Postcards have a rich history spanning all four corners of the globe. Dating back to 1840, the postcard’s use and appeal have been as varied as the styles themselves.
Hand delivered lithograph prints, woodcuts and small cards were the originals predating the “mailed” postcard by two decades. The first copyrighted postcards appearing in 1861 were dedicated mainly to advertising until government issued cards began appearing as early as 1870 in Hungary.
It wasn’t until 1889 that pictorial postcards became popular. Since then, whimsical art and the introduction of photographs have evolved through seven distinct eras of postcard production. Among them, the Pioneer era, the Linen Card and Photochrome eras and the introduction of Real Photo postcards that we are more familiar with today, have each provided a rich tapestry of historical reference, and a creative and delightful way of communicating through the written word.
Enjoying A Vintage or Antique Postcard Collection
Dedicated deltiologists can determine era, publisher and country of origin just by studying the embossing, thickness or postmark on a card. For those less studied, it is often a particular picture or style that delights the eye and encourages a purchase. Images have ranged over the years from hand painted landscapes to historical moments to drawings and photos of exotic locations like Paris’ Eiffel Tower or The Empire State Building in New York City.
Devoted collectors organize their anthologies in albums and protective coverings that preserve the images and delicate postcards. Beautiful collectibles can be found at many antique stores or markets with some fetching upwards of $20 or even $200 depending on the era and condition of an authentic card.
Display Your Vintage Postcards
But rather than hide them away, for those less expensive collectibles, why not display them to enjoy in your home or cottage. Framed and hanging in an entryway or bedroom, these classic reminders of the past can add instant charm to any décor and instantly transport you to a simpler place and time. A collection of reproduced vintage postcards can also be a whimsical memento to welcome guests to a family reunion or wedding.
Write and Share Vintage Postcards
In an age when letter writing is taking a back seat to email, instant messaging, faxes and twittering, sending a postcard allows one to keep the rich tradition of hand written messages alive. They are a wonderful way to evoke a treasured memory or share a delightful locale or adventure during a trip to a distant part of our world with friends and loved ones.
by Lee Anne Michayluk