Since I have not had time to go home and get the collection of post cards I kept as a child I have decided to analyze two of the ones that I purchased last year at the NJ State Museum in Trenton. Many travelers need to pass the bridge to get to the museum so they usually see it on their way there or at least on their way back.
Both of the images display the iconic Trenton Makes the World Takes bridge in them. I believe that the creators of these postcards chose to include the bridge in the postcard because it is rather well known people and therefore, gives that sense of “I saw it. I was there.”
This bridge has recently been shown in movie One for Money (based on Janet Evanovich’s best selling book, the first in the Stephanie Plum series) which opened in theaters last Friday. A decision that I believe the director made to lend authenticity to the setting. For more information about the bridge and its history please refer to my blog post from Core II. http://driker.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/71/
The first postcard not only incorporates the bridge but the city in the background as well, giving the receiver a sense of Trenton itself. It shows a blue sky, fluffy white clouds, and the rushing Delaware River. Trenton is perceived as being off in the distance, beyond the bridge, an explanation of what the sign represents. The blue sky and clouds give it a friendly feel, like this is where everything is happening. This is where it’s all being made. The traveler should want to visit and be a part of it.
The second post card focuses more entirely on the bridge. The sign is set against the fading sunlight. The water is tranquil up close and gets rougher as the sign is shown brighter against the sun. The reflection of the bridge against the tranquil water gives the city a softer feel, more natural, less busy than the first one. The trees in the background give the viewer a feeling of nature and makes them forget about the highway running through it. The photograph beckons you to visit such a beautiful place and undercuts the harshness usually associated with city life.