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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Minnesota Man Finds Hidden Treasure In Postcard CollectionCBS Local, March 5th
BOYD, Minn. (WCCO) — It seems fitting that one the biggest post card collectors in Minnesota lives in one of the smallest towns in Minnesota. Fred Eckhardt hails from Boyd and his postcards help him keep the good old days alive. He's been collecting...Read more
Woman reports items taken from West Lake Road homeEast Niagara Post, March 5th
BURT — A West Lake Road woman told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies that someone stole several items from her home between 8 a.m. Sunday and 11 p.m. Tuesday. The woman told patrol that the missing items include a stamp and postcard collection, ...Read more
Lexington mayor says Government Center power outage 'the latest' in a string ...WKYT, March 3rd
Hotel Lafayette. (Printed verso reads: "HOTEL LAFAYETTE - Lexington's Finest. All rooms with bath and circulating ice water. Air-conditioned restaurants. Rates from $2.50. Len Shouse, Jr., Manager.") Part of Postcard Collection, circa 1890-1990 ...Read more
Time traveling through the post-war glory days of Cuba's most exciting destinationBoing Boing, March 3rd
Colorfully cluing us in to Cuba's politics, music, and architecture, as well as its mobsters, bars, burlesque, and brothels, each page brings yesterday's Havana back to life with a veritable jackpot of historic photos, vintage postcards and...Read more
9 things to know about Pleasant Plains, home to historic Mount LorettoSILive.com, March 2nd
(Courtesy of SIIAS Hugh Powell Postcard Collection.) "Fr. Drumgoole felt that the general environment of the City at the time was a great threat to younger children, so he sought out a more rural setting (and) looked to the borough of Staten Island and...Read more
Robert Osgood donates postcard collection to DanversThe Salem News, March 1st
DANVERS — Town Archivist Richard Trask used to be among several collectors in town who sought vintage postcards of Danvers — historic homes, buildings and landmarks, long-gone railroad stations and popular businesses. But the advent of online ...Read more
Picture perfect Preston featured in antique postcardsWaterloo Record, February 23rd
Feb 23, 2015 | Vote 0 0. Picture perfect Preston featured in antique postcards. Weavers. David Bebee,The Record. Brigid Isenor, a member of the KW Weavers and Spinners Guild, spins sheep's wool in to yarn at the Heritage Showcase at Conestoga Mall on ...Read more
Postcard collection tops 250000, and still growingAlbany Times Union, December 9th
He purchased a rare Titanic postcard for $10, sold it for $20 to an antiques dealer, who resold it to a postcard collector for $40. "Everyone was happy," he said. "It's cheap entertainment for me," he said. He paid less than $1 apiece for more than 90...Read more