This guide is meant to aid the collector in identifying and dating real photo postcards, and to act as a reminder that it is impossible to do so with great accuracy. A lthough real photo postcards were made in a variety of ways, they hold one identifiable feature in common. The tonalities of photos are completely continuous to the eye producing true greys, for they are created by the reaction of individual photosensitive molecules to light rather than the transfer of ink from a plate. In printed images the grey areas are usually made up of black marks that are spaced to create the optical illusion of greys. Though most of us today are familiar with the concept of photo grain, this is mostly because we have experienced very large prints made from small 35mm negatives.
dating old postcards
Determining the Age of Vintage Postcards
Every subject known to man can be found on a postcard. Post Card History and Dating Methods. Although the world's first picture post cards date from the s to the mids, post cards, as we know them, came into being in the United States about Prior to that time, there were trade cards and postal cards, which usually carried advertising or printed messages. Trade cards became popular with the enterprising merchants who distributed them from the s to the s.
How to Estimate the Age of a Postcard
People often find themselves in possession of an old postcard and want to know how old it is. If the postcard is used, the most obvious solution is to check the date on the postmark. However, there are many vintage postcards out there that were never mailed, so here are some clues to determining the age of your post card. These are general guidelines. There are exceptions to most of these rules, but these guidelines will give you a general idea of how old your postcard is.
Do you have an old postcard and curious about its age? If the postcard is used, the most check the date on the postmark. However, there are many postcards that were never mailed or that a part of the post mark is illegible or soiled. Here are some general guidelines to help determine the age range of your post card. Date when postcards were first mailed:.