In the United States, a picture or blank card stock that held a message and sent through the mail at letter rate first began when a card postmarked in December of 1848 contained printed advertising on it. The first commercially produced card was created in 1861 by John P. Charlton of Philadelphia, who patented a postal card, selling the rights to Hymen Lipman, whose postcards, complete with a decorated border, were labeled "Lipman's postal card." These cards had no images.

In Britain postcards without images were issued by Post Office, and were printed with a stamp as part of the design, which was included in the price of purchase. The first known printed picture postcard, with an image on one side, was created in France in 1870 at Camp Conlie by Léon Besnardeau (1829–1914). Conlie was a training camp for soldiers in the Franco-Prussian war.

They had a lithographed design printed on them containing emblematic images of piles of armaments on either side of a scroll topped by the arms of the Duchy of Brittany and the inscription "War of 1870. Camp Conlie. Souvenir of the National Defence. Army of Brittany". While these are certainly the first known picture postcards, there was no space for stamps and no evidence that they were ever posted without envelopes.


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If you are a quirky, eccentric deltiologist with a lot of postcards under your belt, you would most likely have a lot of interesting and unusual full color postcards and photo postcards that you can share to different people. Buying postcard printing services online and getting free postcard templates from a professional commercial printing company may be amusing on its own, but there is really no replacing the enjoyment you would get from actually seeing some of the weirdest and most mind-boggling quality print designs that some people would be a good idea to implement on a postcard.

We would have to do with the illustrations created by descriptive words though, but do not worry because it is quite easy to spot unusual postcards even without seeing them. Anti-vintage. If there is anything stranger than seeing some vintage custom postcards containing some questionably disturbing scenarios, it would be seeing some high quality postcards depicting highly unrealistic scenarios involving some alien and robot hybrids strutting about the planet Earth.

Feel free to let your imagination run as wild as it can because a postcard using these crazy designs is definitely interesting if nothing else. Not only is this postcard design unusual, it is also thought-provoking in that it lets us imagine what could happen in the future, and if you look at this postcard alongside some historical and vintage postcards, you would also see how some things could change so drastically change over a few years while some things"such as the use of postcards"hardly ever change. Monsters! Another really interesting postcard design that commercial printing has come up with over the years is anything involving the depiction of monsters and supernatural creatures that would exist nowhere outside a person's imagination.

From the furry to the scaly to the scary and the cute, there are also countless different types of monsters that are constantly used to adorn the sides of special photo postcards. Whoever got the idea of using monsters to decorate what should be a serious commercially printed product is a mystery, and whoever this is he can take pride in the fact that his concept is still being used by eccentric postcard designers today. Pets Galore. Let us leave the overly unusual postcard designs in favour of entering more familiar territory: cute pets and animals.

This may or may not be considered as an unusual design choice, but you would have to admit that these designs can attract the attention of so many people who are defenceless against the power of cute cats and dogs wearing silly hats. There may be no purpose behind these cards aside from acting as a cute fix for animal lovers around the world, but it is pretty certain that this type of design will not be fading anytime soon, if at all. The postcard templates above are additional and a bit broader examples of some unusual postcard designs that have either been just conceptualized on the computer or actually printed out to send to certain people. Either way, you have to admit that these things change your perception on commercial printing a bit. For better or for worse is entirely up to you.

Pauline Owens.


American postcard 1920s


Deltiology, the official name for postcard collecting, is thought to be one of the three largest collectable hobbies in the world, along with coin and stamp collecting. Postcards are popular because of the wide range of subjects, with just about every subject imaginable being at some time, portrayed on a postcard. History itself can be tracked on postcards, be it historical buildings, famous people, art, holidays, streets, etc.

A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope and at a lower rate than a letter. The United States Postal Service defines a postcard as: rectangular, at least 3.5 inches high by 5 inches long and .007 inch thick and no more than 4.25 inches high by 6 inches long and .016 inch thick.

For the purpose of clarification, the term “Postal Card” refers to cards that were printed and sold by a governmental body on which postage paid indicia were preprinted on the cards themselves. The term “Postcard” refers to cards which were privately produced and were not sold with postage prepaid.


Deltiology is poscard collecting


On December 24, 1901, the U.S. Government granted the use of the words “Post Card” to be printed on the undivided back of privately printed cards and allowed publishers to drop the authorization inscription previously required.

Writing was still not permitted on the address side. The publishing of printed postcards during this time frame doubled almost every six months. European publishers opened offices in the U.S. and imported millions of high quality postcards. By 1907, European publishers accounted for over 75% of all postcards sold in the U.S


Vintage postcards 1915


As the postcards during the years 1915 (1916 in some sources) to 1930 were usually printed with white borders around the picture, this time period is called the White Border Era. During World War One the white border reduced the image size and thus saved on ink costs. After the war ended, the German publishing industry was never rebuilt.

Other European publishers were forced out of the U.S. market by high tariff rates. Despite this lack of foreign competition, the production of postcards by U.S. companies still lagged after the war for several reasons. The higher costs of post-war publishing combined with an inexperienced domestic labor caused the production of poorer quality postcards.

This came at a time when the American public was increasingly losing interest in postcards. Movies replaced postcards as a visual experience. Higher competition in a rapidly narrowing market caused many domestic postcard publishers to go out of business.

The one major exception to this general decline in postcards production and demand was in the “real photo” postcards. Unlike their more colourful lithographic cousins, real photo cards were produced in black and white or sepia tones.

Starting in 1906, the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester had begun producing various models of Kodak “postcard” cameras that had negatives that were postcard size. The resulting postcards had such clear images, adding greatly to their popularity.

In addition, some of these models had a small thin door on the rear of their camera body that, when lifted, enabled the photographer to write an identifying caption or comment on the negative itself with an attached metal scribe.

Because these real photo cards were true photographs, postcard collectors have tended to consider them more collectible than lithographic cards—their unaltered presentation of the life and times of the early 20th century.


Changing technology now enabled publishers to print cards on a linen paper stock (paper with a high rag content). The rag content gave these postcards a textured “feel.” They were also cheaper to produce and allowed the use of bright dyes for image coloring.

They proved to be extremely popular with roadside establishments seeking cheap advertising. Linen postcards document every step along the way of the building of America’s highway infrastructure. Most notable among the early line publishers was the firm of Curt Teich. The majority of linen postcard production ended around 1939 with the advent of the colour “chrome” postcard.



Although there were earlier scattered issues, most pioneer cards in today's collections begin with the cards placed on sale at Chicago's Columbian Exposition in May of 1893. These were illustrations on government printed postal cards and privately printed souvenir cards. The government postal cards had the printed 1¢ stamp while the souvenir cards required a 2¢ adhesive postage stamp to be applied to it.

Writing was not permitted on the address side of the cards. On May 19, 1898, private printers were granted permission, by an act of Congress, to print and sell cards that bore the inscription "Private Mailing Card." Today some people call these cards PMCs. Postage required was a 2¢ adhesive stamp.

A dozen or more American printers began to take postcards seriously. As with the Pioneer Era cards, writing was not permitted on the address side. Post Card Era (1901-1907) The use of the words "POST CARD" was granted to private printers by the U.S. government on December 24, 1901.

Writing was still not permitted on the address side. In this era private citizens began to take black & white photographs and have them printed on paper with post card backs. Divided Back Era (1907-1914) Postcards with a divided back were permitted March 1, 1907. The address to be written on the right side and the left side was for writing messages. Many millions of cards were published in this era.


Up to this point most postcards were printed in Germany, which was far ahead of the United States in the lithographic processes. With the advent of World War I the supply of postcards from Germany ended. White Border Era (1915-1930) Most postcards during this era were printed in the USA during this period. To save ink, a border was left around the view thus they are referred to as "White Border" cards.

A high cost of labour, inexperience and public taste caused production of poor quality cards. Linen Era (1930-1944) New production processes allowed printing on post cards with high "rag" content that caused a "linen-like" finish. These inexpensive cards allowed the use of gaudy dyes for colouring.

The firm of Curt Teich flourished on their line of linen postcards. Photochrome Era (1945 to present date) The "chrome" postcards started to dominate the scene soon after they were launched by the Union Oil Company in their western service stations in 1939.

Real Photographs Real photos are just that. A photograph was taken and developed. A caption was often hand-written on the negative, often glass. The photograph was printed on special postcard stock. Many real photos are one of a kind. Some were, relatively mass produced, usually by a photographer. Some clues are that if the caption is not neat, it probably was one of a kind. Mass produced cards usually were neater. Some of them carry the name of the photographer.


Burns on vintage postcard


In the United States, a picture or blank card stock that held a message and sent through the mail at letter rate first began when a card postmarked in December of 1848 contained printed advertising on it. The first commercially produced card was created in 1861 by John P. Charlton of Philadelphia, who patented a postal card, selling the rights to Hymen Lipman, whose postcards, complete with a decorated border, were labelled "Lipman's postal card." These cards had no images. In Britain postcards without images were issued by Post Office, and were printed with a stamp as part of the design, which was included in the price of purchase.

The first known printed picture postcard, with an image on one side, was created in France in 1870 at Camp Conlie by Léon Besnardeau (1829–1914). Conlie was a training camp for soldiers in the Franco-Prussian war. They had a lithographed design printed on them containing emblematic images of piles of armaments on either side of a scroll topped by the arms of the Duchy of Brittany and the inscription "War of 1870. Camp Conlie.

Souvenir of the National Defence. Army of Brittany". While these are certainly the first known picture postcards, there was no space for stamps and no evidence that they were ever posted without envelopes. In the following year the first known picture postcard in which the image functioned as a souvenir was sent from Vienna.

The first advertising card appeared in 1872 in Great Britain and the first German card appeared in 1874. Cards showing images increased in number during the 1880s. Images of the newly built Eiffel Tower in 1889 and 1890 gave impetus to the postcard, leading to the so-called "golden age" of the picture postcard in years following the mid-1890s.

As people caught on to the usefulness of this cheap and fast method of sending messages, the poor man’s telegram - remember the telephone did not yet exist - national postal services authorised the sending of postcards through their postal systems.

Date when postcards were first mailed: 1870 - Switzerland, Britain 1871 - Belgium 1872 - Russia, France 1873 - U.S.A. (government-issued pre-stamped), Romania, Japan 1874 - Germany Postcards started to be sent internationally in 1875, after the first meeting of the General Postal Union in Berne. During the 1914 - 1918

First World War millions of postcards were sent home by troops with the embroidered silk postcard being particularly favoured by both sender and recipient. Those sending the cards saw them as something out of the ordinary, as a special and beautiful thing to send home at a time of hardship and horror.

Recipients treasured and preserved the cards as memories of their loved ones fighting for King and Country. WW1 embroidered silk postcards have always had an enthusiastic following among collectors and recent years have seen something of a boom in their popularity.

There are many types available; sentimental, romantic, seasonal, patriotic, regimental badges, images of war destruction, and more, all avidly collected. The example displayed above is a scarce example featuring the badge of those serving with the R.S.P.C.A Auxiliary to the Army Veterinary Corps. The First World War was the final 'fighting' war for the military horse.

At the beginning of the war horses were used in battle but the inevitable devastating outcome was such that their role was then limited to the burden of moving munitions, supplies, men and artillery to the front line.

Conditions were horrific. Sick and wounded horses were patched up and returned for duty through to the point at which they were deemed unfit and were despatched. Millions of horses served and died, by 1915 some 5000 horses were being put 'out of action' every day. Deltiology, the official name for postcard collecting, is thought to be one of the three largest collectable hobbies in the world, along with coin and stamp collecting.

Postcards are popular because of the wide range of subjects, with just about every subject imaginable being at some time, portrayed on a postcard. History itself can be tracked on postcards, be it historical buildings, famous people, art, holidays, streets, etc.

A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope and at a lower rate than a letter. The United States Postal Service defines a postcard as: rectangular, at least 3.5 inches high by 5 inches long and .007 inch thick and no more than 4.25 inches high by 6 inches long and .016 inch thick.

For the purpose of clarification, the term "Postal Card" refers to cards that were printed and sold by a governmental body on which postage paid indicia were preprinted on the cards themselves. The term "Postcard" refers to cards which were privately produced and were not sold with postage prepaid.


Lipman's postal card


Most pre-1898 postcards share a few common traits. First, the postcard is characterized by an undivided back (no line going down the centre of the back of the postcard). Second, many contain printed lines on the back for the name of the addressee and his address only. As indicated earlier, most were from big Eastern cities. It is also noteworthy that during this time only the government was allowed to use the word "Postcard" (one word) on the back of the postcard.

Privately published postcards of this era will have the titles "Souvenir Card," "Correspondence Card," or "Mail Card" on the back. Government cards will also have an imprinted U.S. Grant or Thomas Jefferson head On December 24, 1901, the U.S. Government granted the use of the words "Post Card" to be printed on the undivided back of privately printed cards and allowed publishers to drop the authorization inscription previously required.

Writing was still not permitted on the address side. The publishing of printed postcards during this time frame doubled almost every six months. European publishers opened offices in the U.S. and imported millions of high quality postcards. By 1907, European publishers accounted for over 75% of all postcards sold in the U.S.


pre-1898 postcard


Great Britain was slower than its continental neighbours to latch on to the possibilities of picture postcards, and it was 1894 before the Post Office gave the green light to their private publication for use through the mail with an adhesive stamp.

Plain postcards were introduced in 1870, and some illustrated and advertising cards were used with pre-printed stamps, but their use and popularity were limited.Even after 1894, picture postcards did not immediately become a big success.

Early examples showed seaside and city views rather than subjects or themes. By 1902, however, things were moving: subject cards had been published featuring the Boer War and royal events, and in that year, the Post Office allowed both address and message to be written on one side of the card, freeing up the whole of the other for the picture. Britain thus became the first country to introduce the 'divided back' postcard format we are familiar with today. By this time, too, the size of cards had been largely standardised.


picture postcards


As of December 24, 1901, printers were allowed to use "Post Card" on the backs of their cards. All of these cards had undivided backs (Writing was still not permitted on the address side). For Undivided Back Era postcards, writing on the front is acceptable, not usually decreasing the condition grade of these cards but there are exceptions to every rule. The publishing of printed postcards during this time doubled almost every six months! In addition, European publishers opened offices in the U.S. and imported millions of high-quality postcards.

By 1907, European publishers accounted for over 75% of all postcards sold in the U.S. The popularity of lithographed cards caught Eastman-Kodak's attention as well. His company issued an affordable "Folding Pocket Kodak" camera around 1906. This enabled the mass public to take black & white photographs and have them printed directly onto paper with postcard backs.

Various other models of Kodak "postcard" cameras followed, resulting in an explosion in the real photo postcard era. These cameras shared two unique features: their negatives were postcard size (the major reason why so many of these images are so clear) and they had a small thin door at the back that, when lifted, enabled the photographer to write an identifying caption or comment on the negative itself with an attached metal scribe.

Also interesting to note is at the end of this period in time, the picture postcard hobby became the greatest collectible hobby that the world has ever known and today it is still the third most popular collectible hobby. The official figures from the U.S. Post Office for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, cite 677,777,798 postcards were mailed.

That was at a time when the total population of the U.S. was 88,700,000! By the 1930's the first of the saucy seaside postcards were being produced. You know the sort of stuff. Red faced fat man on the beach with his handkerchief knotted at the corners, hears his wife say, 'You know Wilf, I feel like a new woman'. As the dolly bird in tiny red spotted bikini wanders past, Wilf retorts (to himself, naturally), 'So do I.' Priceless.

At their peak, upwards of 16 million of these treasures were produced. However, by the 1950's the Conservative government, in their infinite wisdom, decided that they contributed greatly to the apparent deterioration in public morals and they were cracked down on. The renowned artist Donald McGill was the main target on their hitlist.

However, the more liberal attitudes of the 1960's saw a return to popularity. It was the 1970's and 80's which saw the demise of this great British institution. A reduction in the quality of both humour and artwork, coupled with the rise of alternative humour saw to this. Originals are now greatly sought after and can reach high prices at auction. Perhaps the best known saucy seaside cards were produced inland at Holmfirth in West Yorkshire, by a company called Bamforths.



Until the middle of the 19th century, people around the world mailed messages to each other via the privacy of sealed letters. The direct ancestor of the picture postcard seems to be the envelopes printed with pictures on them. The envelopes were often printed with pictures of comics, valentines, New Years and Christmas. Thousands of patriotic pictures appeared on United States envelopes during the Civil War period of 1861-1865, these are now known as Patriotic Covers.

This beginning of decorative items to be mailed led to the development of the picture postcard. The early mass-printed postcards had no pictures on them. They were designed to carry a stamp and the “mail to” address on one side.

The other side was used for the sender’s message. In 1861 (in Philadelphia, U.S.), John P. Charlton obtained a copyright on a private postal card in 1861. However, his patent application was declined. Charlton sold his copyright to H. L. Lipman, who produced and sold the Lipman’s Postal Card. It was a non-pictorial message card with a stamp box and address line on one side and a blank message space on the other. Advertisers used Lipman cards to print messages and illustrations.

He is considered the father of the modern postcard. These cards were used until 1873 when the United States issued the government postal card. Starting in 1898, American publishers were allowed to print and sell cards bearing the inscription, “Private Mailing Card, Authorized by Act of Congress on May 19, 1898”. These private mailing cards were to be posted with one-cent stamps (the same rate a government postals)


. This was perhaps the most significant event to enhance the use of private postals. As with government postal cards and previous pioneer cards, writing was still reserved for the front (picture side) of the cards only. In 1901, the U.S. Government granted the use of the words “Post Card” to be printed on the undivided back of privately printed cards and allowed publishers to drop the authorization inscription previously required. As in earlier eras, writing was still limited to the front. However, during this time, other countries began to permit the use of a divided back.

This enabled the front to be used exclusively for the design, while the back was divided so that the left side was for writing messages and the right side for the address. England was the first to permit the divided back in 1902, France followed in 1904, Germany in 1905 and finally the U.S. in 1907. These changes ushered in the “Golden Age” of postcards as millions were sold and used. By this period, divided backs were almost universal, except in a few monopolistic governments.

Previous to and during this period, a majority of U.S. postcards were printed in Europe, especially in Germany whose printing methods were regarded as the best in the world. However the trying years of this period, the rising import tariffs and the threats of war, caused a swift decline in the cards imported. The advent of WWI caused the supply of postcards from Germany to end. Poorer quality postcards came from English and U.S. publishers.

The lowered quality of the printed postcard, recurrent influenza epidemics, and WWI war shortages killed the American postcard hobby. During the war years the telephone replaced the postcard as a fast, reliable means to keep in touch. Thus the political strains of the day brought about the end of the “Golden Age”.


Patriotic post card Covers


Many postcards were, and still are, made from photographs. Photographs can depict social history without words. They can show change over time in a certain area. Aerial views can be used to show the urbanization of a town into a city, or any other type of developmental, or demographic change. Photographs can also show the change in the styles of buildings, clothing, and transportation in different societies. Postcards can be an outstanding source of social history, because they show what was popular or seen as important in the area in which the postcard depicts.

The photographs on the postcards themselves can show the changes of an area over time. Postcards are a good source of local history and can tell a story of a specific area. The postcards of Weirs Beach reveal the social history of the city over time.

The collection of postcards includes those of landscapes, buildings, street scenes, people, the beach, and other important scenes of Weirs Beach. With the collection on this website, one will be able to see a glimpse into the life in Weirs Beach, past and present. The picture postcard was not invented as much as it evolved from other sorts of cards. Playing cards were used as visiting cards during the 18th century in Europe.

They were usually the size of a playing card and had pictures printed on them. Also, there was a space for the name to be printed on the front. Occasionally, messages were written on the back. In 1777, a suggestion was made by a French engraver to publish and send engraved cards through the post for a penny. However, this idea was not well-liked because servants or those who handled the card could read the message. Trade cards were also used in order to advertise a business. Towards the end of the century and into the 19th century, the style of visiting cards changed.

They became smaller, also no longer had pictures, and had the names boldly engraved on them. As visiting cards went out of style, more and more people began decorating their writing paper and envelopes. The picture engraved as a heading for the letter would depict the area from where the author was writing. These pictures, which were extremely realistic, evolved into the first postcard. The German government in 1865 initiated the thought of the first postcard.

However the first postcard wasn't sent until Dr. Emanuel Herrmann wrote and published an article about the use of postcards. The Austrian Post Office was impressed enough to issue the first postcard on October 1, 1869. It was yellow and on the front had a two-kreuzer stamp on the upper right hand corner. Also on the card were three lines printed for the address. The message was written on the backside of the card. The postcards became extremely popular, as close to three million cards were sold in the first three months of sale in Austria-Hungary.

The use of the post card spread to Belgium and Holland in January of 1871, and then onto Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Then the postcard appeared in Canada, followed by Russia in 1872, and France in 1873. The first postcard was issued by the United States Post Office Department on May 13, 1873. The marks for mailing on the card depicted the bust of Liberty and a circle with the postage amount of one cent. Most cards were used widely as advertisement in the U.S., until they were in general use after the World Columbian Exposition in 1893.

Colored cards of the Exposition went on sale and they became extremely popular. On May 19, 1898, an Act of Congress was passed so that privately published postcards were given the same message privileges and rates as government issued cards. All those privately published had to be labeled as such. This marked the start of the Golden Age of postcards in the U. S., which lasted until about 1920, when popular use of the telephone began.

The reason why postcards became so popular is because of the price. Postcards cost less to send in the mail than a sealed envelope. When first issued and all through the Golden Age, postcards could be sent for one cent. Post cards were also popular because they were an easy way to keep in touch while someone was away from home or on vacation. Many postcards took the place of family albums with pictures of families on vacations.


postcards of Weirs Beach


The dynamics of postcards have evolved greatly over time, changing their overall look. There are some postcards that look much different then those from the time of their creation. The sizes, shapes materials, and the overall set up have all varied over time. Some of these changes affected Weirs Beach, while others didn't. Weirs Beach had its own dynamics of postcards as many other places did. Postcards as you may already know are not very large.

They have always been rather small since their creation. Early on in the life span of the postcard there was a standard size widely used in the United States of 3 1/2 inches by 5 1/2 inches. Almost as large as the majority of modern cards which are approximately 4 inches by 6 inches. Deleted. Not all postcards have to follow these size restrictions, and there are many exceptions to these rules, but for the most part these are the sizes of postcards.


There are many differences on the front and back of the Weirs Beach postcards. One thing that was always the same on the back of the postcard was the area for the stamp in the top right hand corner. It remained in this spot throughout all the changes and remains the same to this day. The earlier cards used the entire back of the card only for the address only, reading "This Side For Address Only". To compensate for this lack of room to write on the back, the majority of these postcards had an area to write on the front, this area was blank could be found on any edge of the card.

These cards could be of anything deleted. Some, however, did not have any space to write which left people scribbling over the picture, or writing in the empty sky. As time went on the law restricting writing on the backs of postcards was lifted and a new appearance of the back was introduced. This new appearance had a line splitting the left and right sides so that the right side could be used for the address and the left for the message. After this happened the percent of cards with a space on the front dropped greatly. A rather small number of cards had lines or the address, the non-divided had the least percent, but it seemed that more of the more recent, divided back cards had them.

Older postcards had no color when the photo was originally taken. The only way to have color postcards was to ship them overseas and have them colorized. For this reason, many were just left black and white or an odd shade of brown. The ones that did have color seemed rather phony, and the color schemes were unrealistic deleted. Many don't just look unrealistic but they look almost hand drawn.

They are of streets in Weirs Beach and other places of interest such as the gas station or post office. The more modern cards can be, and are taken in color. There are a few that are black and white, maybe to give a more authentic look. The most recent cards have the best colour and have views that were not obtainable at earlier times. This comes with the invention of the helicopter. There are many pictures of the waterfront and other spots that can easily catch a person's eye.


postcards 1950s


Vintage postcards are the thing nowadays. Illustrations that are vintage have been the most popular pictures and images used in many postcard printing projects. In fact, many have even made a collection of vintage postcards as a hobby. One major factor of these vintage postcards being popular is that the vintage illustrations have helped the postcard printing project to stimulate curiosity and interest of those who are not familiar with a certain era.

Attraction have been generated for most people that made it easy for most vintage postcard printing design to catch the eyes of their target readers. It’s a proven fact though that people are most certainly attracted to things that are unfamiliar to them.

Likewise, anything that speaks of, or illustrates an era gone by piques almost anyone’s curiosity. What do people of a certain time have in fashion? Or what is the lifestyle during a particular time? It seems that the less modern graphics are used, the more attention your postcard printing project can get from your target readers. But do you know how these vintage postcards came to be? When did they start becoming popular? From 1939 to the present times, vintage postcard printing first came to being during the photochrome era. This is during the late 1930s.

Also known as the Modern Chromes, the postcard printing pieces of that age were catching the eyes of many collectors mostly because of the colors applied. The colors appealed to a population that has embraced color images not only in their postcards, but most importantly in their movie industry. Hence, the popularity of The Wizard of Oz film. The very first “Chrome” postcard printing pieces were launched by the Union Oil Company in their service stations in the western part of the US. In 1939, they were the most widespread print material in the marketing industry.

They were quickly reproduced, with high quality results, and most significantly, they were printed in color. The spread of these vintage postcard printing pieces were momentarily subdued during WWII because of shortage in supply. But they were later revived and eventually replaced both linen and black-and-white postcards in 1945.

From 1900 to the present, there was also the vintage Real Photo Postcards that were produced from photos and developed onto photographic paper. It is very difficult to know their exact dates because most have lost their postmark or the photographer have not been able to indicate it in their postcards. Hence, there is much confusion in identifying them in the present time as there is nothing to indicate if they are reproductions or not. Collectors of vintage postcards tell the real from the reel by looking at these postcard printing pieces with a magnifying glass. A real “Real Photo Postcard” has solid picture, while a reprinted one is made up of a lot of little dots.

Then there’s the Art Deco Era (1910 to 1930s) that made popular the vintage postcards that have vibrant colors as their design. Art Deco subjects are usually of the past such as the ancient Greeks, Middle Eastern themes, and Egyptian artifacts, among others.

The most common illustrations on Art Deco vintage postcards were ladies in fancy vogue style clothing; as well as the presence of sharp angles and straight lines. Although these vintage postcard printing has supposedly ended around the 1930s, it was during this era that the greatest volume of postcard printing pieces have been produced.


Vintage postcards


A gorgeous and popular collectable, vintage Christmas postcards come in all genres and appeal to any taste. They are also known as antique postcards. Everything from quirky Coca-Cola adverts to roadside America with its familiar images of old-fashioned diners and Route 66 can be snapped up to be the highlight of any collection.

Vintage postcards are a great alternative to the generic drug store card, and will make a person think long and hard before dumping it in the trash come January. Characteristics of vintage Christmas postcards are youngsters frolicking in the snow, or just the smiling likeness of the man himself, Kris Kringle. Victorian postcards put a lot of emphasis on English culture. Roses are a recurring theme, either on their own or as a backdrop to rosy-cheeked children and ladies in the high-necked, frilly style of dress.

Many are drawn to the stylistic, old world beauty of women elaborately dressed in the classic French style of the time, accented with soft color or almost always washed in a sepia-tone. "Risque" postcards are especially prominent, with shapely women expertly posed in clingy dresses, garters, and feathered hats to provoke and titillate. These iconic images make collectors willing to scour far corners and dig deep into their pockets just to secure one. Owning one practically owns a piece of history.

On the internet you can find various sites that are very easy to navigate, and what looks like over a hundred different categories that will cater to any collector. All postcards are meant to be sent out and shared, but considering the damage a rare antique postcard can do to one's wallet, many would consider it absurd to even let it see the light of day.

However, if you're feeling extra generous and want to give something truly unique, a vintage postcard will be unlike anything they've seen before and will be more than just a nice thought. Due to their delicate nature, and the fact that a single crease can severely impact its value, it might be a good idea to send the antique postcard in an envelope to protect it during mailing.

Read this page about selling old postcards Don't hesitate to include a piece of cardboard - this keeps the postcard crisp and prevents any bending that may occur. It helps too if you know your recipient can appreciate antique photography, so you don't get criticized for giving them what they think is a shabby old postcard.

Take care also to store the vintage Christmas postcard properly if you don't plan to send it for a while. Keep it out of excessive heat, in a cool, dry place with a humidity of around 45%. Think twice about simply sticking it in a cardboard box or album, as these will most likely not be made from acid-free paper.

When postcards are stored adjacent to such paper, the acid can irreversibly discolor them and cause the cards to slowly crumble. Your best bet is storing it in a clear plastic sleeve, or even aluminium tin. You want your postcard to last through the ages, just like it did before you bought it.


vintage Christmas postcards


I’ve found that the best place to find collectible postcards is at art auctions. I was at an art auction in Eastlake, Ohio looking for stained glass and found them auctioning a lot of vintage collectible postcards. I bought the lot at the art auction and it contained almost three thousand beautiful collectible postcards. About thirty percent of the collectible postcards were pre-linen. These are postcards that were all made before 1930.

The linen collectible postcards were made from 1930 to 1945 and the lot I won at the art auction had thirty percent linen cards as well. Forty percent of the lot I won at the art auction was for early chrome collectible postcards. Most of them were from the fifties and sixties. There were also collectible postcards from the British museum series from the seventies.

The collectible postcards that are my favorite are all turn of the century and were sent for holidays. Valentine’s Day collectible postcards from the early 1900s are very romantic. The Christmas postcards have some really nice artwork.

I was really fortunate with the purchase at the art auction because the assortment was so varied. My collection of collectible postcards contains many different themes. I like the non-US card. I found an art auction that had a shoebox full of these postcards and they were from places like Bermuda, Zurich, Rio de Janeiro, Dresden, Germany, Ireland and even Istanbul.


I had never owned a collectible postcard from Niger before that art auction. People who do not collect vintage collectible postcards just don’t understand their value. They are usually not even mentioned as being part of an art auction. I go to art auctions every other weekend on the off chance that there will be collectible postcards on the auction block.

I am always so pleased when I find linen ere collectible postcards at an art auction. The auctioneer at most art auctions does not even announce the lot as linen postcards; he usually just announces it as vintage or old collectible postcards. His lack of knowledge of the subject almost always works to my advantage. I have various collections of collectible postcards within the main collection. I tried for awhile to complete a set of state views in all linen era postcards.

I can’t even count how many art auctions I attended before I even had thirty of the forty eight states. I know that I finally tired of the pursuit and have just put it on the back burner. The holiday collectible postcards go to collectors of more than just postcards. I’ve seen people buy holiday collectible postcards at an art auction just to frame and decorate with them during certain holidays.

I actually found five really nice vintage Christmas collectible postcards at an art auction and had them framed for my mother as a Christmas gift. I went to an art auction and estate sale of a man whose grandfather had been a colonel army officer. The collectible postcards that I found there were fantastic. The officer had amassed 353 different postcards from India. It was amazing. They had been tucked into an album and never used and were in perfect condition. For awhile, I thought that I wanted to collect postcards from soldiers in WWI. I found a two hundred piece lot of this type of collectible postcards at an art auction in New Haven. The mix of cards was British, French and German.

It was interesting because some of the collectible postcards were censored. I’ve never seen censored collectible postcards before. The most I’ve ever spent on collectible postcards at an art auction was $530 for four postcards. They were all from 1904 and they depicted auto-mobile racing. They were in pristine condition.

I doubt that I will ever find any more even remotely like this the rest of my life. They were exceptional. The lot of collectible postcards I found last weekend was really fun to look through. The art auction had a lot of things from a family that had emigrated here from Serbia. The postcards were all from either Serbia or Belgrade. This was a good lot and it went for the opening bid.

Sent in anon


vintage postcard

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