of the cards are about the United States and Western Europe, but countries in 6 continents are represented. The earliest cards included date from the late 1880s and the latest card date from the mid-1970s. The cards are arranged in alphabetical order by state name, name of country, and then specific locations.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is divided into four series:
Series 1 includes 16 boxes of cards about geographical locations within the United States. These cards are organized first by state in alphabetical order, secondly by city or place name (for example, Grand Canyon). Cities or locations with fewer than three postcards are arranged into general categories such as "Cities". Cards with no clear location are grouped by illustrated subject, such as "Winter Scenes."
Series 2 consists of 9 boxes of cards about places outside the United States. These cards are in alphabetical order by name Of country, and then by city, location or geographical name,also in alphabetical order. The names of countries are used as listed on the card. For example, most of the German cards appear to date from before the division into East and West Germany, consequently, the name is listed as Germany, with no regard for the location of a place between 1945 and 1990.
Series 3 consists of 4 boxes of cards organized by subject. These are the only cards without specific geographical locations.
Series 4 consists of 1 box of cards and letters written by Dr. Blenkle or what appear to be members of his family.
Divided into 3 series: (1) U.S.A., (2) Foreign (mostly Europe), (3) Subjects. Arranged geographically and alphabetically.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Blenkle Collection of Postcards was collected by Dr. Victor A. Blenkle, who lived in New Jersey. Little was known about Dr. Blenkle until Ms. Lorraine Clemente, his great-niece, supplied biographical information in 2006. All relevant curators involved in this acquisition are now deceased. Through processing, some conclusions were reached based on evidence contained within the collection itself.
Victor A. Blenkle (born December 15, 1900; died April 15, 1978) was one of six children; his siblings were Ferdinand, Herbert, Albert, Helene, and Julius. His parents, Ferdinand and Bertha, probably emigrated to the United States from Germany in the 1890s (his father was born in 1871). Victor Blenkle practiced medicine in Teaneck, N.J., where he was affiliated with Holy Name Hospital; his wife's name was Elsie. Blenkle was active in medical organizations and was a founder of Family Practice of New Jersey. He served in both World Wars, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. Many of the postcards in this collection were from Blenkle's patients, as well as family members. (Ms. Lorraine Clemente, great-niece of Victor Blenkle, supplied biographical information in 2006.)
We do not know when Dr. Blenkle began collecting postcards, but cards sent to him or with what appears to be his handwriting begin in the 1920s. It seems as if Blenkle also either purchased or traded for collections that were originally owned by others. For example, within the overall Blenkle collection, there are three smaller groups of cards of earlier origin. Some of these include the earliest materials in the collection, dating from the late 1880s and 1890s. These three smaller groups include a group of cards sent to (and some sent by) a Reverend Leach in Noroton, Connecticut who was a Lutheran minister. He also apparently ran some kind of a Bible study by mail program and so received a number of cards from those interested in the Bible. Another group of cards sent to addresses in Elgin, Illinois and other related Midwestern locations by members of an extended family and some of their friends between about 1895 and 1910. A third set of cards includes smaller group of cards sent by a group of family and friends in Wisconsin, apparently centering on Milwaukee. All of these include messages written on front or back and postmarks.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection processed by Faith Davis Ruffins and Ramona Williamson, September 1991
Author
Fath Davis Ruffins and Ramona Williamson
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Bequeathed to the Smithsonian Institution by Victor A. Blankle in 1977.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Preferred Citation
Victor A. Blenkle Postcard Collection, c. 1880-c. 1970, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number X, folder number XX

Custodial History
Custodial History
The Blenkle Collection was acquired by the National Philatelic Collection (National Museum of History and Technology, Smithsonian Institution) as a bequest in 1977, then transferred to the Division of Extractive Industries the same years. Transferred to the Archives Center, 1983.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Monuments -- Postcards Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Buildings -- Postcards Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Europe -- Postcards Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tourism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Postcards Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Picture postcards -- Photomechanical Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Picture postcards Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Photomechanical prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographic postcards Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Extractive Industries, Division of. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives