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Blog Archive 18
August 2015 to June 2016


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June 24, 2016

REVIEW by Alan Petrulis

Early American Postcards (1868-1901)

by Dr. Daniel Friedman

Book Cover

Anyone writing about the history of postcards faces a number of inherent problems. Unlike other collectables, such as coins or stamps, there is no clear documented record of what was produced, when they were made, and in what quantities. Complicating this matter is the general lack of information on most firms who published postcards. This is especially true for early American cards, which suffers from a scarcity of source material to analyze. Despite these problems Dr. Daniel Friedman has entered this unfavorable environment to tackle the subject. By gleaning missing information from the examination of actual cards, he has painstakingly put together this ambitious new book.

While Early American Postcards is oriented toward the collector more than the academic, it still manages to provide more new information on this topic than has come to light over the past sixty years. The history of postcards we know has too often been reduced to simple catch phrases repeated over time, and now this limited perspective has finally been broadened out. The perspective however is limited; there is some discussion of printing technique but little attention is payed to the significance of the imagery found on cards. That of course is a topic large enough for an entirely new volume, and I don