The Joys of Collecting Antique Postcards

Three antique postcards on a green patinaed tray

Lightweight and easy to transport, antique postcards are the perfect souvenir. As with most hobbies, there’s even a fancy word for collecting them: deltiology. But words can’t describe the slice of life that unfolds as you read the intimate correspondence shared on these tiny parcels from the height of their popularity in the early 1900s.

Antique postcards featuring hand-drawn women in hats

Ken Wilson of the Capital of Texas Postcard Club in Austin says postcards were the social media of their day. “Just exactly the way email hit us in the 1990s, postcard use hit in about 1903 to 1905, right up until World War I,” says Ken. As with social media, parties were often planned and rehashed in postcards, children checked in with parents and grandparents, and all manner of courting took place.