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Saturday, February 08, 2014



The annual Post Card Show will be held on Sunday, February 9 at the WicomicoCivic Center in Salisbury. This is a good opportunity to get out those old post cards and see if they have any value. Generally, local view post cards are the most desired in any area. So, post cards with views of the towns of the Eastern Shore are more highly prized than ones from out of the area. Even if they are not postmarked, someone at the show can date them just by looking at them.

The very best to any collector are “real photo” postcards because there are fewer of them. These are views taken by a photographer who then might write on the negative. The ensuing postcard will have the writing come out white. Many families from 1900 to about 1925 had photos taken by a photographer and had some of them made into postcards to send to relatives and distant acquaintances. If anyone finds one of these in the family album or among loose pictures in an old shoe box, be sure to write the name on the back (pencil preferably). So many pictures that should be family treasures end up in a box in some antique store labeled “instant relatives” and sell for about $.50 each. I know I value the real photo post cards of my family much higher than would anyone else. The card pictured above is of my mother taken at her First Communion in 1918 when she was six years old. I have several real photo cards of some of my relatives and treasure them greatly.

It seems like anymore the only post cards in our mailbox are for advertising. Gone are the days of summer vacation and the standard “Wish you were here” cards from places as close as Ocean City. Today it is much easier, and cheaper, to just use a cell phone and call someone to let them envy your vacation. There is nothing like holding something in your hand that is a tangible reminder of another person. The same holds true for the handwritten letter. Who takes the time and effort to sit down and put their thoughts on paper to send to another person when the same information can be transmitted via cell phone in the time it would take you to find paper, pen and stamp?

Post cards can be a visual picture of the past. Places that are no longer here can be revisited through a post card of that long-gone establishment. There are books that show many of the post cards of the past along with a slight descriptive passage under each picture that really takes you back to an era of long ago. I hope to see you there at the Post Card Show.

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