Wauconda, Illinois: World's Largest Public Collection of Postcards (Gone)

2.5 million vintage postcards. Collection closed in Oct. 2016; moving to the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Lake County Discovery Museum

Lake County Discovery Museum. In Lakewood Forest Preserve in southwest Lake County. The entrance and parking area are on Route 176 west of Fairfield Rd in Wauconda. Follow signs to the Museum.
Closed Oct. 2016.

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Bunyan, Babe and Eiffel Tower.

World's Largest Public Collection of Postcards

The world's largest public collection of postcards, the Curt Teich Archives, can be found at the Lake County Discovery Museum, which is in the Lakewood Forest Preserve. If you're expecting boxes and crates of postcards stretching as far as the eye can see (like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark) you'll be a little disappointed, because most of the collection is tucked away in other buildings.

However, the Discovery Museum does have a nice exhibit illustrating the history of postcards, featuring a small-scale version of the Paul Bunyan and Babe in Bemidji, Minnesota, standing next to the base of the Eiffel Tower. Why Paul Bunyan and the Eiffel Tower? Apparently, those post card images were sent a lot. For example, during the 1950s and 1960s, the Bemidji Bunyan and Babe were the second most photographed site in the U.S. after Niagara Falls.

[John Takao Collier, 11/12/2015]

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