It became fashionable to save postcards as souvenirs in the early 1900's. Postcards, because of their cheaper postal rate and the fact that they were relatively inexpensive and easy to produce, became a major way to promote tourism around the United States. Even small towns could have postcards of unique attractions or important buildings.
Postcard collections have in the past 20 years gained increasing importance because they portray subjects that have either changed or disappeared. Consequently, these cards have become important records of our past and not merely sentinmental reminders of friendships and experiences.
In addition, U.S. picture postcards of the period before 1918 are illustrations of former printing and color reproduction methods, such as Photocrom, Phostint, and lithography. Those interested in photography and the history of graphic arts can study the techniques used by the manufacturers for their superior craftsmanship.
For more information about vintage postcards, please visit the Print and Picture Collection and the Art Department at the Free Library of Philadelphia
Bird's Eye View of Philadelphia from Lemon Hill
Verso: O.S. Bunnell, Philadelphia, Pa. Printed in Germany. No. 81