Thursday, March 8, 2007

How old is my postcard? Part 5 The Undivided Back Era

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.

The third era I will discuss is called the "Undivided Back Era 1901-1907" but just keep in mind that the two previous eras I discussed also were undivided back eras. On 24 December 1901, the United States Congress granted permission to use "Post Card" on the back of privately printed issues and allowed the regular size postcard of today but still limited the back of the postcard to just the address. Since the message from the sender was still restricted to the front of the card, most of these cards still have writing on the front with many of the cards setting aside a white space for the message. This era marked an increased interest in postcards by the publishers of the day and by the general public. Large numbers of cards were still printed in Europe but American publishers grew their business and new publishers arrived on the scene but the quality of most was inferior to the overseas competition. Detroit Publishing Company became one of the dominant publishers of the day with their "phostint" process which used lithographic stones to print their postcards in a process brought from Europe. Another dominant publisher at this time was Raphael Tuck & Sons from England but they had a large office in New York and produced lots of US postcards.

While postcard views produced prior to this period resembled European postcard styles, the early 1900s saw the US lean heavily on view cards and serious art was not seen on American postcards. While French postcards reflected the Art Nouveau movement the US limited itself to postcards of classical paintings from museums and no serious contemporary art appeared on our postcards. Below are some examples of postcards from this era with the blank message space on the front. Both of these postcards are for sale on Moody's Postcards.

Next time we will move to the divided back era.