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

Saturday, September 28, 2013

FRED HARVEY U.S. Entrepreneur Phostint Postcards

Fred Harvey, born in 1835, was a marketing genius who created the first restaurant chain in the United States, the Harvey Houses.  He promoted tourism in the late 1800s and early 1900s throughout the American Southwest by providing clean, reliable restaurants that tourists felt comfortable visiting.  (Have you seen Judy Garland in the movie celebrating the Harvey House restaurants?) Harvey also developed hotels and tourist shops in the region, providing tourists with a full vacation experience.  With beautiful Phostint postcards published by Detroit Publishing, he promoted tourism in the region and educated the public at the same time.  Below is the information printed on the back of the postcard of the Hopi House above.  The opinions about Native American culture reflect the ideas of the time!

 The Detroit Publishing company was founded by William A. Livingstone and photographer Edwin H. Husher in the late 1800s, calling itself the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.  Their "Phostint" postcards combine gorgeous images and color palettes ideal for southwestern landscapes.  Although Fred Harvey postcards were also published during the later "linen" era of postcards, this post focuses on the earlier Detroit Phostints exclusively.  All the postcards in this post are flat images.  

Below are some New Mexico hotel views on Fred Harvey Phostint postcards.  Note the proximity to the railroad lines.

Much of the Fred Harvey tourist business was devoted to promoting visits to Native American sites - here is a view of a New Mexico Pueblo and a Hopi Dance in Arizona.

A description shown below right is printed on the back of the postcard showing a "Hopi Belle."

The Fred Harvey business stayed in the family and survived until the 1960s.  Fred Harvey postcards, (both Phostints and linens) capture an era in the settling of the U.S. southwest. While some Harvey descriptions may seem dated now, they illustrate the views from 50 - 100 years ago.  It might be said that Fred Harvey tamed the Wild West, making it familiar enough for tourists to explore.  These postcards offer an historically intriguing and visually arresting glimpse into that bygone time.  

PRICE ESTIMATES:   Fred Harvey postcards vary in price with image.  Those that include pictures of people bring higher prices than those strictly limited to landscapes or buildings.  The early Phostints are generally more valuable than the later linens, except for the Fred Harvey linen travel maps, which are actively sought.  Fred Harvey postcards can still be purchased from about $6 - $12.  Seek them out at shows and you are likely to find some good buys. 
These prices are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Some Favorite POSTCARD Sellers Outside the USA

Have you ever found a restaurant with wonderful food where you loved to eat, only to discover that - over time - the quality of the food diminished?  They may have kept the prices the same, but you can no longer count on the food being as good as it used to be...disappointing! Personally, I would prefer that they raise their prices and keep the top quality. My budget might force me to eat there less often, but poor quality leads me to avoid the restaurant altogether. 

I feel the same way about postcard sellers.  

This little post is to compliment and recommend three reliable sellers outside the USA with whom I have had repeated satisfying, happy business interactions.  They each specialize in different types of postcards.  What they have in common is top quality merchandise and excellent service.  While some of their prices are significant, I have found their postcards are as described and worthwhile investments.

If you have not had the opportunity to view these sellers' offerings, they can all be found on eBay - here are their names and eBay IDs.  Happy shopping!  




ART DECO 1920s - 1930s Holiday Postcards

This post focuses on art deco holiday postcards from the 1920s and 1930s.  All the postcards shown in this post are divided back designs.  Since all types of art deco postcards are increasing in value, now is a great time to seek out these bright designs if you wish to add them to your collection.  Above is an especially vivid image on a flat Valentine Message, with fantastic art deco styling, gold ink added, a romantic pierrot singing to a lovely lady and a touch of decorative glitter.

This lively Christmas scene with a stagecoach in the snow is a Volland-published design.  Volland produced many attractive flat art deco holiday postcards, with the images ranging in size from small motifs to full-postcard designs.  Below is another colorful Volland art deco postcard featuring a girl in a kimono carrying a candle, her shadow behind her adding to the visual impact.

Whitney publishers also produced some fine art deco designs.  Several follow, all with vibrant colors and charming images.  The children are sweet, as usual on Whitney postcards.  The lady is unusually elegant.  All three Whitney postcards have nice embossing.

Another flat postcard with brilliant colors and gold added to the design.  Don't miss the heart-shaped flowers, a wonderful art deco element in this classy Valentine.  This is a USA-made postcard, no publisher name or logo. 

We close with a very fine white rabbit leaping over colorful art deco flowers.  On the back is advertising from the Asheville Post Card Co. in North Carolina for these Easter Penny Post Cards, at just 55 cents per hundred.   

PRICE ESTIMATES:  These postcards cost us about $3 - $10 but some were purchased over a year ago.  The prices on art deco holiday postcards is rising slowly but steadily.   Bargains are still to be had with careful searching.  As always, condition is important.  Seek out top quality postcards for investment success.