Picture it, you’re living on a farm in the 1920’s and you want to send a quick note to a friend in a neighboring state.
Perhaps a “Happy New Year!” greeting, or the always popular “our oxe has taken ill, and sadly we won’t be joining you for Thanksgiving”.
For less than a nickel, you could buy a 1 cent stamp & postcard from a general store or tourist stand & send these postcards across the country.
Less than half of American households had telephones before WW2, so sending a letter or postcard was the most cost efficient way to communicate. If we don’t have a strong Wifi signal in 2019, we get upset. My, how things have changed.
Here is a basic outline to date your antique postcards:
Pioneer Era (1869-1898) – Plain printed Messages from the U.S. Postal Service.
Private Mailing Card Era (1898-1901) Labeled “Private Mailing Card” w/ Ads.
Undivided Back (1901-07). Only room for address still, no place to leave message. Some GREAT cards in this era. Real Photo cards are sought after.
Divided Back (1907-15) – Very similar design on front, but with a field on the back to write a personal message. SOLID era of cards.
White Border Era (1915-30) – Divided backs that display poor print quality (from the loss of the German printers in WW1). Mostly low values here.
Linen Era ( 1930-45). Also may have a white border, but exhibit brighter glowing colors and a linen threaded like finish. Low values.
Chrome Era (1939-Current) – The typical glossy souvenir shop postcards we use now. Very low values, I don’t usually buy these.
Antique Holiday / Humor Cards were beautifully embossed and sometimes gold leaf trimmed cards printed in Germany. Christmas cards with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny along with Halloween images are often collected, along with embellished Valentine’s Day, and St Patty’s Day cards to complete the seasons.
I buy and sell Antique postcards. I’m always looking to buy more. Bring them down to KC’s in Market Square.