Antique pictorial postcards provide a significant repository of historical
images, often uniquely recorded. Besides offering a tantalising glimpse into
the past, the human element captured in the fleeting messages preserved on the
back imbues them with a charm all of their own.
Here we have assembled a catalogue of postcards, widely sourced, featuring
Balmain scenes or relating in some way to the Balmain of old, which includes
Birchgrove and Rozelle, and also the surrounding islands – Glebe, Goat,
Cockatoo, Spectacle, and Snapper. While concentrated between about 1905 and
1915, they span over a century, beginning as early as 1880.
Each postcard, shown front and back, is described with historical
interpretation. A general introduction and several detailed appendices
describe historical aspects of postcard production and use. Apart from
providing essential information for dating purposes, they explain the
significance of postcards in social history at the turn of the 20th century.