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 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. 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 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.


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Recent News: Postcards

Source: Google News

People pay this artist $100 to send them hate mail: 'I'm not as offensive in ...
National Post, July 31st

“I collect vintage postcards and I was looking at them thinking, 'Why don't I send someone a postcard?' So I went onto Twitter and said, 'I will send an offensive postcard to the first person who replies to this tweet.' And 50 people replied in a...Read more

Free Admission at PAMA extended until September 6
Region of Peel (press release), July 31st

Wish You Were Here Postcard Collection (June 15 to Aug. 28): Visit the Archives Reading Room to see this exhibition of summer inspired postcards and photographs. Archives hours do vary from regular PAMA hours. Long Moments by Olex Wlasenko (June ...Read more

Old pics needed for online community archive
Echo, July 31st

Thundersley&Daws Heath – A History, by Robert Hallmann. There is still an opportunity for people to loan their own collections or items of historic interest, whether these be vintage postcards or family album snaps depicting the family life of...Read more

Hot Ticket: Six Picks for This Week's Heat Wave
KQED, July 29th

Look no further than the Vintage Paper Fair, the annual gathering of typography geeks and stationery savants alike, where you can stock up on antique postcards, advertising, pinup art, local history, sports, entertainment and transportation memorabilia...Read more

Vintage Australian postcards experience growth in popularity as window to the past
ABC Online, July 27th

A century after they were posted, the images on the front, the stamps used and the text on the back of early 1900s postcards have become a window into a world which has been lost. Postcard collector John Besemeres started buying the tourist cards 25...Read more

Dealers, collectors expected at Postcard Show
Bristol Press, July 21st

Bristol Historical Society President Tom Dickau, himself an avid postcard collector for more than 35 years, will offer free appraisals of postcards and paper collectibles. A video presentation of over 300 vintage postcards of Bristol and Forestville...Read more

Antique postcards show San Antonio in early 1900s
mySanAntonio.com (blog), July 9th

Some have stayed very much the same, while others have changed drastically. Then, keep clicking through the slideshow to take a look at other vintage postcards from Texas, that show off the best of the Lone Star State in the early- to mid-20th Century...Read more

Vintage postcard exhibit in Wickenburg
azcentral.com, June 30th

2 CONNECT 3 TWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE. Bill Green has spent decades collecting vintage postcards about Wickenburg, but until now, he's never had them in an exhibit. "Wish You Were Here: Bill Green's Wickenburg Postcards" at the Desert ...Read more