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

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Whitney FAIRY Postcards

Whitney postcards practically define "cute" with images of sweet little children, humorous designs and often tongue-in-cheek captions.  One series of especially cute postcards from Whitney publishers features bare fairies with delicate wings in a variety of situations.  This post shows a selection of these charming little rascals on lightly embossed divided back postcards.  We open with a greeting with no specific holiday mentioned, although the fairies are accompanying a couple out for a drive.

The Valentine greeting with a fairy perched on a flowering tree branch, taking a photograph of baby birds in their nest, is a crossover collectible postcard for fairy fans and camera collectors.   Note that this fairy has red hair and no antennae.

Here's the same Valentine series with the checkerboard border and the antenna-free fairy hugging the baby birds. 

The Valentine above shows fairies taking the role of the fickle Cupid breaking and then mending a heart... with bow and arrow and bandages and pouring medicine for a jilted little fellow.

A little girl holds a chick and the upset hen wants her baby returned on this Easter greeting.  The fairies seem to be interceding in the disagreement on this postcard with a floral decoration around the edge.  

PRICE ESTIMATES:  The Whitney fairy postcards vary in price from about $5 to over $15 depending on the scarcity of the image.  You may be able to find them for less with careful searching.  This estimate is for postcards in EXCELLENT condition.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Today we usually buy modern postcards to record or share views from our trips, but at the turn-of-the-century, postcards were used for many different kinds of correspondence.  Beautiful designs were published to celebrate holidays, to send congratulations, get well and birthday wishes and to offer invitations to social events.  Our first invitation shows art deco styling and has the details filled in.  It is a flat card, postmarked 1908.   

The Christening invitation above is richly embossed with vivid colors and gold added to the background behind the mother and baby.  It's an outstanding design, very eye-catching with a clever clock to indicate the time of the event.  Unused, divided back.  

Another unused invitation is above, copyrighted 1910 for a children's party.  It has a space for the time the party ends as well as a line for the time the party begins...maybe parents at the turn-of-the-century (like today's parents) looked forward to the moment when the guests began heading home after the festivities!    

Here's a more general invitation published by B. B. London with a divided back,  fancy golden lettering, purple blossoms and nice embossing.  Who could resist such an elegant invitation?

If you collect Sunday School or Rally Day postcards, you probably already have some bright invitations.  Here's one with the children's faces in a moon and stars, a fun design with the details written in.  This is a divided back flat postcard.

Halloween party invitations have some unusual and amusing artwork - here we see mice with extra-long tails decorating a ghostly design.    

Below are two Tuck-published invitations with exceptional artwork.  On these postcards, the invitation itself is printed on the back in the message section, leaving the front for gorgeous images.  Verna has not included the date and time, although she signed the invitation with the children on it.  The little clown card is unused.  These are both divided back flat postcards.


Invitation postcards come in so many different 
styles that it's hard to generalize about price. The postcards in this post vary in price from about $5.00 to about $20.00 with the Tuck-
published images being the most 
expensive.  Overall, the finer or fancier the image, the higher the price.

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!