We are always buying postcards and photos from before 1950 - email us at circa1910@tampabay.rr.com.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Camera & Photographer Theme Postcards Real & Fantasy

In our first camera-theme post, we focused on advertising for Kodak and other photo services.  Here we explore some of the other camera and photographer theme postcards that might appeal to you.  This is a fun category to collect (even if you didn't grow up in a photographer's family like I did) and there is a wide variety of images.  Above, we see the theme used to add flair to a view of Mt. Sugar Loaf.  A Victorian lady with a Gibson-Girl hairdo holds a bulb attached to her giant camera.

Bathing beauties are a much-loved collectable theme, and there are enough images of lovely ladies at the beach with photographers close-by that you could assemble an entire collection of these postcards alone.

Here we see two postcards of actual persons with cameras - another large category in the camera genre.  On the left is a real photo candid postcard of a fellow with his camera on a tripod, and on the right is a professionally-made real photo postcard of a pretty lady holding her camera.  She may have been an actress of the time, although this postcard does not identify her. 

In the fantasy category, animals take photographs, too.  This is an early undivided back postcard of a handsome dog with his camera at the dock.  There is a space provided on the front for the sender to write a message as only the address was allowed on the back. 

There are several popular Easter images of rabbits taking photographs, or of children
photographing the rabbits.  

Below is a Mainzer-published fantasy image of a cat-run photographic studio.  As in all these very colorful images, chaos reigns!

Above is a pretty camera-theme greeting where the camera and tripod are decorated with that much-loved blue flower, the forget-me-not.  This is a gel card.

Turn-of-the-century postcards reveled in puns - here is a great pun on a photography theme.  Our fellow has taken a wrong step in the darkroom, as you can see.
Most of us are familiar with "Say CHEESE," the phrase the photographer uses to get the subject to smile. An earlier phrase was the gentle "Look Pleasant!" Here is a postcard with a black background that makes for vivid color on this photographer reminding us to put on a good, photo-worthy expression.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Camera and photographer postcards have increased in value the past two years.  Most of our collection we acquired before the rise in prices.  Shop the online auctions carefully and you can still find great postcards at prices from $15 - $35.  There will be images, especially of photographers in their studios, that go well over $100.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition and they are only estimates.


  1. As always, an entertaining and highly informative post. Makes me want to collect photography-related cards!

  2. Hi Christine - I always appreciate your kind comments, thank you!! Are there any special kinds of postcards you would like to see featured in the blog?

  3. Thanks Toni,
    I might have suggested bathing beauties, but I think you've covered that! I'm always interested in cards that feature food, advertising or transportation.