Postcards 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 Curt-Teich 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...
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 WW1. 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.
Interviews & Articles
Immediately following World War I, the German economy was in shambles as it struggled to pay heavy war reparations. The German peo… [more]
In 1994, I had the great pleasure of acquiring the complete archive of Walker Evans for the Metropolitan Museum. The archive is qu… [more]
I worked for 35 years as a reference librarian with the Madison Public Library and I just got interested in Madison’s history thro… [more]
Andreas Praefcke (Ravensburg, Germany) collects postcards of old and new theatre buildings worldwide. His complete collection can … [more]
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Memory Lane: Can you name these mystery grand houses?Diss Express, May 19th
Mr Cross, a postcard collector, has long being intersted in the area's architectural and working heritage, not only collecting postcards, but trying to identify the buildings and people that once lived or worked there. Although he is usually able to...Read more
Waging the War on Weeds - eCatalina.comCatalina Island News (press release), May 18th
Several brooms, depicted on a vintage postcard of the hotel's front lawn, show the view from the St. Catherine facing the Catalina Casino, which the card stated was “newly built” (the Casino was completed in 1929). Other evidence states that flax-leaf...Read more
Bad postcard of the week: Bridgman's Cook Nuclear Center has a nice lobby, but ...MLive.com, May 18th
Nuclear plant0001.jpg View full sizeThe Cook Nuclear Center in Bridgman, Mich. has an attractive lobby.Bad postcard collection. GRAND RAPIDS, MI – I remember growing up in the late 1970s and hip California musicians such as Jackson Browne and...Read more
Kenyon Leader colunmist John Cole has passed awaySouthernminn.com, May 17th
Kenyon historian John Cole recently dispersed the greater part of his extensive Minnesota town postcard collection. (Terri Washburn/The Kenyon Leader). Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 4:52 pm. Kenyon Leader colunmist John Cole has passed away By Terri...Read more
Weekend Guide: Cranbury Drug Free FairPatch.com, May 17th
Peruse Cranbury's Past. The Cranbury Public Library is holding an event that delves into Cranbury's past through postcards. Resident David Cook will share his Cranbury postcard collection and speak about the process of collecting. This begins at 7 p.m...Read more
Greater Austin Antique Postcard and Paper Show Has New Venue, New DatesPR Web (press release), May 17th
Buyers and sellers from seven states bring nearly a million antique postcards for sale at the Postcard and Paper Americana show. They also buy collections and accumulations and give free appraisals of most all vintage postcards, old photographs, and...Read more
Smale Park Carousel input invited this weekendCincinnati.com (blog), May 16th
The Main Library shows A Place of Beauty, Health and Play: A History of Cincinnati Park, through May 30, a display showcasing iconic images of 17 parks including Ault, Eden, Lincoln, Mount Echo and Washington parks from their historic postcard collection...Read more
Vintage Postcards Awake Memories of Tianjin - China DailyChina Daily, May 8th
Tianjing Documentaries. Vintage Postcards Awake Memories of Tianjin. comment; printer; mail. | Updated: 2013-05-08 16:18:01 |By |. Get Flash Player. These 5,000-plus postcards were carefully selected by Zhao Jianqiang from a larger pool of collections...Read more