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GAR - Grand Army of the Republic postcards fall into two categories. Some were issued as holiday cards for this veterans association gatherings that took place on May 30th (Decoration Day), when the graves of fallen comrades would be decorated. The other type of card captured events such as monument dedications, reunions, parades, and reenactments, often on the original battlefield. Many of these activities were preserved as real photo postcards. The last such event took place in 1949 as the ranks of veterans grew thin. Anyone who served in the army fighting for the Union during the American Civil War could be a GAR member.
Gardens - There have been many famous gardens from around the world that have found themselves depicted on postcards. But some of the more interesting cards portray the small gardens that accompany private residences. The very simple and matter of fact presentations of these cards can make them easily pass for generics except they often contain a certain intimacy that shows a love for the subject even when not dramatic. Many such garden cards were published by the owner of the property.
Gargoyles - These stone carved architectural details from the Middle Ages had many romantic connotations attached to them by the time they became the subject matter of postcards. They had long been painted and drawn by many artists. Gargoyles are usually only found on European cards, especially those depicting Paris. In the United States gargoyles have only been added to buildings as an element of modernist decoration and are rarely depicted on postcards.
Gas Stations - Many early cards sought out depictions of the newly developed automobile but the stations that served their needs received much less notice. Even though the first specialized gas station (filling station) appeared in the United States in 1905, most motorists still continued to buy their fuel from pharmacies, and repairs were often made by blacksmiths. Only after the gasoline engine became standard and cars began being made by production line did the number of these private stations grow.
General Store - The rural nature of the United States and Canada made it difficult to buy goods for much of their histories. In communities too small to support specialized businesses a general store would be formed to supply a wide variety of essential and highly marketable products. If a unusual item was desired a order could be placed with the store and they would try to have it added to their usual deliveries. With the advent of the mail order catalog and the beginning of Rural Free Delivery the relevance of these stores began to wain. Before individual Post Offices were built many general stores also served as collection points for mail and became focal points for socializing. As the Nation’s transportation network grew more efficient so did the spread of urbanization and the need for these stores disappeared. These cards now tend to be rare and are prized by collectors.
Ghosts - Real or not, many people have believed in ghosts through the ages and still do. Soon after the introduction of photography it was discovered that this medium could easily be manipulated to create ghostly images. The first of these photos were distributed as novelties but in 1861 the Boston engraver William H. Mumler claimed to have photographed an actual ghost. Spirit photography became widely seen in the later 19th century supported by a growing interest in mysticism. While some of these images were obviously created in the darkroom others remain intriguing. Though many of these photos were produced it is rare to find them as real photo postcards. Even though such images are more easily produced as paintings or illustrations, they too are not often found on postcards.
Glaciers - While glaciers have not been a collectable genre many postcards have been made of them. They are especially found on postcards of the Alps where early hiking clubs made them popular destinations. They have generally always been considered view-cards but under our present conditions of rapid global climate change their uniqueness is becoming apparent. Many coastal glaciers have now receded up off the shore and some once found in mountain regions have completely disappeared. Postcards have captured these natural features that are quickly becoming faded memories.
Glamour - These postcards depicting a beautiful women could be artist drawn or real photos but the focus of attention was on the woman as a glamourous object and not as personality. Glamour cards are portraits of a type rather than an individual, and rarely contain any pictorial narrative unless presented in an environment populated by high society. Most of these cards were printed in Europe.
Golf - The game of golf had long been played in the British Isles and even Canada before the first course in the United States was built in Yonkers, New York in 1888. After additional golf courses were constructed on Long Island the game began to spread across the country, and the number of postcards depicting them rose with the games popularity. While the number of golf courses in the United States grew substantially after the First World War, many of the earlier courses depicted on postcards have since disappeared under the high demand of land for urban sprawl.
Great White Fleet - Teddy Roosevelt sent the sixteen new battleships of the Atlantic Fleet on a voyage around the world in 1907. These ships were painted white with added gold detailing. Postcards were made depicting the individual ships, their welcoming at foreign and domestic ports, and other events the fleet took part in around the world. Other countries also published cards of the fleet’s visit to their ports, most notably in Japan.
Greetings - A variation on the holiday card. Most greeting cards were made for birthdays but other occasions and more generic greetings were made as well. After the First World War when the folding greeting card became popular few postcards continued to be published as greetings.
Greyhound Racing - The racing of Greyhounds was born out of the older tradition of coursing in which dogs would chase down small game. It was first organized into a track sport with the dogs chasing a mechanical rabbit for the purposes of gambling in the United States in 1912. It was most popular however in the decade following the Second World War so most images depicting it are to be found on Linen view-cards. This sport is not legal in all States.
Gruss aus - These early Germanic Greetings from postcards predate most American cards. While primarily consisting of German, Austrian, and Swiss views, other countries and subjects were displayed on them as well. Although many cards may contain the words Gruss aus, most consider the true cards of this genre to contain multi-views supported with decorative graphics. They were usually all printed as chromolithographs.
Gypsy - The Romani people migrated to Europe in the 16th and 17th century from Northern India. They were commonly referred to as Gypsies in the mistaken belief their origins were in Egypt. Their lack of acceptance in European society kept them a nomadic people for the most part. While the Roma often faced harsh discrimination and were sometimes singled out for everything from slavery to extermination, their depiction on postcards are more often in a Romantic vein than a blatantly derogatory one. Most of these depictions however remain stereotypes.