20th-Century Postcard Craze

For a few years in the early 20th century, billions of postcards flowed through the mail, and billions more were bought as keepsakes. Here's a sampling.

Halloween postcard of two girls watching witch on broom

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“For a few years in the early 20th century, billions of postcards flowed through the mail, and billions more were bought and put into albums and boxes,” writes Daniel Gifford, author of American Holiday Postcards 1905–1915. “And amid that prodigious output, holiday postcards were one of the most popular types, with Christmas reigning supreme.” Below, Gifford shares a small sampling from his personal collection of early 20th-century holiday postcards.

Click any image to enlarge.


Read more about the “Golden Age of Postcards” by Daniel Gifford in our November/December 2016 issue.

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Comments

  1. I have about 35 of these old cards that were exchanged by my Mother and her three sisters who grew up in Nescopeck, Pennsylvania around 1900

  2. It was a “Golden Age of Postcards” indeed, representing at least 4 of the yearly holidays with that beautiful, charming art that was meant to be studied and savored. (The young lady in the green dress here doesn’t appear likely to give this unwanted gentleman caller a kiss—-falling mistletoe or not.)

    I’m looking forward to my new Holiday issue of the POST, and reading about these cards from long ago that I’m sure were the forerunners of the Hallmark and American Greeting cards that came later.

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