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
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.
October 1, 2020 is World Postcard Day. I asked Postcrossers to leave voice messages about what they’ll be doing to celebrate. And 20 people answered the call from around the world — from New Zealand, India, Philippines, Greece, Ireland, England, Canada and the United States. This is what they said.
Special thanks to Ana from Postcrossing for adding what they’re doing at HQ on such a special day. #postcardrevolution2020
Postcards connect people. And this show is, once again, about another connection. I connected with Orla Hegarty over the past couple of years because of this show and because of postcards. Orla is a dedicated postcard creator and writer, a mathematician, a traveler, and a postmaster for Canada Post in her town of St. Vincent’s, Newfoundland.
In this episode, Orla and I talk about postcards. And mushrooms (the edible kind, silly); Burning Man (where I suppose there are other kinds of mushrooms, too); The Salt Path; Punxsutawney Phil and Wiarton Willie; Newfoundland boil ups; Newfie tacos (I really gotta have one now that Orla told me about them); Feminism; stamps; Postcrossing, and the special cancellation Orla does from her post office.
Thats’s the thing about postcard connections. It’s a lot more than a piece of paper with a nice design and a note on the back. What I like about the connections is that I am on a journey of continuous learning — about people and cultures and faraway places. That’s what this episode delivers — it’s another opportunity to learn about the world from someone who communicates with great storytelling. Plus, name me another show where you can learn about Newfie tacos and Burning Man postcards in the same show. This might be the only one.
As with most conversations, there is just a jumping off point. Let’s start this episode of The Postcardist Podcast chatting about…
And that, my friends, is another episode of the show. Thanks so much to Orla Hegarty for the stories and for all the ideas we were able to cover…just because postcards connect people, and we end up finding out we have lots to share and lots to learn from each other.
If you haven’t sent away for a special cancellation from St. Vincent’s, Newfoundland, I would do that. Here’s an example:
And as you’ve heard me say, if you want to be on the show — or know someone you think I should talk to — please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message me on Instagram.
Coming up soon, I’ll be chatting with Mary Martin about her new book, A Guide Book of Collectible Postcards, that just published yesterday. And I have Sylvanus Paul of LetterDoggy coming up…you won’t wanna miss that show; you’ll hear something I’m gonna guess you’ve never heard before. And I have several more shows in development.
Speaking of development, you heard this episode number…89…which means I’m 11 shows away from the magic number of 100. I’m putting together a retrospective for that episode…but I’d love to hear from you about what you’d like to hear. And I’m wondering if you’d be willing to do a little snippet of a recording for me. I’d love to create an audio collage that answers this question: How have postcards created connections for you? If you’re interested in recording a one-minute snippet for me, you can call this number and leave me a voicemail…it’s +1 (215) 501-7826.
Okay…thanks for taking time out of your day to listen to the show. I know you’ll keep writing postcards….and I’ll look forwarding to seeing you back here new week with a new episode of The Postcardist Podcast.
I want to spend some time in your wheat field. You’re welcome to my roost. Finally alone.
On one level, Romance postcards from 1907 to 1913 seem innocent enough. On another level, they’re purposeful double entendres intended to convey risqué intent.
In this raucous and experimental episode, Serece Tascione and I review 14 cards from my vintage Romance postcard collection and Serece speculates about what the real message is on the postcards. Basically, I laugh for about 40 minutes.
WARNING: THIS SHOW IS FOR ADULT AUDIENCES AND DISCUSSES THE EXISTENCE OF SEX AND INCLUDES SEXUALLY SUGGESTIVE HUMOR . IT IS LABELED EXPLICIT FOR THAT REASON.
The images below are what we discuss on the show. A YouTube video will be coming soon.
Here’s a book about postcard history and the global phenomenon of Postcrossing writ large. On this episode of The Postcardist Podcast, author Masha Mokeeva and I talk about her book, Postcrossing: Book of Secret Knowledge. Masha walks us through the seven highly researched chapters of the book, including:
Postcrossing. About Postcrossing creator Paulo Magalhães, how Postcrossing works, what types of postcards are exchanged, and about the idea of Postcrossing in the world of ideas.
Text on the postcard. This includes a very entertaining story of Alexander Asarkan, a theater critic who made postcards himself in the Soviet era and made art out of it. Plus, what and how to write on a postcard; why the text is very important.
Stamps and mail-art. How stamps become part of the semantic field of a postcard. Which are valuable, and which are ordinary. About the fact that mail art is conceptual art, and not just decoration of postcards with stickers.
The postcards. How postcards appeared and why they were ahead of their time and became the prototype of social networks. How and why to collect postcard collections. How to store postcards. About postcard people (including an interview with me, The Postcardist!)
Postal history. The post offices in the modern world. How Postcrosser Elya worked in the Russian post office.
Postcrossers. Why people become Postcrossers. Interviews with Postcrossers. Postcrossing meetings.
The card store. A day in the life of Masha’s store, Amelie’s Cards. History of publishing and selling postcards worldwide. Interview with the owner of another store, where she says that the card is a source of inspiration and a sense of magic. Plus, Postcrossers’ life hacks, Postcrosser’s dictionary and 100 topics for the message on the postcard.
Inspirational stories about your favorite hobby, walks into the postal past, practical advice and conversations with experts. And also a comic book about the girl Asya, whose life was forever changed by postcrossing (based on real events!).
Why does the postcard still attract people? What secrets and opportunities does it hold in itself?
The author of this book, Masha Mokeeva, got carried away with postcrossing several years ago and gave up journalism to open her own postcard shop. And that’s what came of it 🙂
Hardcover book in dust jacket, 288 pages, with comics and illustrations.
Russian journalist and author Masha Mokeeva owns a very successful postcard shop in Moscow called Amelie Cards. In this episode, Masha and I talk about the origin of Masha’s postcard business, why postcards are so popular in Russia, the Russian collector Nikolai Tagrin, and the market for postcards in Russia.
This is part one of a two-part series with Masha. On the next episode, we talk about Masha’s book, Postcrossing.
I’m joined this week by Anushka, who has created many postcard connections across the world with her energy in postcarding. We talk about postcard design, postcard connections, postcard swaps, and why I call her The Postcard Princess of Pune.
This week, I’m joined by Tyler Sonnichsen, who has a huge collection of his great-grandfather’s postcard collection from the 1930s and 1940s.
Tyler’s great-grandfather, Ben Irving, was a musician. Traveling salesman. Vaudeville performer. And prolific postcard writer. Tyler has his great-grandfather’s postcards…and all kinds of terrific stories to accompany them.