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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Tall Tale Postcards
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Postcards
Source: Google News
Treasured postcard collection offers peek into rare old timesLimerick Leader, January 25th
Treasured postcard collection offers peek into rare old times. Canon Donough O'Malley pictured with his treasured collection of postcards and below, a scene of O'Connell Street from the 1980s. Pictures: Michael Cowhey. by Aine Fitzgerald. Published on...Read more
Lost Huntington: The First National BankHuntington Herald Dispatch, January 25th
The bank is shown here in a vintage postcard photograph taken during the 1913 flood. The two men standing in the doorway, looking at the flooded street, are unidentified. The First National, it might be noted, was conveniently located next door to one...Read more
Encounter Center sets 'Postcard Stories' program, Feb. 1Sioux City Journal, January 24th
Admission will be free. In his illustrated program, Bishop will take the audience on a tour of Sioux City transportation modes depicted on vintage postcards. ... The program will showcase images from Dave's extensive postcard collection. Compiled over...Read more
Island postcard mystery solvedShelter Island Reporter, January 24th
One of our favorite amateur Island historians, Tom Speeches, came through again with his description of the 1909 postcard sent by Brian Caputo of Commack. Mr. Caputo said he “collects vintage postcards from Shelter Island because it's my favorite place.”...Read more
Entertainment, logo announced for 2015 Strawberry FestivalThe Herald-News, January 23rd
The logo, which was described by committee members as being a design reminiscent of a vintage postcard, will appear an all T-shirts and advertising for the 2015 Strawberry Festival. Another item to make festivalgoers reminisce is the return of the 80s ...Read more
Throwback gallery Part 2: More Madison-area restaurants you'll never eat at againMadison.com, January 22nd
The original Rennebohm's drug store, 1357 University Ave., included a soda counter that served everything from ice cream shakes to grilled cheese sandwiches. There were many such "Rennie's," as they were affectionately called, before the chain was sold ...Read more
Vintage postcards depicting Nottingham scenes prove popular on eBayNottingham Post, January 5th
Vintage postcard collectors are flocking to eBay for historic images of Nottingham. Postcards up for sale on the site show well-known city centre scenes including early 20th century images of the Theatre Royal and the Old Market Square, as well as ...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