Guide to Real Photo Postcards This guide is meant to aid the collector in identifying and dating real photo postcards, and to act as a reminder that it is impossible to do so with great accuracy. Although real photo postcards were made in a variety of ways, they hold one identifiable feature in common. The tonalities of photos are completely continuous to the eye producing true greys, for they are created by the reaction of individual photosensitive molecules to light rather than the transfer of ink from a plate. In printed images the grey areas are usually made up of black marks that are spaced to create the optical illusion of greys. Though most of us today are familiar with the concept of photo grain, this is mostly because we have experienced very large prints made from small 35mm negatives. But even here the effect is more of a softening of detail than a observable texture.
Postcard History & Dating
Here are a number of references which can be used to research old antique postcards and to date vintage postcards. Many postcard history and postcard artist links are included. Also see the Canadiana and Northern Ontario Postcard Photographers pages for additional postcard references. See a 19th c. To navigate these pages, mouse over the top navigation bar.
Britain was the first country to adopt this format.
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! Identifying the Age of Postcards
Picture postcards in the United States began with the souvenir issues sold at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in The hobby of postcard collecting began soon after and continued unabated until the beginning of World War I. With that event, the postcard album, a book second in importance only to the family Bible, suddenly vanished from the parlor. The Columbian Exposition cards proved to be so successful, that publishers in other parts of the country were emboldened to issue views featuring large cities, historic landmarks and popular vacation resorts.
Like the exposition cards, these were also well received, despite the fact that the federal government subjected them to the full-letter postage rate of two cents while government-issued postals could be mailed at one cent.
Real Photo Postcard – enlarged detail Note:
Events do not unfold as a series of pivotal moments strung together, but rather as part of a great dance where all things are interconnected. There were many divergent influences that affected the design and output of postcards. At times our government changed postal rules to aid this fledgling industry, while at others it passed regulations without any regard to possible negative consequences. Many different art movements and advertising trends affected its imagery.
Changing economic climates steered its successes and failures. Worldwide events often brought about sudden and unexpected changes. Every technological adjustment to printing methods altered their appearance.
Antique and Vintage Postcards
When World War I ended at the end of , the rate was lowered to its prewar level of one cent. The postal rate was raised briefly from 1 cent to 2 cents in and in ; the conclusive raise to 2 cents was in Commission Rate Board overestimated revenue needs in and was forced to reduce the postage rate in These were illustrations on government-printed postal cards and on privately printed souvenir cards. The government postal cards included a printed 1-cent stamp; the privately printed souvenir cards required a 2-cent adhesive postage stamp to be affixed.
Chrome postcards were produced from the ‘s until present.
The first commercial postcards produced in the U. These were the first privately printed souvenir postcards in the country. The words “Post Card” were not printed on postcards until December 24, Cards previous to that had to have the Private Mailing Card Statement. So, if your card is marked “Private Mailing Card,” is dates from – A divided back postcard example 3 has a line down the middle, or some other indication that one half of the back is for the address and the other half is for a message.
Early postcards had an undivided back example 2. The back of the postcard was for the address only. There was often a statement that said “this side for address only. If your postcard has an undivided back, it is from or earlier. Many early postcards were printed in Germany. The German cards were of exceptional quality and are some of the best examples of old postcards available. If your early postcard says it was printed in Germany, it is from before The White Border era dates from to
How to Collect Postcards: 10 Steps (with Pictures)
Postcard Publishers, Printers and Manufacturers This list contains information on the the printers and publishers that produced the postcards with Terre Haute as their subject. Acmegraph Company Based in Chicago, this company operated between and Wittemann, and owned by Herman. The company operated from to , and was located in Brooklyn, New York.
Postal Rates for the USA, Great Britain, and France The following tables show the postage rates for postcards from the pre s until approximately the mid s.
Contains more than 1, listings with descriptions and valuations. This insightful volume provides the reader with an invaluable history, catalog, and price guide. The volume is illustrated extensively with pictures of all major types and varieties of Pioneer Postcards, and is the result of over 10 years of determined research by the author. His work offers the first historical glimpse into this murky past with sensitivity, clarity, and an organizational framework that ties many loose ends together.
The book chronicles some of the early struggles of our nation and draws from several fields of inquiry including postal history, printing, and illustrating. The role of the U. Postal Service is critically examined and several conclusions are drawn. The author provides two chapters that carefully guide us through the many growth stages of American Pioneer Postcards and finishes with a Comprehensive Catalog.
Postcards became unbelievably popular in Japan during the Russo-Japanese War of to The issue of commemorative postcards was a great event. People would line up in front of post offices and wait through the night to be among the first to get these cards. There are even reports of people who died in fights. Collectors had tens of thousands of postcards.
All postcards depicting lynching were now banned from the mail, and individual postmasters were given the discretion to confiscate cards they personally deemed indecent.
A collection can be formed in many, many ways. Cards may be collected from one’s home town, around a holiday theme such as Halloween, and I even once met someone who collected postcards depicting “Outhouses. The more one knows about a hobby and its history, the more fun the hobby can become. On this page I have provided a brief history of postcards in the United States with some examples.
Later in , the US Government issued it’s first postal card, but it was not until the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in when full color postcards were sold as souvenirs. A card from a series of 12 published by Charles W.