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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'I wish people would think about preserving all year round'Montreal Gazette, April 21st
There's a charming vintage postcard tacked up in the Montreal storefront of Preservation Society, a small-batch producer of wonderfully imaginative and delicious preserves. “You can't preserve yourself by getting pickled,” it reads. This is true, of...Read more
Questions & answers about the Central High School Festival All-Year Blowout ...Frost Illustrated, April 21st
Fort Wayne's Central High School (1922-1971) boasts one of the city's powerful historical narratives. In Fort Wayne's past, this high school wielded considerable influence in terms of academic excellence, athletic dominance and the desegregation of ...Read more
A 20th century reminder of slavery joins an exhibit at The Historic New ...NOLA.com, April 20th
While Freedman was visiting the exhibit, Greenwald said he asked her if the collection had such a postcard. When she replied that it did not, she said he offered to send her one from his postcard collection. It was added to the exhibit on Wednesday...Read more
Nottingham vintage postcards being sold on eBay from Israel and ItalyNottingham Post, April 13th
Prices range from pennies to nearly £50 each for images showing the fire at Whitehalls Factory in 1905 and the River Trent in the 1930's. There are currently more than 200 listings on the site with some of the more expensive cards being sold from as...Read more
Lucille Ball and JFK Thought The Poconos Were Pretty SwellCurbed National, April 9th
There was a time when the Poconos were hip and happening. One of America's honeymoon (or post-honeymoon) destinations of choice after the first honeymoon resort was established by Rudolf Von Hoevenberg in 1945, more elaborate and family-friendly ...Read more
A Look into the Smithsonian's Past with Vintage PostcardsCurbed DC, March 25th
Dating back to roughly 1907, this vintage postcard depicts the U.S. Patent Building. During this time, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum were not established yet. The gallery was known as the National Gallery of Art...Read more
Take a Peek at the Cooper-Hewitt's Vintage Postcards GalleryCurbed National, March 24th
It's #MuseumWeek! a.k.a Twitter's concerted effort to encourage all the world's cultural institutions to share the incredible wealth of information hidden within their walls...in 140 characters. The freshly overhauled Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New...Read more
Vintage postcards help preserve St. Lawrence County's pastWatertownDailyTimes.com, March 22nd
Fred H. Rollins, museum aide for library and archives at the Potsdam Public Museum, is silhouetted against a projection of a postcard bearing a Washington 2-cent stamp during a lecture at the Silas Wright House in Canton on Thursday afternoon as part...Read more