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Postcards

Vintage postcards contain more than just scenic views! Read more >>

The earliest known postcard is from 1840 England but the earliest known postcard in the United States is an 1848 advertising postcard. Postcards can be holiday greetings, advertising, family photos, views of landscapes ("See? I'm at the sea!") or photos of monuments. All these examples and more can be seen in the following pages. << Read less
wRPPC With all the old-time historic pomp and pageantry and amid the plaudits of their loyal peoples, Their Gracious Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were crowned within the Abby of Westminster this 12th day of May 1937, whereof this is a memento." Printed on the bottom front is "Queen Mary's Procession with the Princesses. C.C.A."
People in this photo:
AZO, Real Photo Postcard of former prisoner William Glyndon and his Attorney, F.A. Heald, taken on the Penitentiary grounds following his pardon by the Governor of Iowa in 1909. Convicted of murder in 1878, Glyndon served 31 years behind bars before his sentence was exonerated due to 'circumstantial evidence'. Prior to his conviction, Glyndon served as a sharpshooter for the Ohio infantry during the Civil War.
People in this photo:
A photo postcard of four women dressed as clowns or "pierrot".
Joseph & Isadore Schub circa 1912, Chicago, Illinois, in Goat Cart, Post Card: Not positive about the identification of the two boys, but it seems likely from the best recollections available. Isadore & Joseph were the two oldest sons of Morris & Lena Schub of Chicago, IL, USA. Isadore died in a fire in 1917, when he was about 10 years old.
People in this photo:
Isadore Schub
Born: 1907
A postcard of a woman wearing the traditional folk costume of Markgräflerland, Germany. The name "Kehl" is written lightly across the bottom in pencil, but that may only be the name of the postcard dealer.
A Christmas Photo card in 1955? Yes, if your Dad was a commercial photographer! My Dad make several photo Christmas cards with his own photos of me. They may be all the rage now, but they were unique back then. Burbank Studios in Boston, Ken Burbank was my father. Well done, Dad!
People in this photo:
Kenneth William Burbank
Jul 4, 1916 - Jun 9, 1986
A photo of Mildred Jakahi
People in this photo:
Tosuke Jakahi
Nov 6, 1922 - Sep 28, 1993
Kaneohe, HI
A photo of Alger Ervay
People in this photo:
Alger Barnes Ervay
Sep 9, 1893 - Jul 1, 1978
Pompano Beach, Florida
Found at a central Texas antique store. The photo shows four Finnish children. From left to right: Olli (Olavi) - age 6, baby Ilmo- age 9 months?, Tarmo? - age 5, Marja - age 8. There are some other words written on the back that I can't quite make out - possibly the family name? I uploaded a scan of the back separately in case someone else wants to try to read it.
The YMCA made these postcards available to American troops returning from World War I. The back provided room to put the soldier's name, date of arrival, unit, troopship, camp to which he was headed and mailing address of a family member. This was a way to let loved ones know that the soldier had returned safely to the United States and would soon be writing them a letter. Well Done Men America Greets YOU YMCA (beneath statue) STATUE OF LIBERTY, NEW YORK CITY Statue of Liberty on Bedloe's Island in New York Bay 1 1/4 miles from the Battery, a colossal figure of Liberty enlightening the World. It lights the harbor with an electric torch held 306 feet above the water, the highest beacon in the world. Was presented to America by the French nation.
People in this photo:
Charles Calvin Jackson
Mar 21, 1896 - Sep 5, 1933
A "realphoto" postcard apparently made from an aerial reconnaissance photo showing a World War I battlefield. Visible in the central part of the photo are straight lines and corners - the remains of buildings. This may be a whole town or village that was completely destroyed by shelling. A trench system is visible circling the destroyed town and the ground across the whole photo is covered with bomb and shell craters. There is no writing anywhere on this postcard that would tell where the photo was taken. Wikipedia has a photo that strongly resembles this one in an article about the Belgian municipality of Zonnebeke, but there's no way for me to tell if it really is the same area.
The photo shows the bow of a warship plunging into a big wave. Four large guns are visible at the bottom of the photo. The caption reads: "Heavy Seas coming over Foc'sl (forecastle). 12-8-13"
Postcard showing a warship in rough seas. The ship's lattice masts are just visible behind a big wave. The caption reads: "Man-O-War -- when the seas are rolling high."
A postcard showing an American battleship in rough seas. Caption reads "An American Battle Ship in heavy Sea." The ship's lattice masts are just visible behind a big wave.
A "realphoto" postcard showing a howitzer firing a shell. The shell is faintly visible near the upper right corner of the postcard, just about to exit the right edge of the photo. Caption says "Seven inch -- howitzer in action -- showing projectile"
A damaged "realphoto" postcard showing German soldiers and big artillery shell sometime in winter. There is snow on the ground and "30.5" is written on the shell.
A postcard showing a British tank possibly climbing out of a trench.
Detail of postcard showing American troops (labeled "US") entering Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. This closeup shows a Luxembourg military band as the troops enter the city. The Luxembourg band has either finished playing or is waiting for the Americans to finish before they start.
Detail of postcard showing American troops (labeled "US") entering Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. This closeup shows a U.S. Army band playing as the troops enter the city.
Detail of postcard showing American soldiers (labeled "US") entering Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. There is a soldier operating what looks like a movie camera on a big sturdy tripod. He may be filming a newsreel.
Written across the top: "Luxemburg City Luxbg" center, on marching troops in road: "U S" On right near horses: "Luxbg Band" and "Luxbg. Soldiers" On left above caption: "U.S. Band" Caption across bottom: "L'Entrée des Troupes américaines a Luxembourg 21-11-18" Google translate: "The Entrance of the American Troops in Luxembourg 21-11-18" I uploaded enlarged details of this photo separately.
"L'Entrée des Troupes américaines a Luxembourg 21-11-18" Google translate: "The Entrance of the American Troops in Luxembourg 21-11-18"
"German troops returning to Germany through Mersch (Luxembourg) 1918. An uninterrupted procession of German transport on the Arlon Road."
Detail of the postcard showing German troops crossing a bridge on their way out of Luxembourg. There are two small children barely visible behind the bridge railing and the soldiers are smiling at them and talking to them as they cross the bridge.
A postcard showing retreating German troops crossing a bridge on their way out of Luxembourg in 1918. The caption in French reads: "La fuite des Boches Luxembourg 1918" Google translate: "The flight of the Boches Luxembourg 1918"
A photo of the Interior of Reims Cathedral after German shelling. A commercially published mass produced tinted postcard, probably part of a series. Caption reads: "3. REIMS (1919). -- Interieur de la Cathédral (au fond, trou causé par un obus de 380)" Google Translate: "Interior of the Cathedral (basically, hole caused by a shell of 380)"
A photo of Reims in ruins after the German retreat. A commercially published mass produced postcard, probably part of a series. Written on the back "22 May 1919" (I don't know whether that's the date this photo was actually taken). Caption reads: "2. REIMS dans les ruines après la retraite des Allemands -- Place d'Erlon vers St. Jacques" Google Translate: "REIMS in ruins after the retreat of the Germans -- Place d'Erlon towards St. Jacques"
A photo of Cattle being loaded aboard a French dreadnought Caption reads: "French Dreadnought being stocked with live cattle from a transport."
Because no scene is exciting enough without various aircraft randomly pasted all over the sky.
Postcard of a cathedral in Berlin with a (fake) parade marching past it. Some of the people in this picture were definitely added later. I'm actually not sure whether any of them are real.
This would be a rather ordinary postcard of a scene in Berlin, except that someone must have decided it was too boring and randomly pasted people all over the picture. The only people that appear to belong in the photo are the small group near the steps to the left of the statue (they're the only ones that have shadows). The picture reminds me of the animated cut scenes in "Monty Python's Flying Circus." Bismarkdenkmal und Siegessäule auf dem Königplat (Bismarck Monument and Victory Column on the Königsplatz)
A "realphoto" postcard showing an armored car. Along the bottom is written: "HILL PHOTO SHOP, LYNCHVILLE. MACHINE GUN ARMORED CAR"
A "realphoto" postcard showing three British tanks in a forest during World War I. I don't know whether the scene really was that hazy or the photograph was just fogged.
This is a commercially published, mass produced postcard. The verse at the bottom reads: Le devoir a son temps, l'amour égalemant: Acceptez ce bouquet d'un parfait combattant. (Translation by Google) Duty has its time, love also: Accept this bouquet of a perfect fighter. A soldier evidently bought this as a souvenir and mailed it home. Handwritten on the back: "A good picture of a French soldier as they appear while on furlough."
A postcard showing YMCA volunteers decorating American graves in France after World War I. Written on the back "Decoration Day American Y girls decorating soldiers graves". 2nd grave from the left is Private, First Class George S. Kerr. Center grave is Private Michael Borczynski. I can't make out the names on the other crosses. This photo was likely taken in May of either 1919 or 1920. rank blurred and difficult to read (PVT. W1?) KERR, GEORGE S. 165TH AERO SQDN DIED MAR. 11th 1919 service number 1148694 rank - PVT BORCZYNSKI, MICHAEL CO. I 347th INF. DIED OCT. 25th 1918 service number 2950991
People in this photo:
George S Kerr
Nov 18, 1891 - Mar 11, 1919
A "real photo" postcard found in an antique store. Unfortunately there is no identifying information on it anywhere. The two girls have dolls and the boy has a toy gun.
A "real photo" postcard found in an antique store in Texas. Unfortunately, there's no information on it anywhere so I don't know who this is or where it was taken.
A photo postcard of Eldon Albert and Alice McCarty "from Albert Fox". Eldon doesn't look very happy to have his picture taken.
People in this photo:
Postcard found at an antique show. Handwriting on the back is addressed to Mr. Floyd Ball, 810 W. Pine St., Independence, Kansas. "Dear Brother, I will send you a picture we had taken the 22 of Oct. Is it very cold there now and do you go very much in your chair or is it to [sic] cold roll over and see me some day. Bye Bye now." Very annoying that none of the people IN the photo are named. They sure are proud of that nice car.
Found in an antique store. On the back is handwritten "Alvin Glick Mrs Amies Glicks son Our Friends. His mother always walked about 1/2 mile nearly every day to visit Mother Mary Stehno". I don't know if Mary Stehno was the writer or the writer's mother.
People in this photo:
A photo postcard found in an antique store in Texas. Writing on the back says "Little Dorthy Davis". The handwriting on the back is different, but this may have come from the same album as the photo postcard of Dorothy and her sister Walterine.
People in this photo:
Dorothy Caroline (Davis) Curlee
Jul 26, 1921 - Nov 29, 1989
A photo postcard found in an antique store in Texas. Writing on the back says "Dorthy + Walterine Davis"
People in this photo:
Walterine (Davis) Haggard
Jun 14, 1923 - Aug 8, 1960
A photo of the Presbyterian Church and Parsonage, Highland, NY. Earl Smith and Dorothy Van Kleeck were married here on June 12, 1930.
People in this photo:
Earl Edward Smith
May 1, 1900 - May 22, 1982
Kingston, NY, USA
Postcard of the Triebel family garage in Red Hook. Photo probably taken sometime in the 1920s. Printed on the back is the following: "Tourist Lodge. This is where we stopped. Good rooms and good service."
People in this photo:
Donald Franklin Triebel
Aug 14, 1926 - Jun 11, 2001
Red Hook, NY
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