Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vintage Cards

Vintage postcards have always intrigued me. As a child, the pretty pictures fascinated me, as an adult the message lures me in. Perhaps, more then the message, is the memories that live on in the script found on the side of these tiny treasures. They were first known as picture postcards when they first swept Europe and then the US. during the first fifteen years of the twentieth century. Picture postcards celebrated landmarks, commemorative celebrations, even natural disasters and postcards were printed for every holiday including Labor Day and Groundhog Day. Postcard groups popped up and enthusiasts would conspire to shower loved ones with hundreds of cards. Like email today, postcards were attractive because they afforded a fast, inexpensive and relatively effortless means of keeping in touch with others. They were a way to send your best while writing the least. Many picture postcards were heavily embossed, sporting a structural relief while others incorporated gold and silver foils and some bits of fabric. A postcard wasn't simply a picture; it was a sensuous thing to touch and treasure, a democratic art. Even when postcards were new they were avidly collected. Most postcards sold in this country were printed in Germany.
Today the postcard inscribed with greetings from far-off, seemingly halcyon time are ever more seductive. But what intrigued me as a child still lures me today....that their message is timeless: It is important to stay connected with one another.