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 Teich & Co. 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 World War I. 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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Portrait of a home: Helen Street residence boasts rich historyAmerican Press, February 8th
The idea was loosely borrowed from her discovery of a vintage postcard lodged in a piece of antique furniture. The notes about the house are concise and to the point. Debbie concludes with a line about how much she and her husband love their home and ...Read more
Bill Buchanan, 90; was versatile Boston journalistThe Boston Globe, February 7th
A stickler for accuracy — woe be the reporter who called a street an avenue or a road a street — Mr. Buchanan saved a career's worth of articles and correspondence in a pair of four-drawer file cabinets. “He had a huge postcard collection...Read more
Preservation Foundation's new leader's favorite things in Palm BeachPalm Beach Daily News, February 7th
Photographed at The Breakers, longtime Palm Beacher Pauline Pitt is the new chairwoman of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. Although she has another residence in Aspen, Colo., she says nothing competes with Palm Beach. “There's nowhere ...Read more
GUEST VIEW: Welcoming in new city historian Elaine TimmNiagara Gazette, February 6th
In fact, after I recently moved into a new (130-year-old home) in the city of Niagara Falls, Elaine delved deep into my home's history and even surprised me with an antique postcard that featured my home in the early 1900s. Elaine truly loves the hunt...Read more
Renovated lodges in Amador County offer rustic charmSFGate, February 5th
The setting: You can't miss the two-story brick building, circa 1879, in the center of Amador City, itself an antique postcard come to life. The six-room Imperial Hotel stands where Old Highway 49 crosses the river at a sharp curve. But just to make...Read more
Digital Watauga Project Presents Bobby Brendell Postcard Collection Exhibit Feb. 5High Country Press, January 26th
The Digital Watauga Project is pleased to announce that it will sponsor an exhibition of the Bobby Brendell Postcard Collection at the Jones House Community Center during the month of February 2016. This free exhibition will feature more than 60...Read more
Vintage Postcards Show Life in Vietnam in the Early 20th CenturyGlobal Voices Online, January 21st
Kurt Braun. Great job NY Public Library! If anyone is looking for a place to put their postcard collection - look no further than a SAFE Postcard Album - they are the best! http://www.safepub.com/section... Written byMong Palatino ...Read more
Show highlights vintage postcard artTBO.com, January 20th
While tweets and posts may be assuming the role of paper missives in daily life, vintage postcards still have plenty of admirers, many of whom will gather Friday and Saturday at Tampa Stadium Hotel/Econolodge for the Sunshine Post Card Club's winter...Read more