Before email, social media, even before the telephone, a single medium allowed people to communicate cheaply and quickly and, for the first time in history, share images of the world around them:
Photos capturing scenes of everyday life were developed into postcards to send to family around the country.
Postcards were among the most accessible art and design pieces of the early-20th century; mini "museums" were curated by early collectors.
Beginning in the late-19th century, following new postal regulations that allowed for private postcard production, postcards began circulating around the country and world in astounding numbers. During the height of the craze between approximately 1907 and 1914, nearly 1 billion cards were sent through the US postal system each year.
For the price of a 2-cent postcard and 1-cent stamp, scenes of American life, art, humor, and design were disseminated from coast-to-coast. Iowa farm boys glimpsed big-city scenes from their cousins back East. Homemakers curated miniature museums of world sites and designs in albums and scrapbooks. Beyond their aesthetic and geographic interest, postcards were a tool of communication. Death announcements, love proclamations, grocery lists - all were conveyed by the speedy and cheap paper item.
The so-called Golden Age of postcards tapered off beginning with WWI. Global conflict coincided with the rise of the telephone, ultimately ending the postcard's reign as the ultimate in prompt and convenient communication. But the beauty and vicarious merriment of their images have maintained public interest in the postcard to the present day.
In the process of printing, buying, and sending postcards, the postcard-consuming public unwittingly created one of the richest troves of information on life in the 20th-century. No other antique object so economically and beautifully encapsulates the personal, social, and public histories of the past century as the postcard.
Paleogreetings give these incredible artifacts of our collective history a second life to be sent, admired, and collected.
Wasn't the 20th century great? We started with steam ships and horse-drawn carriages and ended with rockets and computers. Postcards documented all of it.
Sometimes they were good for a giggle.
Paleogreetings are frames and greeting cards made using genuine, antique and vintage postcards. Each is unique in the truest sense - there is only one exactly like it in existence.
“We” is actually mostly “me,” a guy named Ari who always loved art, history, and people – and was shocked to find an object that so charmingly combined all three when he stumbled on a box of postcards at a flea market in the late-aughts.
What began as a classic side hustle has become a way of life as I travel the world on a search for the most beautiful vintage postcards in existence. Don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss any mutual interests, including but not limited to postcards, side hustles, business, and life.