New York City was a different place in the 1940s. It was a time before video billboards and LED lights, and skyscrapers were still a source of city-wide awe and pride. Everyone who lived in this glamorous city (and everyone who visited) wanted to show those architectural marvels off—and postcards were a perfect medium.

Remember postcards? Back in the days before camera phones and Instagram, these pocket-sized snapshots were a great way to document your travels. And nothing made Sue down the street more jealous than a postmark from the Empire State Building. Luckily, not all of these artifacts ended up in the trash heap after they'd fallen off the fridge.

Images via Flickr / DominusVobiscum / Boston Public Library