Postcard of Main Street

Postcards, once used as souvenirs, now help us reflect on what a small part of Main Street America used to look like. As highways spread across the nation, Main Street views like this changed and in some cases disappeared as travelers were diverted to roadside eateries away from small towns.
Date made
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 9.6 cm x 14 cm; 3 3/4 in x 5 1/2 in
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Edith B. and Frederick R. Bell
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


"What a nice surprise to see this photo in your collection! I grew up in that town, Chamberlain, SD. My father's drug store is on the corner, and I used to "get to " eat at the Derby Cafe once in a while, when "eating out " was a treat! Burgers (still the best in my memory) were 25 cents, fries were a 15 cents, and a glass of milk was a dime. Judging by the age of the cars, I'd guess the shot was taken in the late 1930's."

Add a comment about this object