Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dating Real Photo Postcards

Welcome to Moody's Postcards, your source for vintage, collectible postcards! My name is Richard Moody and I started the company in 1986 and we have been accumulating "old" (otherwise known as "vintage collectible") postcards for twenty years. We specialize in United States view postcards but we also have thousands of antique foreign views, topical postcards and trade cards. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and provide a superior selection of the collectible postcard you are searching for.

Real photos are highly sought after now after being ignored for many years. Dating them is difficult and not an exact science. While postmarks can give you a "not newer than" date, the best method for determining the approximate age is often the stamp box on the address side. Usually, the stamp box will contain the name of the company that produced the photo paper of the postcard. Using this name you can often determine the time period of your postcard. That said, there are times when old negatives were reprinted on newer paper and it is not unusual for a stamp to cover the box or sometimes there is no box. Fortunately for both of us, the postcard pioneers have done the work for us and created a reference that illustrates the different stamp boxes and the years they were in use. Below is the front and back of a real photo showing the stamp box on the back with the initials AZO in the frame and all four corner triangles pointing up. That dates this particular card from 1904 to 1918 which agrees with the date on the front of Sept. 5-6 1912. This real photo postcard has lots of great elements including cowboys, a parade, children, those new fangled automobiles carrying the band and a baby carriage decorated with new tin drinking cups. WOW!

More on real photos next time.