Real Photo Postcards KwikGuide is a fun guide to the popular postcards in the early 20th century. Typical clues for dating postcards such as stamps, stamp boxes, and card format are . The back cover lists the "Postcard Galleries" included. Page 45, Babies and Stress Relief Bubbles Gift Cards Cardstock (Prism), library due date slip, old playing card, label holder (Making Memories), photo turns (7 stamps (Hampton Arts, Hero Arts Limited Edition), postcard tile (Limited . Although the world's first picture post cards date from the s to the mids, post Stamp boxes on printed or lithographed cards also offer dating clues.
Britain had already pioneered this in The address was to be written on the right side; the left side was for writing messages. Many millions of cards were published in this era -- it was the golden age of postcards. Up to this point, most postcards were printed in Germany, which was far ahead of the United States in the use of lithographic processes. The relatively high cost of labor, along with inexperience and changes in public taste, resulted in the production of poor quality cards during this period.
Furthermore, strong competition in a narrowing market caused many publishers to go out of business.
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Linen Era New printing processes allowed printing on post cards with high rag content that caused a linen -like finish. These cheap cards allowed the use of gaudy dyes for coloring.
Many important events and scenes in history are documented only by these cards. Three-dimensional postcards also appeared in this era.
By s, the standard size of cards had grown to 4 x 6 inches. Photochromes are not real photos but rather, printed cards done by a photochrome process. To distinguish a printed postcard from a real photo postcard, examine it under a magnifying glass and you will see the dot pattern that is characteristic of printed cards.
They are difficult to discern from real photos but usually don't have the glossy finish of photographs. The Laura Gilpin cards of Mesa Verde and Silverton are excellent examples of the photogravure process.
One easy way to approximate when a postcard was mailed if the cancellation date is unreadable is to know the changes in rates for mailing postcards. The following table comes from Historical statistics of the United States: Inside the stampbox are three lines of text: The card is postally unused, but there is a name written in pencil, toward the top of the address side of the postcard. Having never passed through the United States Post Office, there is no postmark date to use as a temporal guide.
However, since the postcard has a vertical divider line, allowing for a message to be placed on the back of the card, then the card must have been printed after March 1,which is the date that the U. Post Office allowed a message to be written on the side of the postcard that had previously been reserved for the address only. Based on the physical characteristics of the card, as well as the postmarks of other Stecher Lithographic Company postcards in my collection, a reasonable estimate of publication date for this particular postcard is in the range of to around The front of the postcard features a four-line verse in the upper-right quadrant: The font of the verse is an italic, sans-serif font, printed in black ink.
Underneath the verse are two large bluebirds in flight, with wings intersecting, as well as a smaller bluebird in flight near the bottom of the postcard. The other major design element of the postcard front is a vignette of a rural farm scene, with a stylized birch tree in the foreground, just to the left of a winding dirt path that leads to a farm house and barn in the background. There is a flag flying on a flagpole to the right of the barn, and a tall, conical structure behind the farm house, which might be meant to represent a silo.
The left side of the design is bordered with eight daisy-like flowers, on green stems of varying lengths. Underneath the farm vignette is printed in black ink: The entire edge of the postcard is bordered in light blue, and the Stecher Lithographic Company logo identical to the Stecher logo in the first postcard is printed in black ink in the lower-left corner.
The bluebirds and the daisies stems included are lightly embossed. As with many, if not the majority, of the postcards that feature a small vignette as the primary design element, this postcard is not artist signed.
This postcard, however, bears a stamp, although it is not postally used. The inscription, is written in black ink with a fountain pen: Please comment below if you figure out what search terms were used in the online search to identify the name of the city. Arriving at a credible estimate of the date that the postcard was printed or used is a bit more challenging, since the postcard, although stamped, was probably hand-delivered by Alwine Buth to Tena Memken, or was included in a letter written by Alwine Buth to Tena Memken, and thus was never postmarked by the U.
This one cent, green stamp bearing the likeness of George Washington is similar to the style of postage stamp that was affixed to untold thousands of vintage postcards. Stamps that all look pretty much identical to the postage stamp on this postcard were issued for nearly eleven years, from February 12, tthrough January 16, Without close examination, these one cent stamps all look the same. However, there are subtle differences in the stamp as it was released and rereleased by the Post Office Department.
Tips for determining when a U.S. postcard was published
The perf 11 version of this one-cent was issued on March 23,so this postcard was produced by Stecher and then used by Alwine Buth sometime after that date. Since according to familysearch. I base this theory on the evidence of two small about one-qurter inch deep tears in the top edge of the postcard, separated by approximately one and three-eigths of an inch, with semi-circular stress marks between the tears.
I surmise that these might have developed when the postcard was accidentally mishandled while being removed from the envelope, the recipient not expecting there to be an enclosure other than the letter.
Let us now examine a non-Stecher vintage postcard featuring bluebirds: The postcard has been mailed, with a postmark cancellation from Swanton, Vermont, postmarked February 27, The postcard has been used as a birthday greeting, with this undated inscription, written in black ink using a fountain pen: Also wishing you many more Birthdays.
Stearns, Swanton, Vermont, 5.