We are always buying collections of postcards and photographs from before 1950 - email us at circa1910@tampabay.rr.com if you have a collection to sell!







Tuesday, April 17, 2012

RPPC Real Photo Postcards PEOPLE with ALLIGATORS


This is one of our favorite real photo postcard themes - people posing with alligators.  In some of these postcards, the photo was taken in a studio with a stuffed alligator; in others the alligators have their jaws tied shut and they may be alive, as in the image above. This real photo postcard has an AZO stampbox, 1904-1918.


Here is a studio image, with fellows wrestling a wild stuffed 'gator and the lady posed with a whip.  On the back of this undivided and unmailed postcard is handwritten, Susie, Bernie Jenkins and Fred Krist in Hot Springs. 


Here the adults seem more sedate - perhaps because the chidren are riding the alligator.  In fact, this image shows a group of 'gators of varying sizes. This real photo postcard has a CYKO stampbox, 1904-1920s.  It has a divided back and imprinted on the back it says, W.A. Kugler, City Gates, St. Augustine, Fla.


The couple above, well-dressed and friendly with their alligator, writes a message to the recipient that starts, Don't you wish you had come?  Only ninety-five in the shade...
It's hard to imagine wearing those outfits in 95 degree heat, but the message goes on to say they have enjoyed walking, seeing a dairy farm and pineapples growing.  This undivided back postcard is postmarked 1907 from Daytona, Florida and sent to Massachusetts.





This remarkable scene shows a group of people among tall grasses with the ladies holding little alligators and seated on big ones.  Although alligator settings were popular in places that actually had alligators, this studio image is marked on the back Harris Photo Post Card Co. Pittston, Pa. and Mt. Arlington, N.J.



This pretty baby seems content to ride her fierce-looking alligator.  A CYKO stampbox dates the image 1904 - 1920s.  There are also print postcards of children riding 'gators in a variety of settings.  When we were children the local zoo offered rides on big tortoises...a fun collection could be assembled of children riding different animals.


The last image in this post is of a child holding a stuffed alligator with a sign that gives us the place and date, Miami, Fla. 1926. The studio has provided a painted ocean and palm trees backdrop to further the illusion. 

PRICE ESTIMATES:  The real photo images of Victorian ladies, gentlemen and children with alligators are popular and cost between $25 - $50 each.  The more elaborate the pose and the better quality the photo, the higher the price.  Printed postcards of children riding alligators, dating from about 1910 through the linen period, can be purchased for about $5 - $6 each.
These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

RPPC Real Photo Postcards U.S. SCHOOLS 1904-1918


In the early 1900s, American women had few career opportunities open to them.  One area of employment that welcomed women was teaching.  The teachers of the day frequently worked under harsh conditions in one-room schoolhouses that were only heated in the winter by a wood-burning stove.  They also received extremely low wages - often staying in the home of a local family and eating at the family table as part of their pay.  The white lettering on the image says, District No. 3, Grant Twp. Plymouth Co., Fay Garner, Teacher.

Real photo postcards of the time give us a glimpse into schools, classrooms, students and teachers of the time.  Here is a selection of images on real photo postcards dating from1904 to 1918, an estimate based on the AZO stampboxes on these postcards.



Here are two photo postcards of teachers.  On the back of the portrait on the left is handwritten Kathryn Snyder of Lewisburg, Teacher of Mt. Vernon school, Pa.  The teacher in the classroom has a border of stars on the blackboard, and the writing on the board says Brant
No. 4 1891 - 1908.    We can just see the bottom of a U.S. flag and a Regulator Clock over the blackboard.


In this classroom image, we see a large flag and the Regulator Clock that was traditional in American classrooms.   This card was postmarked 1911 from Hannibal, Wisconsin.  The white lettering on the image says Interior View of the Public School, Hannibal, Wis. 



Some teachers, like the woman above, had large classrooms that included children of varying ages.  Here we see boys sitting on the front row who are not wearing shoes.  Children in rural areas sometimes could not afford shoes all year round, and only wore shoes in the winter.



This group of women, perhaps teachers, are sewing in a classroom.  We can see the wooden seats with cast iron sides that spell out New Oxford.  There is no location identified on this postcard.


Here's another group of women in a classroom, dressed in costume.  The white lettering says Old Maid's Club.  Teachers were not supposed to be married or to be involved in romantic relationships.




This is my favorite classroom picture - an unusual interior image of the children playing.  The blackboard is covered with Teacher's writing including arithmetic problems and the expression Work while you work and Play while you play.  Some of the little girls are wearing pinafores and some boys are in fancy suits.  Absolutely charming, and very rare!  This real photo postcard has a pencil note on the back that says Keota, IA and a notation that this was in David Wilson's Iowa collection.   

PRICE ESTIMATES:   Real photo postcards from this era of classrooms and of students posed outside the school with their teachers are common and inexpensive if unidentified. Expect to pay about $2 - $10  for each.   Identified postcards cost more; rare images more still.  The last image in this post of the children playing inside the classroom cost over $50.  There are also photo postcards of graduating students in caps & gowns, college dormitory rooms with the walls covered in postcards and pennants, and college classrooms.  These prices are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Early Real Photo WORKING WOMEN Postcards


Although their career options were limited, many women worked in turn-of-the-century America.  Here we display a number of real photo postcards showing working women in different settings.  Of course, teaching was open to women and we will focus on the American classroom in a separate post.  Above, a group of women who seem to be in a factory with flags hanging in the background.  Occupational photo postcards may not include identified locations.  If they are unused, they have no postmark to guide us.  And folks sent these images of themselves to friends and relatives in envelopes to protect them...without adding the location because the recipient would already know it.  The same problem was caused when real photo postcards were kept in the family album...everyone knew who the picture showed and where it was taken.  Many of us have the same issue with a box of unidentifed old family photos! 


Above is a group of people at work wearing aprons...perhaps bakers?


 Here is a nurse at work.  Nursing was an occupation that attracted women then as it does now and there are many fine real photo postcards of women graduating from nursing programs and in hospitals.  The message on the back of this postcard is from the woman in bed, who tells her siblings, "a picture 2 weeks after my operation...am not at all well now." This postcard was mailed from Wisconsin in 1916.


Here are some telephone operators on a real photo postcard postmarked 1910.  The sign says Telephone Pay Station with the bell logo inscribed Long Distance Telephone.  The pale patch at the bottom of the photo is called "silvering" - at the height of American's love affair with pre-digital cameras, the Kodak film industry was one of the world's biggest consumers of silver.


These women are shown in a millinery shop.  In an era when fancy hats were a part of every woman's wardrobe, milliners flourished. 



This woman is shown behind the counter at a post office, with a sign above her station that reads Gen'l Delivery and Stamps.  On the left are the post office boxes. The AZO stampbox on this unused photo postcard dates the image 1904-1918.  Stampboxes can be very helpful in dating images that are not otherwise identified.  Playle's has a comprehensive guide to stampboxes on the internet.  If you collect real photo postcards, you will find their guide invaluable.


Although there is no identifying information on this postcard, the seller described it as "restaurant workers" which seems likely.  It bears the same AZO stampbox on the back, dating it 1904-1918.


Women living in rural areas worked hard; their day was long and the work physically wearing.  Here is a woman shown with her family on the farm.  There are also real photo postcards of women feeding chickens,  gathering crops, shelling peas and more.



I saved this photograph of a secretary until last for several reasons.  First, it is a beautiful photograph.  Second, the entry of women into office work signalled a shift in women's work as it put them in daily contact with male employers.  An entire collection could be made of postcards that focus on early 1900s office romances between bosses and their secretaries.  Also, there is a message written on the back by the young woman above that says, "This is where I spend all of my weary hours now..." signed Joyce.  Having been a secretary for a number of years, I can feel Joyce's pain.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Real photo postcards vary in price depending on the quality and rarity of the image.  Identified locations are more expensive than images without identification.   Family photo postcards are generally less expensive than business-based occupational images, even if the family is busy working.  Expect to pay about $12 and up for working women postcards. This estimate is for postcards in Excellent condition and it is only an estimate.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Antique ADVERTISING Postcards 1900 - 1915


Having looked at linen advertising postcards, we now spotlight older postcards that promote products or services.  

The postcard above advertises IXL chicken tamales that come in a can.  On the back, advertising is printed in the message section, using a script font that imitates hand-writing, describing how the sender notices "at the exposition in San Francisco, as well as throughout the entire Coast, that I.X.L. Tamales are the most popular of foods, etc."

This advertising is below a small black and white image of a "birds-eye view P.P.I.E. San Francisco."  So this postcard is of interest to exposition collectors, too.

On other advertising relating to food, there are many great advertising postcards for restaurants, published from the Golden Era of postcards up through the chrome postcard period.  Here is one of our favorites from a New York restaurant, with wonderful art deco styling.  The back of this card has a black and white seal with the slogan, "The Pride of the House is Hospitality."  Although this is a standard postcard size, the back is not a traditional postcard design.


In the food category, we especially like the series for Domino Sugar cubes which includes several delightful fantasy images, one with a butterfly.  Here is an old globe image postcard for Domino.


 This sweet little girl advertises Kellogg cereal, an old American brand which can be found in a wide variety of advertising postcards. 

European postcards can add color and verve to your advertising collection.  The French pasta postcard below displays a vibrant wit and humor!  This is a divided back postcard for Pates La Lune. 


Another French series of advertising postcards promotes Byrrh Tonique with glamorous images in a variety of color palettes...there are many different designs for this drink.  



A popular advertising postcard, readily available, is this lovely image for Lindsay Gas Lights & Gas Mantles, gas being the precursor to electric lights in American households.


 Our last entry in turn-of-the-century advertising is for a musical comedy.  Stage shows, circuses and other performances like Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, form a sub-set of advertising postcards with lots of color and variety.  These can be expensive, and are good investments when found in top condition.  


PRICE ESTIMATES:  The postcards in this post that are most reasonably-priced include The Lindsay Girl and Domino Sugar.  The IXL Tamales postcard and the Kellogg child will cost about $10 - $15.00.  The other postcards will cost up to about $60.  The most expensive postcards here are for Byrrh and the Tech Show.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Linen ADVERTISING Postcards 1930 - 1940s


This post features American linen advertising postcards - bright in color with sharp designs to catch the consumer's eye and lead to a purchase.  We like the stylish artwork and the period  flavor to these collectible postcards dating from about 1930 through the 1940s.  Some linen images were so popular that they were later reproduced on chrome postcards, with the picture exactly the same as the original but on a newer type of postcard.  Be careful when buying or bidding - some sellers do not identify whether the card is linen or chrome.  The word "vintage" doesn't help...make sure to ask the seller specifically which it is if you are not 100% sure.


The products in these advertising postcards are highlighted clearly.  The location may be specific or, if the postcard advertises a nationally-distributed item, there may be a list of locations or a rubber-stamped store name on the back that identifies a local supplier.   You can choose to collect specific products, styles of artwork, or favorite locations...above is a "roadside" restaurant advertisement.  Roadside advertising includes hotels, motels, gas stations and resorts as well as restaurants and is a popular collecting class all its own.

 Fashion is a fun collecting niche - this popular Swann Hats design is not hard to find.  There are also linen advertising postcards for big classic American chains, such as Sears and Montgomery Ward which feature women's clothing during this period. Below is a colorful advertising postcard for children's shoes - a category with lots of different designs, probably because children need new shoes so often!


Here is an advertisement encouraging folks to go out roller skating, a fad that was popular in the early 1900s and enjoyed a resurgence in the 1940s.  This design could be personalized for your local rink by using a rubber stamp or label identifier on the back.  


Soapine has a number of advertising postcards - this one earned a place in this post by advertising a bonus item enclosed with the product, a popular advertising gimmick that can still occasionally be found today.  Your grocery store may offer dishes or cookware inexpensively with a purchase or your gas station may offer free plastic tumblers with the purchase of a fountain drink, for instance.  The free bonus or premium item was especially popular during the depression and some housewives assembled a full set of dishes using a product they liked.  If you have friends who collect Depression Glass, they can identify some designs of glassware that were acquired this way by the original owners.

To end this post, I have included one of my favorite linen advertising postcards.  It promotes Yellow Jacket Coal...wonderful graphics and humorous artwork make this an especially appealing collectible!

Price Estimates:  Linen advertising postcards have gone up dramatically in price during the past few years.  Gas station, diner and bowling alley examples are now in the $25 - $75 price range with some breaking the $100 barrier.  The examples in this postcard range from the Coal and Roller Skating images at about $25 down to $5-$15 for the others.  These are for cards in Excellent condition, and they are only estimates.