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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Postcards from Mr Bingo: hate mail that's first class – in picturesThe Guardian, May 25th
'I get emails every day begging me for hate mail,' says illustrator Mr Bingo, referring to the vintage postcards he embellishes with insults and sends out. 'People order them for themselves or their loved ones: wives, girlfriends... sometimes even...Read more
Schlegel: Walking the boardwalks of the Jersey ShoreThe Times of Trenton - NJ.com, May 25th
While it contains all the facts in the first edition, including length, width and age of each boardwalk, plus surrounding shops and amusements, the new edition offers more historic photos, vintage postcards, and boardwalk-related anecdotes. They've...Read more
Remembering John ColeSouthernminn.com, May 24th
Through his photo postcard collection and a plethora of old photographs, he wove stories of the past and recorded them in his weekly View from the Past column in the Kenyon Leader. He pored through past volumes of the Leader archives and published...Read more
Thurman captures international attention — over an apostropheDenPubs, May 24th
The official naming of Jimmy's Peak, as shown in a vintage postcard, has not only sparked a mini-controversy in Thurman, but it has garnered the rural town some international exposure — over a deleted apostrophe. By Thom Randall · As of Friday, May 24...Read more
Quirky souvenirs hold great memoriesGoErie.com, May 23rd
From the second, vintage postcards bought from a shop owner dressed up as Abraham Lincoln. From the third, a certificate for surviving an overnight ghost hunt. In Chautauqua Lake, N.Y., I found a pair of beautiful blue wineglasses. And last weekend, on...Read more
Thrifty Acres: In The Pink With Vintage PostcardsHollandSentinel.com (blog), May 20th
As I've mentioned before, vintage postcards can be quite affordable at thrift stores. This was proven true again last week, when I paid 50c for a bundle of 44. Because of the way the postcards were packaged, I couldn't tell what scenes were included...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
Vintage Postcards Awake Memories of TianjinChina 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