INTRODUCTION

Between 1905-1915 billions of postcards were mailed in the United States - 700 million in 1908 alone.  During this decade, known as the "Golden Age of Postcards," the popularity of these pictorial dispatches was similar to the Twitter and Pinterest rage today.  Like their successors, postcards utilized the latest technological advances, necessitated limited (yet effective) communication, and were highly collectible.

 

To feed the postcard frenzy, photographers captured images at every occasion.  Popular photographs included lakes, rivers, bridges, historic landmarks, main streets, and even train wrecks.  The photographers' negatives were then sent to printers, primarily in Germany, to produce the postcards in eye-catching color using contemporary lithographic techniques.  The use of actual photographs uniquely distinguished this era's postcards from the graphic compositions produced in later decades, resulting in a credible portrait of the country's pastimes, resources, and figurative and literal views.

 

Postcards in this collection have been assigned to one of two categories:

1. Passenger Service

2. Cargo Service