Vintage Postcards Are Fun
A postcard is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope. Shapes other than rectangular may also be used. There are also novelty postcards, such as wood postcards, copper postcards and coconut “postcards” from tropical islands. A postcard is usually printed by a private company, individual or organization.
The world’s oldest postcard was sent to writer Theodore Hook, probably created and posted by Hook himself as a practical joke on the postal service, given that the image on the postcard was a caricature of workers in the post office. Hook’s postcard contained a hand-painted design and was sent in 1840 from Fulham, London, England.
The first known picture postcard in which the image functioned as a souvenir was sent from Vienna in 1871. The first advertising postcard appeared in Great Britain in 1872. The first American postcard was developed by the Morgan Envelope Factory the following year. Postcards from the 1800s through approximately 1920 are said to be from the “Golden Age of Postcards”.
The white border was introduced to postcards in the United States during World War I to save ink. The “White Border” era is generally considered to be the period from 1915 to 1930.
During the period between 1931 and 1959, “linen postcards” were popular and produced in large quantities. A newer printing processes allowed the use of an inexpensive card stock with a high rag content. The rag content in the card stock allowed more colorful, vibrant and realistic images to be printed. The face of the linen postcard is distinguished by a textured cloth appearance which resembled linen, thus the name linen postcard. Curt Teich Co. of Chicago was the foremost linen postcard publisher, pioneering linen postcards. Curt Teich Co. linen postcards have always been popular with postcard collectors due to its meticulous product numbering system.
Chrome postcards, a name derived from Kodachrome, were postcards with a shiny paper surface generally produced after 1939. However these types of postcards did not begin to dominate until about 1950. Chrome postcards usually feature colored photographs and are identified by the glossy appearance resulting from the paper’s coating. These are the most common type of postcard found today, and are sometimes referred to as modern postcards.
The chrome postcard should not be confused with real photo postcard (RPPC), which is an actual photograph printed on postcard paper, as distinguish from commercially printed photographic images on the chrome postcards.
Terminology for the study of postcards taken and Logos (study) The study and collecting of postcards is called deltiology, from the Greek word, deletion, meaning small pictures or cards. The term was first used by Randall Rhodes of Ashland, Ohio. Collecting vintage postcards is very enjoyable. The images on vintage postcards are like windows into other worlds, incluing the past. Please enjoy the vintage postcards on this site.
Categories of Postcards
These are postcards that feature cities and places, such as parks, streets, depots, store fronts and bridges. People have long collected postcards from places that they have visited and view postcards have been the mainstay of postcard collecting. View cards offer historic reference to places which may no longer exist or that have changed significantly over time, offering us a view into the past.
A historical postcard is a postcard that was printed to commemorate an important event, such as a war, an exposition, a disaster, a parade, or a coronation.
The greeting postcard was produced for holidays and special occasions, such as Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and birthdays. Early greeting postcards were some of the most beautiful cards every printed, often featuring intricate embossing, high quality artwork, expensive inks, and sometimes novelty decorations such as glitter, ribbons, or feathers.
Silk postcards were printed on silk fabric attached to a postcard back, or were postcards with silk fabric attached as a border or decoration. The silk postcard reached its peak popularity in the early 20th century, especially during World War I.
Between 1940 and 1970 comic postcards were very popular and could be found almost any place that postcards were sold. These comic postcards often depicted women as either man-crazy sex pots or overweight, nagging wives. Hillbillies were another favorite subject of comic postcards. Hillbillies were usually depicted as stupid, drunken idiots. A related subject was outhouse humor. Men in the service, particularly from World War II, were also depicted on many of the comic postcards, often with a reference to a sexy woman or an rude comment about a higher ranking officer. Caricatures of African-Americans with big lips and poor speech were also featured on comic postcards, especially before the 1960s. Many of these comic postcards would be consider either not funny or politically incorrect today, reflecting the significant changes in society’s values.
Art postcards are very popular with many postcard collectors. Art postcards differ from view postcards and greeting postcards in that they generally had a higher orginal priced and were sold in more limited qualities.
These often featured subjects such as beautiful women, children, etc. and photographic postcards were also often hand tinted.
In the last several decades, electronic postcards have also been developed and have gained some popularity. Below are some examples of electronic postcards.