Thursday, January 30, 2014

Travel Ambitions

This advertising postcard was used by Security Trust Company of Lexington, Kentucky in May 1910. Monthly calendar advertising postcards were fairly common from about 1909 to 1914. They were used mainly by banks and home furnishing companies. The calendar was sometimes on the front, and sometimes on the back of the card. This design was probably used by other banks as well.

The advertising message was in the form of a letter from a bank officer dated May 1st:
Dear Friend
   The greatest unsatisfied ambition of  the World is to travel. Without money travel is a locked door. Systematic saving will soon provide you with the funds to unlock the door.
   Travel is knowledge and knowledge is power. A little saved every week soon grows into a surplus large enough to enable you to visit the places so often described in song and story.
   Let us be your depository while creating this travel fund. Your money will accumulate at compound interest.
   Start the account today.
The bottom right side of the card indicates that it is "COPY'T '09 CHAMPION & PUTNAM CHI" (Chicago). The Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1910 Engravings, Prints Etc. Fine Arts has this entry:
Nos. 1-12. [Advertising cards.] ©
Dec. 15, 1909 ; 2 c. each Dec. 17, 1909 ;
K 4990-5001.
The back has an engraving of the Security Trust Building, and someone has found space to write a personal note.

Here is an enlarged view of the Security Trust Company building from the back of the postcard:

The Security Trust Building at 269-275 West Short Street in downtown Lexington, Kentucky was the home of the Security Trust & Safety Vault Company. The following information about the building is from UrbanUp:
Construction on the Beaux-Arts Baroque-styled tower began in 1904 by the Hendricks Bros. Company in an unusual manner. A five story section of the building was erected at the corner of Short and Mill streets, and when the western wing was completed, the bank relocated from the Rowe-designed building into the partially finished tower. The old bank building was then demolished and replaced with the eastern wing of the building, and then an additional three stories were added to the top of both wings. The entire building was finished in 1905 and was Lexington’s tallest structure. Interior features included prismatic glass blocks in the sidewalk to partially light the basement, white enameled brick in the interior lightwell to reflect light into the center of the tower and the flexibility of office space on the upper floors.

Here is a Google view of the building from May 2012. I was unable to determine the current status of the building. UrbanUp reported that a restoration proposal was denied in 2010 due to inappropriate materials in the proposal.

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For More Vintage Images


  1. The invitation to save money for traveling, or anything else for that matter, with Security Trust was probably a good idea. Interesting information about Security Trust Company of Lexington, KY is that in 1961, against many of its shareholders' wishes, they merged with First Nat'l Bank & Trust Company, becoming First Security Nat'l Bank & Trust Co. of Lexington which meant shareholders in both companies saw the worth of their stock drop. In the combined company Security Trust shareholders lost 60% of the worth of their shares; First Nat'l shareholders lost 40%. Had I been a shareholder of either company, I don't suppose I would have been too happy about it either. A suit was actually brought against Security Trust re: the merger, but the court ruled in favor of the company's corporate council and the merger went ahead as planned.

  2. What an interesting way to get people to invest with them. If only banks were so inventive with their advertising these days!

  3. What a fabulous card that is. What a better place it would be if bankers these days encouraged people to travel rather than get rich quick by some dodgy investments. I rest my (suit)case

  4. What a perfect picture for the prompt. If only I could find something in my collection to match. Why did they never take a photo of a perfectly packed suitcase??

  5. A wonderful first image to match the prompt. and a fascinating sideline on banking.

  6. I love seeing the building today -- great post!

  7. You couldn't do much traveling today by investing with a savings account. compound interest! That's a laugh.
    What an interesting post, though. a nice twist on the theme.
    Ladies of the Grove

  8. just look at that You've done it again....with the bags packed ready to go too.

  9. This is a truly great card and bank building. Hope developers don't ruin it. Bank help to travel is a bit selective these days; they withdraw your travel insurance when you get to a certain age.

  10. It is amazing to what lengths some people or companies will go, to get it done!

  11. I like the image of the travellers and the bank book that has paid for all the travel, the imaginary journey of fold-out postcard places and of course that so important suitcase. I couldn't work out where the prismatic glass blocks were, it says sidewalk which I took to mean outside but then it mentions interior.

  12. I love the positive message for travelling. Perhaps now with TV and the world wide web people feel they don't need to travel to get knowledge..which is a shame.

  13. Love the postcard, and the creative advertising! So preferable to irritating internet "popups" and spam we have today! But, I really love the follow up history and pictures! So well done! Love learning something new!

  14. The couple are dressed in their traveling garb which would be appropriate for the era when trains and ships took days to reach their destination. It would be over 50 years before someone updated the card with a picture of an airplane.

  15. Great idea to have a calendar on the card - useful too. A very interesting piece of history.

  16. With Sepia Saturday it is like playing a word association game each week. Suitcase - travel , what else could it be ! An interesting post. Their method of advertising is not that different to the unsolicited advertising that is placed in my letter box these days Sometimes it is even in the form of a rubbery fridg magnet with school holidays etc marked. So useful but what a subtle way of advertising.

  17. I remember those little calendars stapled to ads for banks, hardware stores, etc. But I never had one on a postcard.


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