Postcards (sometimes spelled out in two words as "post cards") became popular at the turn of the 20th Century, especially for sending short messages to friends and relatives. They were collected right from the start, and are still sought after today by collectors of pop culture, photography, advertising, wartime memorabilia, local history, and many other categories.

Postcards were an international craze, published all over the world. The Detroit Publishing Co. and Teich & Co. were two of the major publishers in the U.S, and sometimes individuals printed their own postcards as well.

There are many types of collectible vintage postcards. Hold-to-light postcards were made with tissue paper surrounded by two pieces of regular paper, so light would shine through. Fold-out postcards, popular in the 1950s, had multiple postcards attached in a long strip. Real photograph postcards (RPPCs) are photographs with a postcard backing.

Novelty postcards were made using wood, aluminum, copper, and cork. Silk postcards–often embroidered or with a printed image–were wrapped around cardboard and sent in see-through glassine paper envelopes, and were especially popular during World War I. In the 1930s and 1940s, postcards were printed on brightly colored paper designed to look like linen.

Most vintage postcard collectors focus on themes, like Christmas, Halloween, portraits of movie stars, European royalty and U.S. presidents, wartime imagery, and photos of natural disasters. Not to mention cards featuring colorful pictures by famous artists like Alphonse Mucha, Harrison Fisher, Ellen Clapsaddle, and Frances Brundage.

With vintage postcards, subject matter, condition, and rarity, plus general desirability and demand, determine value.

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Andreas Praefcke's postcard collection of theatres and concert halls worldwide. Showcases 3700 images of over 1810 … [read review or visit site]

Tall Tale Postcards

Tall Tale Postcards

Don't let this one get away from you. This 'unbelievable' collection, from the Wisconsin Historical Society, featur… [read review or visit site]

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Elvis Presley Autograph Signed Las Vegas The Sands Casino Post Card Jsa Loa NrDavid Bowie Outside Tour Programme 1995 With Postcard SetGerman Empire Ww Ii, Very Rare Picture Postcard, Ss Forces / Police, Whw 1941 Ferrari Yearbook 1946 1966 Original Signed With Postcard Lm 250 275 330 P3 P4 66Ww1 Embroidered Silk Postcard Connaught RangersWoman Circus Performer W Fantastic Horse, Rose & Flag Tattoo Rppc Photo PostcardChina Old Postcard Registered Mail Tientsin Shanghai To Germany 1902 !!Orig Ww1 Real Photo Postcard, Recruits Passed For War Front 1914 Colac AustraliaPostcard Alligator Border Royal Palm Hotel + Miami River Fl FloridaIndia 1924 Everest Expedition Postcard With Vignette Used To EnglandSarawak 1906 Picture Postcard With 2 X 2c (sg 37/49) Used Kuching-london Malaya, Singapore Printed Postcard Of Derailed Train By Wild Elephant, Perak.John Lennon Autograph!!! Also Yoko Ono Autograph!! Postcard!!! Coa Included!!Ww1 Embroidered Silk Postcard - Bramshott Camp - Hampshire - Canadian Troops1966 Cincinnati Reds Team Postcard Pete Rose Psa 3 Vg (pwcc)Larry Doby Signed 1964 Hof Yellow Plaque Postcard Psa/dna AutoAntique Late 1800s German Chocolate Postcard Mold, Early Anton Reiche #517,rare!China 1906 Wei Hai Wei Postcard Used Coiling Dragons From TientsinRomania Very Nice & Rare Postcard Bucuresti - Iaroslau 1877 Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Clash Of Clans Account Coc Th9 Town Hall Lvl 9 Level 99 And Postcard!Postcard Album. Single Owner- 236 Cards. Staunton, Illinois Il Ill Georgi FamilyPrimitive Bunny Doll "marion" Antique Quilt Vintage Crinoline Post Card BunnyOld Christmas Hold To Light Htl Postcard 2 Girls Fighting Over Cat On ChristmasBc – Fernie, Shipping Houses To Fernie By Rail, After The Great Fire C.1908 RppcMalaya,singapore Printed Postcard Of Batu Gajah Railway Station, F.m.s. Stamp.Russia Propaganda Postcard Depicting Hitler As A Rabid Dog Used (#23212) * 1911 Car Ferry " Ann Arbour" Ontario Canada Rppc Pesha PhotoOriginal Signed Postcard Marilyn Monroe 1958!!!!!!!!1931, Postcard, Card, Pc From Iii.german Empire, 3rd Reich, Original, UsedKorea 1955 Postcard Chongjin To Csr, Soviet Friendship Set, Li Sun Sin, Order 1960's Baltimore Orioles Baseball Photo & Rare Steve Dalkowski PostcardPre-prohibition 1914 Popel-giller Co Brewery Scene Postcard Warsaw IllinoisShanghai Antique Postcard Set - Large Panorama - Bund Views With Original CoverWw I Rppc Turkish Fortress Artillerymen In Anatolia With German Advisor 1914Vintage Antique Halloween Postcard Chevrolet Car Dealership Postcard--linenAustralia 1914 Guillaux First Aerial Mail Postcard UsedNoblespirit No Reserve Outstanding Korea 1946 No.67 Fdc On Postcard, Scarce!Primitive Snowman St. Patrick's Day Doll Vintage Hat Crinoline Post Card!Joe Mccarthy Signed 1964 Hof Yellow Plaque Postcard Psa/dna AutoChina Used Post Card To Nepal 4f (operas Kuan Han-ching) 1960 Good UsedWwi 5th ? Light Horse Soldier Australian Photo Postcard Maryborough QldOriginal C1920 Stunning Rppc Of Waiting For The Train At Tollesbury VgcPostcard - Great Northern Railway, Glacier Park Advertising, J. ScheuerleRare & Near Mint!~aztec Camera~just Like Gold~1981 Postcard 7"~superb!Antique Late 1800s German Chocolate Postcard Mold, Early Anton Reiche #514,rare!Royal Flying Corps Photo PostcardEarly 1900's Jamestown, Mi - Electric Railway Station - Train Car Photo PostcardRppc Lewes Delaware Wreck On The BeachWw I Austria Rppc Austrian Machine Gunners Captured Russian Machine Gun 1917Anthropologie Postcard Black And White Tunic Top Lkn Sz LC1912-13 Rppc White Star Olympic Leaving Port "ancient & Modern"Bc – Port Essington, View Of Town, Cannery C.1909, P.e. Fisher RppcGerman Empire Wwii, Very Rare Anti-england Postcard, Propaganda, War Mailed 1940Antique Late 1800s German Chocolate Postcard Mold, Early Anton Reiche #511 Rare!Lilly Pulitzer Shift Dress ~ Boca Blue Postcard ~ Sz 10 Cotton ~ Lined Nwt!!!!Usa Postcard. Main Street, Somerfield, Pennsylvania. Unique Rural Scene! C 1910.German Empire, One Of The Rarest Zeppelin Picture Postcard, South America FlightWw I Bavarian Rppc Machine Gunners Of Infantrie-regiment 16 In FranceMuskegon, Michigan Rppc Postcard - Chicago And South Haven Steamship Company

Recent News: Postcards

Source: Google News

Portrait of a home: Helen Street residence boasts rich history
American Press, February 8th

The idea was loosely borrowed from her discovery of a vintage postcard lodged in a piece of antique furniture. The notes about the house are concise and to the point. Debbie concludes with a line about how much she and her husband love their home and ...Read more

Bill Buchanan, 90; was versatile Boston journalist
The Boston Globe, February 7th

A stickler for accuracy — woe be the reporter who called a street an avenue or a road a street — Mr. Buchanan saved a career's worth of articles and correspondence in a pair of four-drawer file cabinets. “He had a huge postcard collection...Read more

Preservation Foundation's new leader's favorite things in Palm Beach
Palm Beach Daily News, February 7th

Photographed at The Breakers, longtime Palm Beacher Pauline Pitt is the new chairwoman of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. Although she has another residence in Aspen, Colo., she says nothing competes with Palm Beach. “There's nowhere ...Read more

GUEST VIEW: Welcoming in new city historian Elaine Timm
Niagara Gazette, February 6th

In fact, after I recently moved into a new (130-year-old home) in the city of Niagara Falls, Elaine delved deep into my home's history and even surprised me with an antique postcard that featured my home in the early 1900s. Elaine truly loves the hunt...Read more

Renovated lodges in Amador County offer rustic charm
SFGate, February 5th

The setting: You can't miss the two-story brick building, circa 1879, in the center of Amador City, itself an antique postcard come to life. The six-room Imperial Hotel stands where Old Highway 49 crosses the river at a sharp curve. But just to make...Read more

Digital Watauga Project Presents Bobby Brendell Postcard Collection Exhibit Feb. 5
High Country Press, January 26th

The Digital Watauga Project is pleased to announce that it will sponsor an exhibition of the Bobby Brendell Postcard Collection at the Jones House Community Center during the month of February 2016. This free exhibition will feature more than 60...Read more

Vintage Postcards Show Life in Vietnam in the Early 20th Century
Global Voices Online, January 21st

Kurt Braun. Great job NY Public Library! If anyone is looking for a place to put their postcard collection - look no further than a SAFE Postcard Album - they are the best! Written byMong Palatino ...Read more

Show highlights vintage postcard art, January 20th

While tweets and posts may be assuming the role of paper missives in daily life, vintage postcards still have plenty of admirers, many of whom will gather Friday and Saturday at Tampa Stadium Hotel/Econolodge for the Sunshine Post Card Club's winter...Read more