A t the beginning of the 20th century a perfect storm arose between the growing forces of technology, economics, and art that created the Golden Age of Post Cards. This marked a major paradigm shift in which postcards moved from solely being a means of correspondence to a widely sought collectible item. Not only were more cards produced and collected on a worldwide basis during those early years than at any other point in history, it was the largest collecting craze to have ever taken place. It is these cards in particular that are the most sought after by today s collector, but the entire spectrum of postcards ranging from the earliest 19th century postal to the modern digital e-card is what makes up the field of Deltiology.
Modern postcard collecting must be considered more than a mere compulsion to accumulate meaningless objects in our overly consumer driven society. Part of the problem is that too many fall victim to the stereotype that postcards are nothing more than trinkets from a vacation at the beach emblazoned with Wish You Were Here. The truth is that the range of topics covered by cards is enormous; the quality of artistic and technical skills employed in creating many of them are outstanding. People find interest in postcards because to study their history is to study the combined history of printing, photography, and art to which they owe their existence. There is interest in postcards because they give an intimate insight into the society that chose these specific images to reproduce. There is interest in postcards because not only do they provide a pictorial record of the way we once lived, but they help us understand who we are today. And there is interest in postcards because many are just attracted to their sheer beauty. In the end there are probably as many reasons to collect cards, as there are collectors.
This site is directed toward both the novice and professional for knowledge can be a valuable tool for those with interest in postcards on all levels. Much of the information available to collectors today is very myopic in outlook. Here a broader approach is taken in an attempt to create a more comprehensive understanding of the field. Although most of the content of these pages are meant to present helpful facts and be free of editorial, it must be stated that history is a matter of interpretation and is always approached with certain biases. Some may also find an occasional card posted on this site offensive, but they are here only to illustrate the complete role that postcards have played with our society. History cannot be properly understood if we are selective of what we wish to remember. Postcards do not always reflect reality but they do give insights into the different ways we have perceived realty over time. This is their gift to us whether we wish to acknowledge it or not.
Although the Internet has become a great source and method of disseminating information, it has also become a place were factual errors are copied and repeated over and over again. Although efforts are made not to print unsubstantiated fact, only some of the information posted here is based on original research, and that taken from secondary sources is thus subject to error. While long standing mistakes by others have been corrected on these pages, this site has also unfortunately suffered from repeating the errors of others. This however is a living web page, meant to serve as a foundation for inquiry rather than the ultimate research tool. I am constantly increasing its content, enhancing that already posted, and making corrections where necessary. I wish to thank all those who have unselfishly contributed information toward these ends for the good of the postcard community.
This site is divided into several parts due to its size; a comprehensive illustrated history of postcards, an in depth glossary, extensive postcard guides to a variety of subjects including printing techniques and warfare, information on publishers and printers as well as artists, examples of postcard topics available to collect, interviews with collectors, and a blog page with articles and reviews. Enjoy your exploration.
This website was designed and developed by Alan Petrulis, and he is responsible for all posted content unless otherwise noted. Original content is copyrighted and should not be directly copied without reference to source (metropostcard.com). General information of public record may be used without reference. The cards posted on this site are not for sale, nor do I purchase or appraise cards, they are reproduced here for educational purposes only. Anyone who would like to submit additional information to this site may reach me through the Contact Page.
New blog post – May 29th
New blog book review – March 7th
Guide to Printing Techniques has been revised – February 24th