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The Virtues of Collecting Vintage Postcards & Stamps

Updated on September 16, 2016

Private Mailing Card

This is the front and back of a picture postcard dated 1906
This is the front and back of a picture postcard dated 1906

Learn About U.S. History


Collecting vintage postcards is a joy because it literally takes you back in time.

This fine postcard is dated 1906 and called a "private mailing card" which was the early designation of a postcard circa 1900.

You may notice there are punched holes in this postcard. This was done in order to display postcards for sale at that time.

The photo is of the "B. & M. R. R. Tracks and Public Highway, Charlemont, Mass."

The message is to the right of the photo, written in pencil.

The U.S. postage stamp is a one cent green Benjamin Franklin. The one cent stamp was issued from 1898-1951.

International Postcard and Stamp

This is the front and back of a postcard from Canada dated 1906
This is the front and back of a postcard from Canada dated 1906

Learn About Canadian History


This lovely 1906 postcard is of the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Canada.

The Chateau Frontenac has been in the Guinness Book of World Records as "the most photographed hotel in the world."

It may not be visible in the photo, but there are sparkles on the Saint Lawrence River in the distance and on the trees in the foreground.

The British monarchy were pictured on Canadian stamps. This one cent Canadian stamp shows King Edward VII wearing state robes.

Written in Pencil

This is the front and back of a U.S. postcard dated 1909
This is the front and back of a U.S. postcard dated 1909

Understanding Choice of Writing Implements


This postcard dated 1909 is titled, "Views From Justice Hills, East Princeton, Mass."

The writing is in pencil and a mark (X) was made by pen on the front of the card.

The sender mentions in her note that the mark (she calls it a cross) indicates where her house is. The mark is visible in the center of the middle tier of the postcard.

The U.S. postage stamp is a one cent green Benjamin Franklin. The one cent stamp was issued from 1898-1951.

Postcard of Portland Harbor, ME

This is the front and back of a postcard dated pre-1963 because it lacks a zip code
This is the front and back of a postcard dated pre-1963 because it lacks a zip code

Postcards of Tourist Destinations


Postcards have always been popular so you could tell the folks back home how wonderful your trip might be.

This postcard has an unclear date, but it is certainly from 1951 or a prior date because it has a one cent green Benjamin Franklin postage stamp. (Ben Franklin stamps were issued from 1898-1951.)

This postcard was written in ink, using either a fountain pen or a ballpoint pen (which was made available in 1943).

The vacation destination of this postcard is "Surf at Portland Headlight, Portland Harbor, Portland, ME." The colors in the sky are still very vibrant.

This unique postcard was published by "Chisholm Bros., Portland, ME."

Postcard of an Existing Building

This is the front and back of a Canadian postcard (carte postale)
This is the front and back of a Canadian postcard (carte postale)

Learn About Historical Buildings



This postcard is titled, "La Basilique, Quebec" or "Basilica, Quebec."

This historic building is also known as Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral in Canada.

It has been designated a "World Heritage Church."

The date on the postcard is unclear but the Canadian postage stamp is a two cent King George V which was issued on June 6, 1922.

This postcard is certainly pre-1963 because it lacks a zip code.

The color green replaced the previously red King George V two cent stamp.

Postcard of a Building Before Its Destruction

This is the front and back of a postcard from England dated 1906
This is the front and back of a postcard from England dated 1906

Learn About World War II


This postcard is quite interesting as it is titled, "Bristol - Temple Church."

The history of Temple Church in Bristol, England is that it was founded in the Middle Ages (12th century) by the Knights Templar. (References to this group were made in the "Da Vinci Code.")

During World War II, what was known as the "Bristol Blitz" took place on November 24/25, 1940, when Bristol was heavily bombed, leaving the Temple Church an empty shell.

The "postage and revenue" half penny green stamp shows King Edward VII who was Prince of Wales and the Emperor of India. The "Edwardian" period was named after this monarch.

This postcard was sent from England to Chetput, Madras, India where it was stamped with the date of 1907. Chetput is a locality in Chennai, formerly known as Madras.

All photos in this article were taken by the author, Camille Gizzarelli.

Post Card Collecting Books

© 2010 CamilleGizzarelli

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    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 

      6 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      This is a very nice post. I'm writing about postcards tonight too. I collected them as a kid and teenager. I've still got them but don't really know what to do with them now.

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