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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Sunday, 07 May 2017
Stamp Boxes, Messages & More: Family Clues in Old Photo Postcards
Posted by Maureen



Old postcards among your collection of family letters and photos might contain a variety of clues worth exploring. From stamp boxes to postmarks and messages, there can be genealogical gold in the littlest things.

I've written about real-photo postcards (RPPCs) in the past. These are family photos printed with a postcard back. An RPPC is an actual photo, not a chromolithograph print.

Not all postcards were mailed. Printing on a postcard back was just another option when you visited the photo studio or had your snapshots printed.

Do you have RPPCs in your family photo collection? If you're not sure, take a close look with a magnifying glass or loupe, or scan and zoom in. A chromolithograph print appears to made up of tiny dots; an RPPC does not.

Here's where to look for information about RPPCs in past Photo Detective blog posts:
  • RPPCs debuted in 1900, but there were changes to the backs of these cards within a few years. Read Old Family Photos on Postcards to learn more about the history and formats for these cards.

Postcards were popular both in the United States and overseas. Do you have one to share?  Email it to me here, following the instructions in our How To Submit Your Photo section.



Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now

  • Save
    photo postcards | unusual photos
    Sunday, 07 May 2017 22:23:21 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [8]
    Sunday, 14 May 2017 22:09:03 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
    I am interested in seeing (and maybe acquiring) picture post cards that were of the Salina, Kansas Dust Bowl Days in the 1930s by Earl Marsh. His mother was my great great grandmother's sister (My Grandma Mary Jane Peck Horton and his mother, Helen Peck Marsh). The one that I have seen was of Salina during the mid morning with the street lights on. I would have been about age 7 at the time.
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