May 4, 2020

Ray Hahn

National Postcard Week 2020

Some years ago, when I told someone that I collected antique postcards, the reaction was a strange stare or an unenthusiastic, “Oh! Really?” There were times that we traveled, when I would take a couple albums of my advertising cards and artist signed cards, just to show those who cared even the slightest bit. Don’t ever hesitate to show your collection to people. Most love learning new things.

Lately, I’m not sure if I have grown immune to blatant displays of apathy or perhaps people have opened their minds to individual differences. Let’s ignore the causes and accept the fact that postcard collectors have gained much more respect in the collectibles world and one of the reasons is National Postcard Week.

National Postcard Week 2020 is this week. May 3rd through May 9th. It all began in 1983 when John McClintock, DeeDee Parker, Roy Cox, Richard Novick and a few others decided that something was needed to foster the hobby and bring new people to it. Today there are thousands of collectors worldwide and many of those came to the hobby by learning about it from NPCW connections.

In the early years most of the postcards were made by the many clubs around the country and a few individuals. The clubs would have the cards printed, then distribute them to members and the members would mail the cards to family and friends. Today NPCW is much different. It is the individual collectors who foster the hobby by making cards that they send to fellow collectors.

If you have never participated in National Postcard Week there is no time like now to prepare for 2021. It is easy because those who have participated for years are always willing to help someone new to the idea. The first thing to do is decide what kind of card to make and then follow some simple steps to your first NPCW mailing.

The card you decide to make must comply with US Postal regulations. Size is important and so is the paper. You can consult usps.com or ask anyone who has made their own NPCW cards before. To find a source for your cards is easy, too. Just sit at your computer and Google, “postcards.” Click on the Search button and at least five or six companies that print postcards will have popup advertisements at the top of the Google results page. This is another good time to ask someone who has experience for help. Get them to recommend a company.

The image you choose is most important. The image needs to tell others something about you. It may be difficult to select the image but it’s like so many other things in life: when you see it, you’ll know at once that it is right for you. Very seldom do you need to be concerned about copyrights, but be careful.

After your image is chosen, the design comes next. Be sure to include the date of NPCW in the design. If you’re planning for next year the dates for 2021 are, May 2nd through May 8th. Some card makers think that it is important to sign your cards. Some like to number their cards. The important thing however is to get your cards into the mail – during NPCW – to other participants.

Mailing your cards is easy too. The first step is to get the list of other participants. Simply email your name, mailing address, and email address to the one person in America who coordinates the mailing list. Her name is Demaris Swint. Her email is ezrestexas@aol.com. Demaris will contact everyone on her lists from past years early in the year to encourage their continued participation, but if you have never participated before you must first make yourself known to her. You do not have to be online to participate. If you don’t have email, send your information to Demaris at Post Office Box 746, Alamo, TX 78516.  

In 2019 nearly seventy cards made their way to my mailbox. Here are some examples that I hope will inspire new participants in 2021.

1. Betsy W.         Virginia                 Mermaids
2. Ray H.               New Jersey         Boston Molasses Flood
3. Dolores R.       Pennsylvania     Moon Landing
4.  Jim S.                Ohio               Lighthouse 2019
5. Hal O.               Kansas                  May 18, 1947
6. Karin G.           Arizona                 Navajo Family
7. Bob S.               Virginia                 Shenandoah Valley Academy

It is very unlikely that you will have difficulties finding help if you need it. Nevertheless, if it is a problem, please use the COMMENTS section that follows this article to explain what you need. Someone will contact you.

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Jim Sens
4 months ago

Thank you for including a copy of my 2019 NPCW Postcard in your newsletter. I’ve been participating since 2016 and have enjoyed it very much.

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