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

Friday, March 14, 2014


March is coming in like a lion in some parts of the country, while it's up and down temperatures here in Florida, sometimes changing 20 or 30 degrees in the same day.  This seems like a good time to look at THERMOMETER postcards.   We open this post with a couple of images boasting of the extreme cold temperatures in two different places: White River, Canada, and Glasgow, Montana.  We begin with a close-up of the Glasgow thermometer and the 60-below temperature reading on a  real photo postcard.  Below are the White River chrome (standard size) and the full image of the RPPC Montana postcard

Next, we come to a linen postcard from the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress exposition, possibly the best-known thermometer postcard in the United States.  This is the huge Havoline thermometer building, and this postcard shows an artist's rendering of people entering...followed by the advertising on the back for Havoline Motor Oil.  

For proof that the Victorians weren't all prudish, we have only to look at this charming risque Valentine, with a little boy in a classic turn-of-the-century sailor suit lighting a fire under a fellow's floral thermometer.  

The French have many real photo montage postcards devoted to romance, including this thermometer surrounded by tinted images of flowers and descriptions of the intensity of love as the lovers' temperature rises.  I especially like the hottest designation - Crazy Love!

Not only the French saw fit to illustrate the rising interest in a romantic couple with a thermometer.  Here's an example of Love's Thermometer from a fun series with differing images for each level of passion.  This is WARM...you can see the other levels on the thermometer from FREEZING to BLOOD HEAT at 100 degrees.  

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Prices on these postcards are very reasonable, and theme collections can be a lot of fun to build as they offer great variety.  Some people collect specific animals (dogs, cats, horses and frogs are popular) and a theme can be whatever catches your fancy.  At postcard shows we have met people who collect postcards of Volkswagens and buyers who collect images of people vomiting (no kidding). I once  met a lady who collected children-with-umbrella images.  My  daughter has a spectacular mail-theme collection.  All you need to do is pick a subject and get started - happy hunting!   

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