"Real Photo Postcard Guide not only provides the kind of information that collectors need to determine whether or not a card is appropriate for their collection and is worth what it will cost to purchase it, but also the book is an insightful and painstakingly researched excursion through the social worlds of the photographers and their clients, how they went about plying their trade and what they shot."—Visual Studies
"One of the most stimulating and fascinating studies on picture postcards I’ve come across in a long time."—Picture Postcard Monthly
"In addition to just about everything you need to know about real photo postcards—their creators, their marketing, their variety, and what makes some more desirable than others—the authors have accumulated a gallery of examples that could keep you browsing for hours."—Ephemera News
The Real Photo Postcard Guide is an informative, comprehensive, and practical treatment of this wildly popular American phenomenon that dominated the United States photographic market during the first third of the twentieth century. Robert Bogdan and Todd Weseloh draw on extensive research and observation to address all aspects of the photo postcard from its history, origin, and cultural significance to practical matters like dating, purchasing, condition, and preservation.
Illustrated with over 350 exceptional photo postcards taken from archives and private collections across the country, the scope of the Real Photo Postcard Guide spans technical considerations of production, characteristics of superior images, collecting categories, and methods of research for dating photo postcards and investigating their photographers.
In a broader sense, the authors show how “real photo postcards” document the social history of America. From family outings and workplace awards to lynchings and natural disasters, every image captures a moment of American cultural history from the society that generated them.
Bogdan and Weseloh’s book provides an admirable integration of informative text and compelling photographic illustrations. Collectors, archivists, photographers, photo historians, social scientists, and anyone interested in the visual documentation of America will find the Real Photo Postcard Guide indispensable.
Robert Bogdan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Syracuse University. He is the author of many books, including Exposing the Wilderness: Early Twentieth-Century Adirondack Postcard Photographers, Adirondack Vernacular: The Photography of Henry M. Beach, and Picturing Disability: Beggar, Freak, Citizen, and Other Photographic Rhetoric.
Todd Weseloh was the librarian/archivist at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, NY, and has been an avid collector of postcards since 1976.
8.5 x 11, 0 pages, 350 black and white illustrations