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Guide to the New-York Historical Society Postcard Collection [graphic]
circa 1898-1965 (bulk, 1900-1950)
 PR 54

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jennifer Lewis (2002) and Joseph Ditta (2018-2021).

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 16, 2021 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Historical Note

Postal mailing cards were introduced in the United States in the 1870s, chiefly for advertisements and business notices. Pictorial souvenir cards issued in 1893 for the World's Columbian Exposition popularized view cards. The 1898 reduction in postcard postage, from two cents to a penny, triggered a flood of card production. Millions of cards were mailed and collected annually in the United States through World War I. As postcards became more popular, publishers began addressing new subjects, with holidays, patriotic sentiments, political campaigns, and social issues gaining popularity in the first decade of the twentieth century.

The Albertype Company, begun in 1889 in Brooklyn, New York, produced photographic views, postcards, and souvenir booklets for areas across the United States. The company's output eventually reached several million pictures per year. The Albertype Company ceased operation shortly after the death of Herman L. Wittemann, the son of one of the founding Wittemann brothers, in 1952.