Did you know trick-or-treating wasn’t popularized until the late 1950s? Or that Halloween was a day of romance in the early 1900s? Or that cabbages featured prominently on Halloween postcards in the early 20th Century? That’s what this episode is about — a brief history of Halloween postcards.
Month: October 2020
E93: Mary L. Martin: Owner of the World’s Largest Postcard Shop and Author of A Guide Book of Collectible Postcards
Mary L. Martin owns the world’s largest postcard shop. And just just recently wrote (with Q. David Bowers) A Guide Book of Collectible Postcards. We talk about the process that led to the writing and publication of the book, and then talk about the postcard collecting business in general. You can find Mary’s book along with millions of collectible postcards at marylmartin.com.
I wrote up my initial thoughts about the book here. (Hint: I really like it.)
I’m joined again by postcard enthusiast and sticker aficionado, Jim Lynch.
Long-time listeners of the show will recognize Jim from episode 60, where we talked about his extensive foray into the postcard world. In this episode, we expand on that topic…here’s a list of what you’’ll here us discuss in this eclectic episode:
- Stickers (including the Antiquarian Sticker Book)
- Art Throw Down
- Adult Coloring Books
- Where’s George Postcard Exchange
- Sent Postcard Cataloging System
- SF Postcrossing Facebook Group
- World Postcard Day
- Where to Find Postcards
- Postcards from Singapore Post
- Food Packaging Postcards
- Covid Postcards
- Pandemic Philately FB Group
- Delcampe Auction Site
- USPS Cancellation Sorters
- Travel Trinkets Canada Postcards
You can find Jim on Instagram @jlynch9923
There’s a terrific article by Benjamin H. Trask on Postcard History titled Coastal Sentinels: United States Lighthouses. I’ve always been captivated by the solitude of a lighthouse keeper’s life. I’m actually somewhere between fascinated and disturbed by what that life must have been like. And that interest continues with lighthouse postcards. I buy them whenever I see them. But what I have pales in comparison in what exists. Trask writes in the intro:
A thread of shoreline with a lighthouse has long been a focal point for artists and photographers as well as a destination for tourists and lovers. At the close of the postcard’s golden era, around the outbreak of World War I, America boasted more than 1,400 lighthouses tended by resident keepers.Benjamin H. Trask, Costal Sentinels: United States Lighthouses (2020)
You can find the article by clicking here.
It’s not every day that we get to hear Navajo being spoken and I’m honored to have been joined by Navajo Nation writer and postcard creator Sylvanus Paul. We talk about how Sylvanus got started with with writing letters and postcards; why he named his Instagram account Letterdoggy; how he writes meaningful messages on his postcards; and how his stand up comedy influences the jokes he sometimes writes on postcards.
I’ve been quietly working on a YouTube channel for The Postcardist, and I’m in pre-production on shows for that format. I’ve been posting some snippets here, but once I get get going I’ll create 15 to 20-minute shows on particular postcard topics. While The Postcardist Podcast sails along with great guests and storytelling, the YouTube channel will be more documentary style with a narrow focus.
Here are some initial topics I’m working on. I’d really love to get some feedback from you on additional topics you’d like to see. You can leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Episode 1: Shining a light on Hold-to-Light (HTL) Postcards from the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis
- Episode 2: Examining Mutoscope Pinup Postcards Featuring the Art of Zoë Mozert, Gil Elvgren, and Earl Moran
- Episode 3: Assembling the World’s Largest Collection of Bigfoot and Cryptozoology Postcards
- Episode 4: Showcasing a Collection of Postal Stationery from the U.S. and Europe
- Episode 5: Maximizing the Value of Maxicards
So, that’s the first five. Each of these will take some time to produce because of all the shots and editing. Plus, there’s a lot of research that is going into each one. This will be fun. Let me know what you think.
Postcards connect people. And here’s a really interesting take on postcards creating connections during the pandemic.
Mississippi-based artist Ashely Brewer started a drawing on a postcard, sent that incomplete card in an envelope to people with a return envelope, and asked them to complete the drawing and send the postcard back to her. In return, she got lots of community-created art. I’m gonna try this technique with one person today.
The full article by Wayne Andrews at The Oxford Eagle is below.
I just got A Guide Book of Collectible Postcards by Q. David Bowers and Mary L. Martin and I can’t put it down. But if I did, I could use it as a paperweight during a hurricane. This book is big — 422 pages, 8″ x 11″ and nearly three pounds — and replete with 1500+ illustrations and photographs. And the writing and research is heavy and top notch, too.
After a foreword by eminent collector Leonard Lauder, the book launches quickly into early postcard history and includes pictures of postcards that illustrate the writing. Plus, each of the postcard images contain suggested prices for VF to Mint grade cards.
The authors make a compelling point to anyone who wants to be serious about postcard collecting. It’s all about building a knowledge base.
Reading this book is equivalent to spending a few days immersed in a postcard convention or show. Hundreds of cards are illustrated, described in detail, and have estimated values.–Q. David Bowers and Mary L. Martin, The Guidebook of Collectible Postcards (2020)
The chapters in the book include:
- Postcards of the Golden Age (1890s to 1910s)
- Postcards of the Later Years (1920s to early 1930s)
- Postcard Values: Grading and Other Aspects
- Building a Collection of Postcards
- A Closer View of Postcard Production
- Events and Transitions on Postcards
- Real Photo Postcards (RPPCs)
- Political, Social, Racial, and Religious Postcards
- Holiday, Greeting, and Novelty Postcards
- Popular Sets of Postcards
- Signed Artist Postcards
- Advertising and Calendar Postcards
- Restaurants, Ice Cream Parlors, Saloons, Gambling, Pastimes, Etc.
- Stores, Offices, and Banks
- Trades, Occupations, and Professions
- Stages, Performers, Musicians, Circus, and Related
- Movies and Players
- Amusement Parks
- Sports and Recreation
- World’s Fairs and Related
- Scenic and View Postcards
- Linen and Other Postcards, 1930s to 1950s
- Chrome Postcards, Late 1930s to Date
There is also a list of postcard printers and distributors along with another list of U.S. postcard clubs.
This book is one I’ve been carrying around and reading since it arrived. Every day is a learning adventure with postcards. The Guide Book of Collectible Postcards can be purchased for $39.95 by clicking here. (If you ask nice, I bet you could get a signed copy.)
In a recent Instagram story, I mentioned I collect Matthew Kirscht Halloween postcards and said I would love to have him on The Postcardist Podcast. I eagerly anticipate each monthly release of Matthew’s Halloween cards, so imagine my delight when I saw this animation of his artwork by Greg Rozeboom. Here’s Greg’s description:
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE! This year, I combined a spooky jazz song from 1929, ‘Bogey Wail’ by Jack Hylton and His Orchestra, with a collection of hand-painted Halloween postcards by the amazing Matthew Kirscht.
You can see Matthew Kirscht’s art at The Shiverbones Shop.