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How to Protect a Vintage Postcard – So it will slow Deterioration

How to Handle a Vintage Postcard

I  enjoy writing these articles so much, it gives me the opportunity to research and learn more about our past through old postcards Since we have thousands of postcards.  This is a very important question for us to understand.

 

Its Important to remember Many Vintage postcards are over 100 Years Old.  The Majority are made of very fragile materials, Paper, Silk, Wood, Cork, material, which all deteriorate easily without proper precautions.

 

Materials

  • Paper

All paper is a material that is created in thin sheets primarily from a plant-based material called cellulose.  It is very Fragile, deteriorates rapidly if not handled properly.  It has been around since 600 AD by the Chinese, being used for writing materials.

Buy Art Postcards Little Holland Boy Fishing
Buy Art Postcards Little Holland Boy Fishing
  • Linen – cloth

Postcards of the 1930s to 1950s which have a linen embossed texture.  It is also called Textile Printing.  Applying colors and dyes to fabric, make them washable in some applications.  Accomplished by using, Wood Blocks, Stencils, engraved plates, and rollers.  The earliest examples have been found around 200AD in China. Europe Incas many populations practiced this type of printing on fabrics.  Postcards of the 1930s to 1950s which have a linen embossed texture
and usually bright vibrant colors

How to Protect a Vintage Postcard - So it will slow Deterioration 1

  • Photo paper

When looking into photography’s history only goes back about 200 years. Niepce’s first stable photograph was created in 1826 or 1827.   Today we measure our phones in Mega-pixels, then at the beginning just to be able to capture an identifiable image was the goal.  When this was happening great advancements in science and technology was taking place.  First pictures were made on metal plates, no copies, just one picture at a time.  In 1900 Kodak Eastman came out with Brownie Camera, which transformed the process.  It was during this time that traveling photographers would go to popular spots and take photographs.  These are called RPPC (Real Photo Postcards.  Kodak developed at this time a copying process for these cards making the extremely popular.  Today this RPPC are very sought after.

How to Protect a Vintage Postcard - So it will slow Deterioration 2

 

  • Wood

First wooden postcards were sold in 1914, Saint Louis Worlds Fair.  These were made from walnut,ash, butternut, Cyprus, and spruce woods.  The processes were done with ink and also by wood-burning

  • Aluminum

  • Copper

How to Handle a Vintage Postcard - copper postcard
How to Handle a Vintage Postcard – copper postcard

  • Silk

Silk Postcards were introduced in 1898 in Krefeld, Germany.  They would take silk images and then glue them to postcard stock.  They were very popular in WWII, they stopped being made around 1956.   Collectors should take great care with silk postcards, as silk is a delicate material, sensitive to light, humidity, and handling.  This is not a silk postcard but it is similar in the fact as the material has been glued to Elvis Card.  His sweater is actual Material.

Buy Postcard Elvis Presely Textur feel to his Sweater
Buy Postcard Elvis Presely Textur feel to his Sweater

  • Leather

Starting first in 1903 – made from Deer Hide. The process called pyrography.  There was a problem with leather postcards getting stuck in postcard sorting machines also stamps did not stick well.  Seem to stop making them around 1907.  In today’s market Leather Postcards are not Very Valuable

 

Handling

 

In Handling Valuable Vintage Postcards, much care should be taken.  In the Handling of Important fragile paper documents.  It is usually done with White Cotton Gloves. this protects the paper from Fingerprints, Oils, Dirt, and moisture that comes from physical handling

  • White cotton gloves

  • Fingerprints

  • Oil

  • Moisture

Individual Storage

 

In Individual Card Storage – Most Generally Postcard Sleeves are used, they are plastic (PVC – Poly Vinyl Chloride  and Acid-Free)

 

  • Types sleeves – Soft Flexible – Hard Rigid

They Protect the individual Cards from

  • Handling

  • Moisture

  • Oil

  • Acids

  • Heat

  • Insects

  • Mold

  • Foreign Objects – especially with the Rigid Sleeves ( for instance Rubber Bands)

Means of Storage

  • Albums

  • Shoe boxes

  • Plastic boxes

Displays

  • Digitized – many Collectors are making Scans – Pictures of the If they are Handled a lot.  This process is what they are using in examining the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Pictures are made of the Papyrus Manuscripts.

  • Frames – glass or Plexiglas that have UV blocking properties. TruVue glass and Acrylite Plexi

  • Lamination

  • Made into Books

This is an Excellent YouTube Video on Professional Handling of Fragile Documents

How to Protect Preserve Fragile Documents
How to Protect Preserve Fragile Documents

 

Ebay’s Selection of Vintage Postcard Sleeves – 232

Owner of Darlene's Old Postcards
Missionary – Mother – Grandmother
God Bless Darlene & Greg