Postcards Define the Indescribable

Imagine yourself a tourist in Paris in 1907. You are touring the world’s most vibrant city, but you feel an obligation to send word home. Do you send a postcard or write a letter? You will likely decide to send a postcard. And you may find the most indescribable site in Paris will be in the most famous church in the city.

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One Year Ago This Week

Livermore and Knight, Pioneer Postcard Publishers

Livermore & Knight, a Providence, Rhode Island printing and engraving company came early to the world of postcards. Today, cards from that era are known as pioneers. There are many who collect these early cards, simply because they were the first available, but there are other reason too. They are beautiful, cleverly made and very well crafted. This storyoffers an idea of what one company was able to accomplish.

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Why Is
Postcard History?

Postcard History is a free online magazine dedicated to vintage and historic picture postcards and the many stories associated with them.

We feature richly illustrated articles designed to both inform and entertain postcard collectors and history buffs.

We also provide the most comprehensive listing of forthcoming shows around.

And there’s a rich trove of links to institutional and personal online postcard collections. There’s also a comprehensive, verified listing of active postcard clubs in the U. S. and Canada, which we’re working on expanding worldwide.

Coronavirus impacts postcard shows
Our Show Calendar has the latest information on what shows have been cancelled or postponed. We vet each listing so you can have reliable information about this. We update the calendar as things change. Check back regularly for the latest.

News and

September 16, 2020

The results to Know-It-All Quiz #3 are in! An increasing number of readers hit research paydirt here — 7 in all got the answers to the Curt Teich large letter American military base cards correct. Quiz #4 asks you to identify 6 tall monuments and what is distinctive about each. Take a look at the quiz  and see for yourself. Your entry should be submitted by midnight on Friday, September 25.

Which reminds us: You may have noticed that we don’t publish the answers to the quizzes. That’s deliberate, because you are free to go back to any (or all) of the quizzes to complete them and add to your personal points score. Remember, 5 points earns you a certificate testifying that you are a “Postcard History Know-It-All.”

This postcard exhibition in the Germans From Russia Cultural Center of Northern State University (Aberdeen, North Dakota) shows towns and rural locations known for having a substantial community of Germans from Russia. We know about this because the 70 enlarged cards belong to Duane Stabler, a devoted writer for this magazine. Exhibitions like this are educational no matter where they are held.

We have to admit, we’re an easy mark for the “lost postcard makes it home” story. So “Dated 1920, a postcard finally gets delivered,” from the New York Times caught our eye. Not that you haven’t seen these stories before (especially here), but in this instance the article happily shows both the front and the back of the card, a nice Halloween card with an October 29, 1920 postmark. The article speculates (not unreasonably) that someone found the card and popped it into the mailbox. Interesting, because (a) the stamp had already been cancelled and (b) it was a penny stamp.  With all the problems the post office is having lately, it’s nice to see that they would do this.

If you didn’t know that October 1, 2020 is World Postcard Day, join us in wanting to know more.Remember last year, when the Postcrossing community celebrated the 150th anniversary of postcards?” asks Postcrossing’s blog. “Thanks to you all, October 1, 2019 was a day filled with festivities, cake, friendship… and so, so many postcards! It was truly a happy day, in which our favorite means of communication was celebrated across the globe. So when the day was over and the party was done, we thought … wouldn’t it be great if there was a permanent day in the calendar in which postcards were celebrated every year?” They offer a variety of ideas for promoting postcards: send cards to friends, put up small exhibitions at the local library, even do a Zoom meeting to celebrate. We’re all in!

Most Recent Article

Breakfast in Hollywood

If you were listening to NBC-Radio on the morning of January 13, 1941, you heard Tom Breneman, say for the first time, “Good morning, I am Tom Breneman and this is Breakfast on the Boulevard.” Most of America was already at work, but Tom’s opening was directed to a west coast audience. Every weekday for the next seven years, people across America listened to Breneman’s unscripted breakfast program. For many it was the highlight of their day.

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