A collector’s postcards stir memories of his lifelong link to Lucy

achotel_0013 [800x600]Doesn’t everybody collect something? Their reasons and manner vary enormously. There are collectors of ancient artifacts, first day covers, comic books, Pez dispensers, medieval armor, a myriad of other items—and thankfully, old postcards.

2 Lucy pix (Copy)Perhaps a bigger draw for website visitors here than even the archive of Riverton images is the collection of vintage views of the New Jersey shore, possibly because they trigger so many fond memories of summers gone by.

Enjoy these images from a collector who has been a fan of Margate’s Lucy the Elephant for more than sixty years. He writes:

Lucy 018As you can readily see, postcard image #18 is a most unusual pair of views (divided) of the interior of Lucy.  This is essentially how she appears now.  No longer is she compartmentalized as she was originally with numerous interior “closets” or rooms.  Today, she is a large, cavernous room with two doors for gaining access to the “howdah” which sits atop this historic landmark.  Spectacular views can be had from the lofty perch as one gets a 360 degree panoramic view of the surroundings.

The view on the left side of this postcard is looking toward the front or head of Lucy.  Two circular windows or portholes are the eyes of Lucy through which patrons can look out of after climbing a short set of stairs.  The view on the right side of this image was taken facing the rear-end of Lucy with an entrance and an exit via the spiral staircases in each hind leg.

stuffed LucyNotably, Lucy is six-stories high and built in 1881 was designed after an Asian elephant.  This tourist attraction has served as a home, a tavern, and now has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.  As the viewer can readily see, we are told that the interior is painted in its original color, a “gastric pink” if you will.

According to architect Margaret Westfield, “Lucy is actually a male.” This is because female Asian elephants do not have big tusks!

For a fact-filled history of Lucy and detailed description of her, er… his dimensions, go right to the experts at lucytheelephant.org

Check out the Official Lucy Plush while you are there.

Enjoy these old and not-so-old views of Lucy. – JMc



Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

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