Mad in Pursuit Notebook

tips on dating your antique postcards: eras

Pioneer Era Postcards (1869 - 1898). "Plain" U.S. postal cards were inaugurated by the U.S. Postal Service in 1873, though one source says you can find cards back to 1861. (Printed messages, stamps, and cancellations make these much more valuable.)

Pioneer Era postcard

Pioneer Era postcard, reverse

Pioneer Era "View" Cards (1893 -1898). They started at the 1893 Columbia Exposition in Chicago.

Pioneer Era View Postcard

Pioneer Era View postcard

Private Mailing Card Era (1898 - 1901). The backs are clearly labeled "Private Mailing Card."

Private Mailing Card

Undivided Back (1901 - 1907) - no designated place for a message. U.S. Government mandated the words "Post Card" on the back.

Undivided Back Postcard

Divided Back (1907 - 1915). From my experience it isn't always easy to distinguish between this era and the next with any sense of authority.

Divided Back Postcard

Early Modern or White Border Era (1915 - 1930). Backs are still divided but the images are poorer quality (due to the loss of access to German printers during the Great War). Reprinted images got white borders. The Detroit Publishing Company's photolithograph postcards fall into this era.

White Border Era Postcard

White Border Era Postcard

Linen Era (1930 - 1945). These might have white border, but they're easy to identify because of the good quality paper and linen finish. The colors glow.

Linen Era Postcard

Photochrome Era (1939 - present). Your ordinary glossy photo-offset postcards we are all accustomed to.

Polychrome Era postcard

7.5.05 (revised 12.6.05, 5.1.13, 10.28.15)


Susan Barrett PriceBooks by Susan Barrett Price

THE SUDDEN SILENCE: A Tale of Suspense and Found Treasure (2015) Thailand: lovers of ancient treasure tangle with international black markets. Delia Rivera pulls Martin Moon back into the game and their quest turns deadly. In paperback and Kindle editions.

TRIBE OF THE BREAKAWAY BEADS: Book of Exits and Fresh Starts (2011) Time after time, Mary asks herself: Do I go or do I stay? She finds her power in her ancestors: Smart women turn discontent into action. An illustrated memoir in paperback and Kindle editions.

PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD: A Thriller in Pakistan and China (2008) The twin forces of revenge and redemption drive Nellie MacKenzie and Taylor Jackson on a crazed adventure into the heart of Central Asia. They grapple with issues of ethics, trust, rage, and bitter heartbreak -- as well as the intrigue of the international antiquities trade. In paperback and Kindle editions.



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