In 1873, the first American postcard was designed. Today, a significant number of postcards from the late 19th and early 20th century exist in an excellent state.
Deltiology is the collection and study of postcards. Deltiologists find vintage postcards on eBay, at estate sales, and postcard shows. Themes include hometowns, hobbies, and holidays. This week, I’m sharing some highlights from my personal collection.
Most Thanksgiving postcards are colorful lithographs. A majority were created between 1898 and 1918 and are now collectible works of art.
Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle (186 –1934) was one of the most prolific postcard artists of her era. One of her signed postcards features a pilgrim woman baking a pie in her kitchen and reads “Busy hands make a happy heart, May Health and Wealth their share impart.”
John Winsch of Stapleton, New York, was co-manager of Art Lithographic Publishing Company. He copyrighted his artist-signed greeting cards, which were often published in sets. He produced approximately 4,000 designs between 1910 and 1915, and was highly regarded for his Thanksgiving and Halloween postcards.
Other notable postcard producers included Alcan Moss Publishing Company of Manhattan, which produced the National Bird Series, and Whitney in Worcester, Massachusetts.