For decades the only methods to communicate were with letters or talking face-to-face. A very popular method came in the 1890s and continued into the 1900s through 1930s. It was to send unusual, funny, romantic, scenic postcards. They were inexpensive, lovely to receive and keep. This was the method young couples communicated before there was email, texting and other social media devices.
Since mail delivery was twice a day, a postcard could be sent that morning for an evening get-together. Now in more recent years with the use of postcards nearly gone, there are numerous collectors looking for those once popular postcards.
Having a variety of postcards can take different forms; collecting just locations, or romantic sayings or ones with animals on them, or ones more like cartoons. The photo postcards of hometowns, businesses, street scenes and regular people are so unusual because those may be the only image of the place or person. With many buildings and homes torn down, destroyed over the years, it is hard to locate a photo of the place from decades ago.
Using postcards can be very important for the family history researcher. If you grandparents owned a shop in the hometown and you now had a photo postcard of that business, that would be thrilling. Seeing a street scene of the neighbor your ancestor lived on is as good as it get to better knowing your relatives.
How to locate postcards you would be interested in is to go to local flea markets and antique shows. Most selling postcards do have them organized by topics. You can even give the seller your contact number so if they ever come across a specific one you are looking for they call you.
One of the best methods is to search on the online auction site eBay. It is amazing what can be located on this world-wide site. You might think no one would have a postcard of the small little town your grandparent grew up in, but you can be surprised when you eventually find one on eBay. You might have to recheck numerous times, but it can happen.
Another method is to check with the local hometown museum. They also will have a collection of local postcards. Give details of what you want and if they can it they can send a scanned digital image or a photo copy of it to you.
Photos: Glass and Lieberman 1925 store, street in Gainesville, GA; a couple in 1900; Kenney Shoes in 1919; dog; a couple in 1910; and funny dog.
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