Vintage Postcards: Postcard Blog /blog Blog: Collectible Old Antique Vintage Postcards Sun, 29 Dec 2013 02:51:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tall Tale, or Exaggeration Postcard from Temagami, Ontario /blog/2013/05/10/tall-tale-exaggeration-postcard-temagami-ontario/ /blog/2013/05/10/tall-tale-exaggeration-postcard-temagami-ontario/#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 19:47:39 +0000 /blog/&p=492 Temagami, Ontario Example of Tall Tale, or Exaggeration, Vintage Postcard

This fanciful Temagami vintage postcard dates from 1926 and is a good example of a tall tale, or exaggeration, postcard. Tall tale or exaggeration postcards often feature improbably sized crops, or fishing or hunting scenes with over-sized fish and wildlife. The improbably sized fish seen in this 1926 real-photo postcard is so huge that a man holds reins to steer it.

Tall Tale, or Exaggeration, Postcard by William H. Martin, 1908

An explanation of the photographic process used to make these “tall tale” postcards (through manipulation of negatives), as they are also known, can be found at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s web page about photographer Alfred Stanley Johnson and at the American Museum of Photography’s page on “trick” photographer William H. Martin. Both Johnson and Martin were well-known for their “tall tale” postcards; a 1908 example of Martin’s work captioned “A Pumpkin of ‘Powerful’ Growth” can be seen above. It’s an Azo Tri 1 real-photo postcard, and was published by his Martin Post Card Co.

Browse our novelty postcards page to see more examples of this genre. Thousands of vintage postcards can be accessed via the search box on the home page of Or, unwind in the world’s largest postcard bookstore.

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Baseball Postcard from Gresham, Oregon /blog/2013/04/22/baseball-postcard-gresham-oregon/ /blog/2013/04/22/baseball-postcard-gresham-oregon/#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 16:17:33 +0000 /blog/&p=476 Gresham, Oregon Baseball Postcard of Catcher Jack Hamlin

Meet young Jack Hamlin, whose picture was taken c. 1915. He wears a catcher’s mitt and has what appears to be a hard ball in hand in this scarce unused Azo Tri 1 real-photo postcard (otherwise known as an RPPC). Hamlin played for a Gresham, Oregon baseball team. This vintage postcard is nicely detailed and sharply focused, with great clarity. We were never able to ascertain the full name of the S & L team whose name is on the front of Hamlin’s baseball shirt. If you know, let us know, and we’ll publish the answer to this Multnomah County history question.

See a 1908 postcard from Grand Rapids, Michigan, of a notable downtown anchor building currently undergoing a rehab. Browse our sports collectibles. Thousands of vintage postcards can be accessed via the search box on the home page of Or, unwind in the world’s largest postcard bookstore.

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A Grand Rapids, Michigan Vintage Postcard /blog/2013/04/18/grand-rapids-michigan-vintage-postcard/ /blog/2013/04/18/grand-rapids-michigan-vintage-postcard/#comments Thu, 18 Apr 2013 19:33:57 +0000 /blog/&p=466 Morton House Hotel and West's Pharmacy in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1908

This antique Grand Rapids, Michigan postcard has found a new home. Very nicely detailed and with deep, rich colors, this vintage postcard shows the Morton House at 55 Ionia Ave., NW in Grand Rapids, MI, draped in patriotic bunting and with West’s Drug Store and a barber pole at ground level. Two early bicycles are propped up in front of the pharmacy, along the dirt road. While it has unfortunate paper loss at the bottom right corner, the paper loss doesn’t materially detract from this otherwise desirable Kent County collectible. Postmarked in 1908 and sent to the Honorable C. J. Wilson of N. Main St. in Urbana, Ohio, it was published by A. C. Bosselman & Co. of New York.

The hotel, at the intersection of Monroe Center and Ionia Ave., served as a low-income housing complex for 40 years, and was vacated in August 2011. Since then, it’s been purchased and, as of December 2012, Rockford Construction was in design stages to re-purpose the building as a mixed-use building with retail on the ground floor, office space above that, and market-rate housing on upper levels.

Read about what an old Florida motel postcard meant to one reader, or browse our other Michigan postcards. Thousands of vintage postcards can be accessed via the search box on the home page of Or, unwind in the world’s largest postcard bookstore.

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Sandra Ann Motel in Jacksonville, Florida /blog/2013/04/14/sandra-ann-motel-jacksonville-flor/ /blog/2013/04/14/sandra-ann-motel-jacksonville-flor/#comments Mon, 15 Apr 2013 04:05:07 +0000 /blog/&p=447 Sandra Ann Roadside Motel in Jacksonville, FL

One of the most satisfying moments for me as a postcard dealer is hearing the stories of why people buy the old postcards that they buy. A St. Augustine resident named …Sandra Ann bought this vintage postcard last week. We had occasion to chat on the phone for a few minutes and, since her mother died, Sandra Ann has found herself thinking more about the past. Her mother had told her that, as newlyweds, Sandra Ann’s parents had driven past this motel. Her mother thought that Sandra Ann was a pretty name, and so Sandra Ann was excited to find this triple-view postcard of the motel which provided the inspiration for her name. It was located at 8375 New Kings Rd. on U.S. Highway 1, at the time about three miles north of Jacksonville, FL.

Postmarked in 1954, the pink motel had 40 rooms, television, and a restaurant was nearby. The postcard was sent to Esther Davis of 16 Jackson Ave. in Endicott, NY by someone named Marguerite, who spoke of her stay at the motel.

Another interesting story of a found treasure came from an elderly woman who bought a 1952 motel postcard with a black background. It wasn’t in the best of shape but, nevertheless, I thought perhaps someone would like to have it. The buyer was ecstatic — now elderly, she and her husband had honeymooned at that Wisconsin motel in 1952.

We’d love to hear your stories of how vintage postcards reconnected you with old family memories. There is a comment box below for your use.

Read about Buffalo Bill Cody, or see more roadside America post cards at our website. Unwind in the world’s largest postcard bookstore.

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Buffalo Bill Cody and the Wild West /blog/2009/09/03/buffalo-bill-cody-and-the-wild-west/ /blog/2009/09/03/buffalo-bill-cody-and-the-wild-west/#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2009 05:45:39 +0000 /blog/&p=429 Buffalo Bill Cody's Widow, Louisa, with Oglala Sioux Indian Chief Red Wolf in Cody, Wyoming, c. 1918

A bit of the Wild West lives on in this scarce c. 1918 real-photo postcard of Louisa Cody, widow of Buffalo Bill Cody. Buffalo Bill, one of the most colorful entertainers of the Old West, was famous for his shows which featured cowboy themes. He died in 1917 of kidney failure; Mrs. Cody herself is elderly in this image. She died about three years after this photograph was taken. A pillow rests at her feet, and her chair is cushioned by a checkered blanket as she suns herself. The real scene stealer is Chief Red Wolf, an Oglala Sioux and American Indian scout who worked with Buffalo Bill. His gaze is piercing. From his elaborately beaded leggings to his feathered war bonnet, his appearance is imposing.

On the the reverse, the antique post card reads: “Compliments of Mrs. W. F. Cody. My Foster Mother and Chief Red Wolf, an old Indian Scout of Buffalo Bill’s. Borned [sic] on Pineridge, S. Decota [the Pine Ridge, South Dakota Indian reservation].” Along the bottom is written the date January 8, 1856. Was this Chief Red Wolf’s birth date, or that of Mrs. Cody? The location is given as Cody, Wyoming.

Compliments of Mrs. W. F. Cody, My Foster Mother

One of my favorite poems is about Buffalo Bill, and was written by e. e. cummings:

Buffalo Bill’s


who used to

ride a watersmooth-silver


and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat


he was a handsome man

and what i want to know is

how do you like your blueeyed boy

Mister Death

Read about a charming Victorian store, or see more native American post cards at our website. Unwind in the world’s largest postcard bookstore.

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A Late Victorian Store in Stony Ridge, Ohio /blog/2009/08/10/a-late-victorian-store-in-stony-ridge-ohio/ /blog/2009/08/10/a-late-victorian-store-in-stony-ridge-ohio/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2009 17:17:16 +0000 /blog/&p=411 Stony Ridge, Ohio Furniture Store Advertising Postcard Selling Gedron Tires for Bicycles

This simple, yet charming c. 1901-1907 unused advertising postcard shows merchandise which was available in the store of Albert Swartz in Stony Ridge, OH. Baby buggies and “Express” wagons were available, and Swartz carried a variety of bicycles as well.

His shop also offered bicycle repairs and bicycle tires. He specialized in Gendron wheels, which were well-known wire wheels made in nearby Toledo, OH. The Gendron Co. pioneered pedal cars and made wheels for bicycles, tricycles, invalid chairs, go-cars, baby carriages, doll carriages, coaster wagons and toy wheelbarrows. Presumably, all of the wheels shown here in the Swartz advertisement were Gendron wheels. A deceptively simple Wood County post card, and a hard-to-find cycling collectible which was snapped up by an eager collector within days of its listing.

Whatever happened to the Swartz store? Is it still there, restored and operating as a trendy boutique? We wonder what became of it.

Read about a Victorian advertising trade card, or see more advertising post cards and trade cards at our website. Unwind in the world’s largest postcard bookstore.

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Fanciful Fourth of July Postcards with Uncle Sam and Children /blog/2009/07/03/fanciful-fourth-of-july-postcards-with-uncle-sam-and-children/ /blog/2009/07/03/fanciful-fourth-of-july-postcards-with-uncle-sam-and-children/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2009 20:14:25 +0000 /blog/&p=399 July Fourth Vintage Holiday Postcard of Girl with Fireworks and Cannon

Happy Fourth of July to our readers! July Fourth, with its patriotic images of Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty, and the holiday’s association with fireworks, led to fanciful, festive postcards with splendid graphics at the turn of the 20th century. Above, we see a finely detailed and embossed 1911 Fourth of July post card showing a young girl surrounded by fireworks and firecrackers, as a cannon detonates next to her. The American flag waves patriotically in the background. Now, of course, we’d be horrified to see a child standing next to a detonating cannon.

Boy Shoots Pistol as Uncle Sam Holds Firecrackers, Vintage July Fourth Postcard, c. 1907

Everyone would gasp in horror now at the thought of a young boy running with wild abandon while firing a pistol in the air, but Uncle Sam looks on approvingly as he holds firecrackers aloft while fireworks explode in the background. This unused vintage postcard dates to about 1907. Postcards depicting Uncle Sam are themselves highly collectible.

Read about little-known April Fool’s Day postcards, or see more Fourth of July post cards at our website. Visit the world’s largest postcard bookstore.

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Happy April Fool’s Day from France /blog/2009/03/31/happy-april-fools-day-from-france/ /blog/2009/03/31/happy-april-fools-day-from-france/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2009 01:25:25 +0000 /blog/&p=378 An Antique April Fool's Day Holiday Postcard from France

Happy April Fool’s Day! During the “golden era” of postcard collecting, from about 1901 to 1915, the French loved to send one another postcards celebrating this improbable holiday. April Fool’s Day postcards were quite fanciful and often featured fish, traditionally associated in France with memory improvement. This scarce c. 1915 to 1920s real-photo fantasy post card depicts a flying fish with airplane wings, who transports a young girl while holding a peppermint candy in his mouth.

(Thinking: Drugs? Who needs drugs, with an imagination like this?)

Read about a great Easter postcard, or see dozens of holiday post cards at our website. Visit the world’s largest postcard bookstore.

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Easter Bunny Mother and Child, a Fantasy Holiday Postcard /blog/2009/03/22/easter-bunny-mother-and-child-a-fantasy-holiday-postcard/ /blog/2009/03/22/easter-bunny-mother-and-child-a-fantasy-holiday-postcard/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2009 00:25:39 +0000 /blog/&p=363 Easter Holiday Greeting Postcard from a Mother Rabbit and Her Child

With the Easter holiday fast approaching on April 12, we just had to share this charming new arrival with you. This c. 1907 fanciful Easter holiday postcard, embossed and gilded, depicts a mother rabbit in a red dress and her child rabbit holding up a sign that reads: “Be Sure and Have a Good Time.” Or, perhaps it’s a schoolmarm rabbit and her student. At any rate, it’s fun.

The antique postcard was published by an unknown postcard publisher in Germany, and is of the high quality — with careful attention to detail — often seen in early post cards published in that country. Happy Easter!

Read more about Easter postcards, or see more Easter post cards at our website. Visit the world’s largest postcard bookstore.

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Bedford, Indiana Outsider Artist August Mack Revisited /blog/2009/02/15/bedford-indiana-outsider-artist-august-mack-revisited/ /blog/2009/02/15/bedford-indiana-outsider-artist-august-mack-revisited/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2009 01:48:06 +0000 /blog/&p=325 We blogged last year about two unusual “outsider art,” or folk art, postcards from Bedford, Indiana which showed the dramatic c. 1940s work and religious visions of folk artist August Gustav Mack. His folk art display was six miles north of Bedford, on State Road 37 in Lawrence County, IN, but we didn’t know much else about this intriguing artist. Surprising new information has surfaced.

The Brazen Serpent, by Outsider Folk Artist August Mack of Bedford, Indiana 1

Reader David Seaney of Indianapolis, Indiana, who chronicles an amazing number of c. 1920s to 1960s illegal Midwestern casinos and speakeasies at his website, advises that Mack emigrated to America from West Prussia, Germany in 1891, when he was 12. He became a stonecutter in Lawrence County, Indiana, which is world famous for its limestone. Later, in 1942, Mack self-identified as a sculptor.

The alert Seaney also located an August 10, 1931 newspaper article from The Valparaiso Vidette Messenger which contains the story “ Raiders Find Old Time Saloon in a Hen House.” The article contains surprising information about some of Mr. Mack’ other, less-than-godly, activities. It seems that during Prohibition, he ran afoul of the law in Bedford. Mack was operating a speakeasy in a hen house on a farm one mile north of Oolitic, and was raided by [Lawrence County] Sheriff John Tyree and a posse. According to Tyree, one of several of Mack’s hen houses had been outfitted as an old-time saloon and was furnished with tables and chairs, a refrigerator, poker tables and slot machines. Mack was charged with violating prohibition laws and between 500 and 600 bottles of beer, mash and other liquor-making supplies were confiscated.

Reader Seaney also found an eight-year-old post by Sue Mack on the WoodCarvers Web, which reads: “Sometime in the 20s, 30s or 40s, August Mack carved from wood a serpent that is now in a museum. It is called the ‘Brazen Serpent’ and it coiled, hissed, and rattled like a real one. It was 21 feet long and weighed about 300 pounds. It had 362 ribs and over 4000 scales on its body. It had the appearance of a large diamondback rattlesnake. It works by the power of a small motor. We believe he carved it in Oolitic, Indiana which is south of Bloomington, Indiana on Highway 37, just north of Bedford, Indiana. We believe it is in a museum somewhere in the Carolinas or the vicinity. Has anyone seen it? He is an ancestor and we’re doing some family history. He also has carved a merry-go-round and animals until his death on July 26, 1947.”

The Brazen Serpent, by Outsider Folk Artist August Mack of Bedford, Indiana 2

Feel free to jump into this thread, if you have more information about folk artist Mack. Seaney says there are two other articles about Mack at The Bedford [Indiana] Times Mail website. A June 24, 1997 articles chronicles Mack’s life and works, while an August 4,2008 story is about the mechanical snake. Unfortunately, this is a pay site, and these articles were not accessed.

Read our original post about outsider artist August Mack or see our selection of roadside America postcards at our website. Or, visit the world’s largest postcard bookstore.

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