Rack cards, usually continental sized photochromes, started to be given away for free in the mid 1990’s. It is the revenue from the advertising on them that provides the publisher with profit. Unlike the advertising cards that are mailed to every door, rack cards need to attract the attention of those passing by displays in order to get circulated. Some are very attractive being designed by artists or prominent ad houses; others are not. They are a carryover of the giveaway postcards once freely available from service stations and motels in the 1950’s and 60’s. Though extremely popular today their monetary value as collectables are dubious in this age of media saturation. They do however provide some insight into our times, and are a cheap alternative to those unable to afford the ever-pricier antique cards, especially if investment is of no concern.
Use the link below for a more compleate history of this period.