I’m always on the lookout for antique hometown postcards–those beautiful old linen cards that depict the towns where my ancestors lived. To date, I’m tracked down postcards of St. Joseph, Unionville and Harris, Missouri on eBay, and all for under $5 each.
Although the chances of finding a postcard of your ancestor’s actual dwelling are next to impossible, you can use the postcard for to get a glimpse of life in the early 20th century. For instance, many cards depict the cars (or buggies) people drove, how they dressed and even how they wore their hair. (Image is of a Pony Express postcard)
Online auctions or online antique shops are wonderful resources for locating postcards of your hometown, or other place 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, Missouri, I found old postcards depicting the Robidoux Hotel, Missouri Methodist Hospital, the Library, and Union Station.
You’ll find an extensive 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. 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 on-site search engine) <www.vintagepostcards.com>
- Moody’s Collectibles (has cards from every state) <www.moodyscollectibles.com>
- Vintage Postcards of All 50 States