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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Vintage postcards show how travelers of yesteryear documented trip memoriesValley News, August 15th
A vintage postcard exhibition isácurrentlyáat the Temecula Valley Museum and showsáhow peopleácapturedámemories ofátheirátravelsáin the earlyá20thácentury. Theáexhibition, "The Grand Tour: 1908-1928",áis on loan fromáthe Muckenthaler Cultural ...Read more
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Here are postcard views through most of the 20th century of Seattle, focusing on Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, the waterfront, downtown, Seattle Center and other parts of town. This vintage postcard shows vendors selling produce to customers from...Read more
Smart Collector: Vintage postcards still sellArizona Daily Star, July 27th
A buyer from north Texas must be in cowboy heaven after buying a complete Lone Ranger outfit worn by actor Clayton Moore in parades, fairs and other public appearances following his retirement from acting. The outfit recently brought $195,000 at A and...Read more