From East to West and North to South our journey when home or abroad will probably take us past a postcard display stand and we will feel the need to send a postcard to let everyone know the sun is shining or the snow is perfect this year. Deltiology is the study and collection of postcards. Postcards as a hobby ranks third in the world surpassed only by coins and stamps. The vast array of interests covered must surely be the reason for their appeal. Postcard display stands peddle their wares wherever we go.
The earliest postcards date from around 1840. Since that time they have depicted a phenomenal range of subjects and interesting locations. They are not just of interest to those with a passion for Deltiology; we all retain postcards as mementos of our journeys to both local and foreign climes.
They are a tremendous archive of past events and a photographic catalogue of the 20th century, whether it is transport, landscapes, city centres – you can follow their progression through the last century with postcards.
Although not a collector, I like old postcards. They are so evocative of times gone by. Romantic valentine postcards filled with hearts, flowers, cherubs, and endearing messages. Saucy seaside postcards with belly wobbling humour, double entendre and gaudy colours. Black and white railway postcards with magnificent steam engines hurtling through the countryside; you can almost hear the steam whistle. Places you remember from your childhood; which you explored for hidden treasures. Nostalgic Christmas scenes of children hanging stockings at the fireplace and hoping they’ve been good! Monochrome views of faraway lands that you long to visit. But, whatever your interest, there is probably a postcard that will appeal to you.
Artwork is another favourite of mine. Modern or classical, beautiful paintings and designs reproduced on a postcard, a miniature to take home at an affordable price. Some funky, loud and colourful, others just timeless in their appeal. They are ideal for short messages and greetings; I always have a small stock of my favourites. They are useful for homework projects and handmade cards and there is usually one stuck on the fridge or pin board, a loving message or friendly hello from someone you haven’t seen in a while. Of course, like most things postcards can now be purchased and sent via the internet. Thankfully, I think the appeal of selecting your postcard from the postcard display stand and posting to friends near and far will ensure they are around for many more years to come.
Through advances in technology we can now send virtual postcards, but nothing quite compares with making your choice from the postcard display stand and sending a smile to those we know wherever they may be.