Sunday, November 30, 2008

You've got mail...




This screen that we are all staring at has impacted the greeting card world. When I was young (yepper, I am old enough to use that line)…anyway, in the 1950s we used to get mail 2 and 3 times a day during the Christmas season. Piles and piles of cards!!!

Now, the numbers have dwindled…and e-cards have flourished. It is nice to be remembered, but it is not the same even though they may come complete with music and dancing elves!

I noticed over the past weekend how many antique postcards sold.
They are so affordable…most only a dollar…and yet they hold so much history. I tuck them in inexpensive frames also...good gift for someone in a nursing home...or to put anywhere...powder room...guest room...or even on a nightstand...

In 1898, American publishers were allowed to print and sell cards bearing the inscription, "Private Mailing Card, Authorized by Act of Congress on May 19, 1898". They needed a one cent stamp, and it may have been the turning point for USPS! You could only write on the front/picture side of the card though!


In 1901, the U.S. Government changed the regulation to allow "Post Card" only to be printed on the undivided back. You could not write on the back though!
As other countries began to permit the use of a divided back, England, France, Germany instituted changes from 1902-1905, the U.S. made the change in 1907 so that messages could now be written on the back leaving the design to shine. So begins the "Golden Age" of postcards as millions were sold and used.
Most postcards were printed in Germany since their printing methods were far more advanced (after all, remember where the first Bible was printed!). The time brought rising tariffs, and WWI brought the decline of the beautiful German cards.

After WWI, American printing technology created cards, but they were inferior, and they flooded the market~Americans just cannot seem to deal with quality over quantity~anyway, public appeal declined, and the only attraction was the new style of “white border cards” and the “view” card…better known as the picture postcard.

From the 1930’s on, technology enabled publishers to print on linen paper stock producing bright colors. Photochromes came on the scene in the late 30s, and these are still the popular cards that we buy on vacation!

So…even at Christmas…maybe an antique postcard would be a neat treat for someone instead of a Hallmark moment…a truly different “wish you were here” thought!

16 comments:

lisa said...

Susan ~

My mother still sends the most beautiful cards. I loved this post!

Lisa
www.palepinkandroses.com

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

About all we get any more is "junk" mail. I love it when I get a card...my children still send them to me.

(())

Carrie Gonzalez said...

Hi Susan,

I love pretty holiday cards. I still send them each year. I remember my Mom getting loads of them when I was a kid. I would run to the mailbox each day during Christmas just to get the cards. We don't get many anymore, but I still send them out!
Carrie

Patricia said...

I love the vintage postcards. It's one of the spots I hit when I go to the flea markets. I like to have a few for each holiday. If you ever find one with a turkey on it, call me!

Pat

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

What beautiful cards Susan! I love cards too. My mom always takes the time to pick the perfect card. It has to say the right thing, always!

gail said...

Hi Susan,,, I have been saving all of the cards I receive for years now. I have a huge box of them. I love getting them down and looking at them from time to time. Great memories.

I didnt do a show and tell this week, but will look forward to visiting everyone who did:) Have a great week. hugs, gail

Silena said...

Hi Susan,
I think we all just love old cards, especially old postcards. I keep postcards and greeting cards forever....got boxes full of them. I especially cherish the ones from my children. Today, I like to make my own cards. I feel they are a bit more personal! Thanks for the great post!!

Carolee Crafts said...

Love the vintage cards, I agree nothing like the real thing an e-card (I have been guilty) is just not the same.

Thank you for sharing

Miniature Patisserie Chef said...

Hi Susan,

What a great post. Love all the christmas cards you have there. I don't send christmas cards anymore, but have collected alot since young. I still keep them in an antique box...

Pei Li

Marie said...

Hi Susan,
What beautiful cards. This year I want to try tomake my Christmas cards. I also remember getting mail twice a day. Thanks for the informative post.
Marie

Patty/PinkHugsSweetShoppe said...

I love cards, there is nothing more personal. I really appreciate a card picked out especially for me. Great Post.

Roxie said...

Thank you for the postcard history Susan, I knew none of that. Wow!
I think you made me want to give vintage postcards this year, I'll be heading to the local antique store soon. Thanks!
xoxo
Roxie

Michelle (Shell) May said...

Susan you are absolutely, hands down, my favorite teacher! What a great post! I love cards and I love getting mail. I still hand make my Christmas cards every year. I have 80 to make this year.
I look forward to your post every week!
Hugs,
Shell

Shabby Shan said...

Susan,
Thank you for such an informative post. I collect vintage greeting cards and post cards and I didn't know any of that.

Hope you have a wonderful week!
Shannon
www.shabbyshanscottage.com

Sharon said...

Such beautiful cards~ and the handwriting is always so gorgeous on them, too

Debbie said...

Hi Susan....I love those old greeting cards, especially if they have a handwritten message in them. I send very few "real" cards these days and get very few as well. I guess it is good to save paper, etc. but I kind of miss getting lots of cards in the mail during the holidays.

Hugs,
Debbie