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Cosmopolitan Club Postcards

Written by Breana McCracken

The Cosmopolitan Club was founded in 1907, making it the oldest international student organization on the University of Illinois campus. The purpose of the club was to cultivate social and Cosmopolitan Club post cardintellectual relationships between persons of different nationalities though a variety of activities and services. These activities included ethnic dinners, international coffee hours, parties, and various outings to cultural and social events and local attractions. The Cosmopolitan Club, or “Cosmo” Club for short, wished to offer opportunities for Americans and those from other countries to share experiences and exchange ideas. In addition to the programs, the Cosmo Club house on John Street served as a “home away from home” for several members and as a meeting place close to campus.

Recently, the Student Life and Culture (SLC) Archives acquired more materials related to the Cosmopolitan Club. These items included brochures, international dinner menus, club calendars, newsletters, and various items related to social activities and administrative proceedings of the club. All of the newest material was donated by Susan Taylor, faculty advisor of the Cosmopolitan Club and Assistant Professor of English as an International Language from 1964 to 1999.

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Greetings from Illinois: A Journey Through Postcards

U of I Commencement, 1913 RS 39/2/28
U of I Commencement, 1913 RS 39/2/28

Written by Anna Trammell

As the end of the academic year draws near, Illini all over campus are daydreaming about summer travels on the horizon. Since the end of the 19th century, one of the primary hallmarks of travel has been the postcard. The first American postcard was copyrighted by John Charlton in 1861.[1] In 1873, government issued  “postal cards” with a one-cent postage fee debuted.[2] At the 1893 World Colombian Exhibition in Chicago, picture postcards were sold as souvenirs.[3]

From there, postcard collecting and mailing increased in popularity and public demand eventually forced congress to grant the one-cent rate to privately printed cards in 1898.[4]

Postcards reached the height of their popularity in the first decades of the 20th century with over nine hundred million cards mailed in 1913 alone.[5] Continue reading “Greetings from Illinois: A Journey Through Postcards”