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Postcard collectors

A group for those who love collecting postcards.

Members: 16
Latest Activity: Apr 19, 2010

Discussion Forum

Postcard Collectors

Started by Bindy Bitterman. Last reply by ElisesAttic Jun 21, 2009. 3 Replies

WWI German Post cards

Started by ElisesAttic. Last reply by ElisesAttic May 1, 2009. 6 Replies

Why I love postcards

Started by Connie Swaim Mar 21, 2009. 0 Replies

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Comment by John Sayers on July 7, 2009 at 10:18pm
Wow! It's almost a month since anyone said anything about postcards! I'm sure that doesn't mean that there's nothing more to say.
To my knowledge, postcards are the only significant collecting category that doesn't have its own National organization. There's national bodies for everything from stamps to toasters and thimbles, but postcard collectors seem to be a shy, regional bunch...or maybe we're just shy about advertising our postcard collections. I know a couple of collectors with FABULOUS (and valuable) postcard collections who use PO Box addresses in their local club mailing list, and for anything else related to their hobby.
I belong to the Toronto Postcard Club and am active with them, organizing Club meetings and producing the 24-page newsmagazine three times a year. Anyone else out there belong to a local postcard club? And why do you think that the idea of a national organization to represent the hobby has never taken hold?
I'm keen to hear your comments...
Comment by John Sayers on June 13, 2009 at 9:59pm
I'm afraid that there's no 'quick fix' for learning about postcard artists. However, when you focus upon a topic, then you can get to know those artists better - for example, comic cards have their own set of artists, and military cards have a different set of artists. In regard to the latter, there's a recently-published book on Ernest Ibbetson who specialized in military and boy scout artwork for postcards - but there were lots of other artists who drew military postcards. Publications such as Picture Postcard Monthly, a British postcard publlication, give a fair bit of coverage to postcard artists, but their slant is toward European artists.
Unfortunately, there are many artist-drawn cards that aren't signed, so we can't determine the artist - which makes it difficult to collect by artist except for the few who consistently signed their names, such as Ellen Clapsaddle and Mabel Lucie Attwell.
If you see a striking image that relates to your topic of interest, add it to your collection even if it doesn't have an artist signature.
This situation is typical of what I believe are the great aspects of postcard collecting - there are no catalogs such as stamp collectors can use, so we're always discovering and learning new aspects of the hobby.

Comment by Karolyn Lauffer on June 12, 2009 at 8:31pm
Does anyone know of a book that shows the different artist's signiture and identifying marks? I really need to be educated. Karolyn
Comment by Connie Swaim on April 3, 2009 at 8:16am
I too am intrigued about why people sent specific scenes. Parke County had a TB asylum. I have about 15 real photo cards from the asylum. Some of them have great information about what it was like being on the wards. But, I have to wonder, why would you decide to send a photo of the TB asylum! Maybe since they couldn't go anywhere else that is all they had! I was lucky enough to pick up a pamphlet for the asylum with all the rules. Lots and lots of rules about "expectorating" and how men and women could not fraternize.
Comment by John Sayers on April 2, 2009 at 8:46pm
I like Katherine's question. Yes - why did someone select a specific picture? The answer is easy when it's Niagara Falls or some popular tourist venue. The irony is that Niagara Falls historians can find lots of pictures of 'The Falls' but very few early views of local streets or businesses. No tourist would have sent a postcard of, say, the intersection of Ferry and Drummond Streets. That's what makes cards of insane asylums, cemeteries (unless it was a joke such as 'Wish you were here!") and other institutions relatively hard to find.
When people collected postcards 100 years ago sending a particularly eleborate or expensive card was a mark of respect - and also implied that the sender had the finances to buy an expensive card (such as silks, real photos, hold-to-light, and certain novelty cards.) That's what tends to make them scarce.
Also, I wish that I knew more about the 'language of flowers' (and other symbols) - which I guess I could do if I did some googling. Those displays of flowers had a specific meaning, and I understand that slight differences could change the meaning significantly. Just another item to add to my 'To-Do' list!
Comment by Katherine McKerrow on April 1, 2009 at 4:22pm
I enjoy thinking about the psychology which postcards were sent -- why in the world did someone pick a picture of this to send to a friend or relative?
Comment by John Sayers on March 23, 2009 at 10:21pm
Postcards are truly addictive, including Real Photo (RP) cards. Just back from the Ephemera Society of America meetings and show in CT and Robert ("Bob") Bogdan (author of a recent book on RP cards) was a featured speaker. Fabulous! If you like RP cards you've got to buy his book. Anyone else read it?
Comment by Connie Swaim on March 23, 2009 at 9:47pm
Lois, I am always amazed by what people wrote on the back. Sometimes I buy duplicate cards just because I really like a message on the back.
Comment by Lois on March 23, 2009 at 5:43pm
I buy and sell postcards, but I also like to collect them. They teach us so much about times past and take us to interesting places.

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