While traveling across America, I developed a hobby collecting these vintage postcards. The kids were young and we were on a budget, so I could not spend money on expensive tourist items. As we traveled most of the 50 states, I would duck into antique stores to find my souvenir from the trip – my treasured antique postcard of the town and surrounding countryside with the lovely vintage colors.
I particularly chose postcards from the era of the early 20th century because of the process used to publish them. Each of these antique postcards was made using a printing process of lithography. This early lithographic process resulted in cards with beautiful coloring that have a romantic, vintage look. Due to the human factor in making these post cards, some are more brilliant than others, so that they are now collectible postcards.
Like many other hobbies, collecting vintage postcards not only gives a beautiful image of a place from a time past, but also provides an interesting reason to go searching the history of the area. I soon found myself on a treasure hunt, viewing historic pictures of the towns, reading history, and trying to determine the age of the card from old images of the town and the markings on the card.
This hobby also turned out to be a great way to start a dialogue with older family members. Showing or sending a card to a favorite grandparent of their hometown as it looked 100 years ago invites them to reminisce. I try to write it all down and save it to pass on to the next generation or those genealogy enthusiasts in our family. Better yet, I can take one of these images with my own family and friends and go searching the town history. It becomes a great pastime and a reason to go traveling.
I hope you enjoy the vintage postcards and the history behind them.
Vintage American Postcards
The publishing of cards and gifts from old postcards grew from a hobby of collecting vintage postcards and is just a lot of fun. This end of the business allows us to have a lot of creativity:
- Writing about the history of the postcard for our interest and our public’s interest
- Designing products to sell from the original postcard image
The writing of the history of what is seen in a vintage postcard is purely for the fun of it and the love of history. Our site is a little unusual in that you will first find this history scattered all over it with bits here and there about whatever is shown in a postcard. There is no rhyme or reason to this approach to history. You must just accept it and will simply get a smattering of information on all sorts of subjects about American history.
In publishing cards and gifts from old postcards, we use the same method of printing as in the books – print-on-demand printing. In 2009, we moved our online store to Zazzle.com. Zazzle offers different products and allows the user to customize their products changing colors and adding their own text. For this reason, we thought it would be great to build a store there and will be adding our products there continually. Please see our new store at www.zazzle.com/vintageamerican for unique gifts that you can personalize made from our beautiful vintage postcard images.
With each postcard, we first put it on the Vintage American website in its original condition and write about the history. Then we add a restored image to the Vintage American shop for sale as a reprint on many different and unique gift items. Our customers have found that the history buffs in their families really enjoy these gifts with a glimpse of America’s past preserved and recreated.