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Occupation - Though not a common genre, many classify images of people working at their jobs under occupations. It was often difficult to capture the action of a workplace when taking place in a dark factory interior. This led to many posed group portraits that could be made with long exposures. At other times it was the group portrait of a company’ employees that was desired, but these images tend to be much more formally arranged.
Ocean Liners - It would probably be fair to say that postcards exist for every ocean liner ever built. Steamship companies published most of these cards themselves to be used by their passengers during weeks of long transocean travel. Images of these vessels in defined ports or of interior views are far more rare than the many general depictions of them. While some of these cards are rather matter of fact others were produced as highly creative artist signed cards.
Oil Wells - As the demand for oil rose across the country large oil fields sprang up crowded with towers. They were commonly pictured on post World War One view-cards from States such as California and Oklahoma where they were used to symbolize progress. There are however a number of earlier cards, especially in the form of real photos that depict the setting up of oil rigs as small family run enterprises.
Old Timers - Similar to cards representing various ethnic types there were postcards depicting local inhabitants of rural America. While they may accurately portray a person engaged in that area’s predominant occupation, they also reinforced regional stereotypes from the Maine lobsterman to the Oregon lumberjack. The stereotypes thus formed also play large in foreign perceptions of us as when Americans are looked upon as cowboys. Those who live a more traditional life apart from the modern world have always become objects of tourist interest.
Olympic Games - The ancient Olympic games were revived in Athens in 1859. By 1894 an International Olympic Committee had formed as postcards were becoming popular. Early games were sometimes tied to other celebrations that overshadowed them and it was not until the years following the 1904 St. Louis Worlds fair that they became a truly independent event. Their symbol, the Olympic Rings were adopted in 1914 and made their first public appearance at the 1920 Antwerp Games. Olympic Themes were mostly placed on postcards after this time. Today these images are tightly controlled by licensing agreements.
Opera - In the years before movies became ingrained in popular culture, opera played a more important role. Any educated person would have been familiar with at least the most well known operas, their composers, and major performers. Even those who may never had seen an actual opera may have been familiar with its music, especially after the phonograph was introduced. References to opera on postcards wained as its themes fell from public recognition. Publishers of opera postcards were usually also printers of sheet music.