Vintage Postcards & Paper Ephemera

Boston, Massachusetts · 260 Sales


Vintage Postcards & Paper Ephemera

Boston, Massachusetts 260 Sales On Etsy since 2014

0 out of 5 stars

Announcement   Purchase, for your very own, a small snippet of time.
Postcards are tiny time machines carrying us back
to days gone by ---- With a vintage postcard
you hold the past in the palm of your hand.


Last updated on Sep 19, 2016

Purchase, for your very own, a small snippet of time.
Postcards are tiny time machines carrying us back
to days gone by ---- With a vintage postcard
you hold the past in the palm of your hand.


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The entire world on a picture postcard

I love postcards of all kinds and I collect just about everything postcard wise. I also go crackers over vintage photos; but postcards are my main love.

Pictures in books are useful and interesting but postcards are better- mostly because there are so many of them. Quirky views of small town attractions from the turn of the 20th century are a marvel. Water towers, post offices, courthouses, all kinds of buildings that are simply utilitarian today, but that had pride of place in small towns then, are some of the best parts of the postcard universe. Early cards, produced by German lithography (the best) made downtown buildings look like fairy castles. Even cards showing citys' grubbier bits were made glorious by German lithographers.

Then there are RPPC (Real photograph postcards) which are simply amazing. They are actual photographs, transferred onto postcard blanks & they were popular from about the beginning of the 20th century until about the 1960's.
RPPCs show the world as it was in all it's muddy mess. I have RPPCs of small town downtowns with unpaved dirt roads; small clusters of about to topple over buildings and very few wires (if any) for electricity or telephone service. Houses have unscreened windows (bugs!!); horses, not cars, transport people, and the wildness that mostly doesn't exist in our hygienic existence is easy to see and appreciate (from a distance ---- I really like window screening). There are RPPCs of actresses, showgirls, comics, vaudevillians, brides, grooms, wedding parties, children, parties, picnics, dances, industry, farming, funerals and cemeteries- everything really. You are holding history in the palm of your hand.


Postcards were also a way of staying in touch with loved ones for very little money, over great distances. Starting in 1896 when the first picture postcards became available; you could send an inexpensive, brightly colored picture of where you lived to your family and friends thousands of miles away. Those first cards, with their emphasis on showing the grandeur of the place you lived- magnificent county courthouses; important looking business blocks, large hotels downtown near railroad depots, along with artesian wells; water pumping works, corset factories & the like - were useful advertising as well. Come to my town -( the one shown by German lithography - not the RPPCs)- -and see how well we are all living here.

Postcards are also place markers, sort of archeological in nature (at least I think so) for a world that no longer exists and can never be brought back. California cards from the turn of the century, prior to the movie studio era, show vast swathes of farmland and magnificent Victorian homes surrounded by acres of empty space. Gone, but not forgotten.

& then there are the WOW factor cards - those wonderfully cheerful, mostly faked vistas from the linen card era right through the magnificently cheesy 50's-70's chrome postcards.
People actually mailed letters then. They sent cards to friends & their friends tucked them away in albums, or possibly in their handwritten diaries. What a world it was.

Pictures are stories and stories are some of the most important things we give each other. Buy a postcard or two (or three, or four, or five, or six...). and bring the past back to life.
My prices and shipping are ultra reasonable and I am always happy to chat about my beauties.
I am always available for custom orders - brides take notice! - a set of vintage postcards of the city/town/area where you are celebrating your nuptials are wonderfully useful for table markers, or for save the date cards.
Teachers too - purchase some historic postcard views for use in social studies classes. They are easily downloaded to a computer and can be easily shared with your students.

Haha - fool your friends - send them a vintage postcard from where you are staying now - retro travel & tourist cards are neat to see & send.

" Blizzard in the suburbs
-------the mailman
And the poet walking"
Jack Kerouac, Book of Haikus

Shop members

  • Leigh-Meryl


    A somewhat compulsive collector of all types of paper ephemera

Shop policies

Last updated on April 4, 2016
Welcome & thank you for shopping here. I sell vintage postcards, photographs and other paper ephemera of all kinds

Accepted payment methods

  • Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I am happy to accept returns of goods in good condition in the original packaging shipped within 48 hours & you agree to pay the postage both ways. If damage was done by the US Post Office please convo me with a picture of the damage and I will work it out with you.

If you have any questions about an item please convo me first, before you buy it. I am always happy to send additional pictures or to enlarge upon a written description. I want my customers to be incredibly happy with their purchases.
I accept Paypal and most major credit cards through Etsy

If your Etsy address and Paypal addresses are different please let me know where to send your package.
Shipping is only through the US Post Office. Their prices are slightly higher than other shippers, but they are far & away better at delivering to just about anywhere in the world.

If you want tracking with delivery confirmation or expedited shipping please let me know before you check out & I will get back to you with a price.

Postcards and vintage photos will ship first class, without tracking.

Unless otherwise noted, books & magazines will ship via media mail, which has a much lower rate than the price for shipping first class. The shipping times are longer, so let me know if you need first class delivery for your book purchases.

Damages happen regardless of how carefully I wrap, pack & pad vintage treasures.
Email me about damaged goods ASAP. Photograph the damages & send the photos to me so that I can work it out with the USPS.

I do offer international shipping. The charges for International shipping are variable. Postcards can be sent at the regular price as noted on the listing. Any larger items; photographs, cards or any other kind of paper ephemera has to go as a package and the flat fee for that shipping is $13.75 per Post Office regulations :( . EU buyers please convo me before checkout and I will send you my contact information directly.

Customs fees/charges are the responsibility of the buyer. Please do not ask me to mark packages as *gifts*.

Any questions about anything at all please convo me before you check out.
Additional policies and FAQs
All my items are vintage & so have inherent bumps & minor flaws which I try to describe to the best of my ability. If you have any questions at all about any item for sale please email me & I will be happy to send more pictures, measurements or whatever you need for a description.

This is a non-smoking home, but I do have pets; although I do keep them out of my office.