Those who dare to uncover Palmerton's early years no longer have to delve deep into the vault.

Rather than search through old records, they can now trace the borough's early beginnings through a brief visual and written history as told through the medium of the postcard.

Published by the Palmerton Area Historical Society, "Messages From Palmerton - The First Fifty Years, showcases messages that appeared on a Palmerton area postcard nearly a century ago.

The momento is a 64-page, full color history that captures the borough's early years, and gives a unique and interesting look into life in those days, said Peter Kern, historical society member.

Kern said the piece was created in celebration of the centennial of the community's incorporation, which will be held on Oct. 14, 2012. The borough was officially incorporated on Oct. 14, 1912.

"The Historical Society chose a different approach to mark the borough's centennial," Kern said. "Instead of a traditional album of photos, the Society asked its members to submit cards that contained interesting messages."

Over 60 messages were chosen and arranged in a chronological sequence that started in 1906, and concluded in 1947, Kern said.

Both the front and address sides of the cards are shown, and the messages they convey are both amusing and informative, Kern said.

One, which depicts a 1908 image of Palmerton Hospital and mailed in 1910, refers to the 'scene of the old hospital' on the card, and tells of the construction that is occurring on a major addition, Kern said. Another, mailed in 1916, at the height of the conflict in Europe, expresses concern - 'I thought you were in the European war not hearing anything about you, he said.

Kern said the postcard history is the first publication of the Historical Society since the 1998 "History of Palmerton" sold out a 1,000 copy printing.

The present book has also been printed in a limited, signed and numbered edition, and is available at the Palmerton Area Heritage Center at $20 per copy.

Copies may be obtained by first class mail for an additional $5 shipping, postage and handling costs. Orders may be sent to the Historical Society at 410 Delaware Avenue, Palmerton Pa 18071.

For more information, call (610) 824-6954.