AncestorNews: Hometown Postcards
Lately, I’ve been searching for antique hometown postcards—those beautiful old linen cards that depict the towns where my ancestors lived. Using eBay www.ebay.com, I’ve located and purchased (usually for less than $5) postcards of St. Joseph, Unionville, and Harris, Mo.
Although the chances of finding a postcard of your ancestor’s dwelling are next to impossible, you can use the postcard to get a glimpse of life in the early 20th century. For instance, many cards depict the cars (or buggies) people drove, the way they dressed and even their hairstyles.
Online auctions or online antique shops are wonderful resources for locating postcards of your hometown or other places your ancestors lived. If your family came from a large enough city, you may even find a postcard of their place of employment. For example, when I searched ebay for St. Joseph, Mo., I found old postcards depicting the Robidoux Hotel, Missouri Methodist Hospital, the library and Union Station.
You’ll find the best selection of postcard auctions on eBay. Even though many dealers advertise auctions from their own sites, if you follow their links, they’ll frequently take you to an eBay auction. I did find a couple of nice postcards on auctions at Playle’s www.playle.com. If you don’t want to explore the auction option, look for online antique postcard dealers who specialize in your state, or spend a Saturday browsing through your local antique shops.
Here are a few places to begin your search:
• Vintage Postcards (use the search engine)
• Antique Postcards Birmingham, England
• Moody’s Collectibles (has cards from every state)
• Vintage Postcards of All 50 States