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)
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.