Wednesday, October 8, 2014
How POSTCARD PUBLISHERS Increased Profits
Publishers of antique & vintage postcards had several ways to save money. This post illustrates three different ways publishers could economize. First, recycling images by well known artists, like the image above by Marie Flatscher. In one, shamrocks symbolize Good Luck in the New Year. The second postcard, also for the New Year, features birds on a wintery branch and a different window treatment.
Below are more examples of recycled artwork. The first is from Winsch publishers on Easter postcards where a change of border style and the addition of a child makes a "new" image.
Next are two examples of art deco style postcards from the 1920s, recycling images with some changes to create different designs or simply changing the background color.
The second way publishers saved money, a little bizarre, was reusing designs but with a different greeting. These are plentiful and easy to spot. We begin with an obvious Easter chick from Tuck publishers casting an eye on a lemon and wondering what relationship it might have to an egg. More puzzling - what does this image have to do with Christmas?
Below are two Valentines, one with Cupid helping a pretty lady decide between love and money (a recurring theme in turn-of-the century Valentines), and one with Cupid surprising a lady while she reads a love letter. These have been recycled as a Christmas greeting with the addition of some holly and as a birthday postcard with the design unchanged.
Here is a well-known antique New Year design with children holding shamrocks and a horn, both traditional New Year symbols, and old Father Time from the previous year leaving in the background. The old car and the new red auto reinforce the old/new symbolism. It has been recycled as a birthday greeting with no change to the design.
The third way to save money was for publishers to print divided backs on what had originally been undivided back stock with the front design intact. The laws changed, allowing messages to be written on the back of the postcard, where publishers had originally left space on the front for the message when only the address was allowed on the back. The following postcards have divided backs, but the image still has the space from when postcards had undivided backs.