Monday, November 07, 2005

Vintage Postcards - Yesterday's Cell Phones?

Do you collect postcards, or do you know someone who does?
vintage collectible postcard

Today we whip out our cell phones and are in instant communication with almost anyone. In bygone times, people sent penny postcards! The cards traveled by train to the local post office, and the postal carrier would have it in the mail box the day after it was sent. Talk about speedy!!

The Golden Age of Postcards was from 1898 to 1915. Most of the printed postcards were lithographs, and the majority of these were printed in Germany, the world leader in this process. You'll also find real black and white photograph postcards and hand tinted ones.

vintage collectible postcard
Until 1907 only the address could be written on the back, so it's not unusual to see handwriting scribbled around the edges of the picture on the front side of vintage postcards. After 1907, the post office allowed divided backs, which made room for a message on the back side.

After the start of WWI, German postcards were scarce, so the American and British manufacturers increased production. The quality of the postcards, however, was not initially up to that of the German ones.

Most collectors are interested in history, and they collect these old vintage postcards as pieces of history, because they are often the only record we have of what many places and historical buildings looked like in Victorian days.

Some people collect only cards showing a particular theme, such as transportation, or one certain place. Some collect only Christmas postcards or comic ones. There are as many categories of vintage postcard collections as there are collectors!!

vintage collectible postcard

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Gem said...

I think it's neat to find these and read them -- kind of like eavesdropping on a time-warp cell phone call. Wondering what the people were thinking, what they really wanted to say but didn't have room for. I don't collect them, but I will peruse them if I come across them in an antique store.

Dirty Butter said...

I agree, Gem, vintage postcards are fun to read. It's interesting to me that so many of them are just what I'd call chit chat, very much like today's cell phone text messages, only no strange abbreviations!