Vintage Travel Postcards
Postcards offer more than just an effective means of staying connected; they reveal a snapshot of an experience at a particular moment in time and record how photographic and printing technology has developed over time, along with travel trends domestically and abroad. From land and sea journeys alike, postcards bring some of the world’s most breathtaking spots right to our doorsteps.
Early 19th-century postcards featured colorful picture designs, but it wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that postcards known as “linen postcards”, distinguished by white borders around a photo, really took off. Transportation advances made travel more affordable and easy for Americans to travel and vacation; railroad companies and tourism organizations competed to attract customers by hiring artists to depict scenic features from mountains to beaches and cities to countrysides.
At this time, postcards often featured black-and-white photographs that had been hand-colored by hand, producing many iconic vintage travel posters such as those for Paris, Yosemite, and other popular destinations. By 1920s however, thanks to the Model T Ford and improved roads domestically making driving easier and cheaper, domestic vacationing became much more prevalent, leading to road trips becoming incredibly popular – prompting more printed maps on postcards as well as linen cards retouched so much that they appeared drawn.
These postcards were prized possessions that could be found in scrapbooks and albums for years after. Today, postcards remain highly collectible; many still enjoy sending and collecting them; some people even make collecting and studying postcards a hobby! You too can join this club by starting your own postcard collection – and there are plenty of resources online that will help get started.