Wake Forest Historical Museum

LOCATION: 414 N. Main Street Wake Forest, NC 27587 CONTACT: 919-556-2911

Vintage Postcards

Although historians can trace postcards to the mid-1800s, their popularity didn’t surge until the invention of photograph cards in the early twentieth century. These typically featured images of real people or places and were usually printed on film stock paper. Initially mailed with both message and image on the front, the cards quickly evolved into the format familiar today– picture on front, divided back for message and address.

By 1907, the market for postcards had exploded, as they provided a quick, cheap and fun method for cross country communication. Americans mailed millions of them between 1900 and 1920, and they swiftly became a favorite collectible for hobbyists. By focusing on a particular place– in this case Wake Forest N.C.– it’s possible to glean actual historical information from the backs of those cards. Writers often jotted bits of local news and gossip, allowing today’s collectors to develop a broader understanding of the viewpoints of past visitors or residents.

These particular vintage postcards are shared by local collector Eric Rush, a Wake Forest property owner and historian. You can find similar items on auction sites such as eBay. Prices typically range from a couple dollars to twenty or more– based on condition, age and rarity.

And ours is not the only Wake Forest postcard collection available for online viewing, The Carpenter Library at the Wake Forest School of Medicine has posted a series dedicated to the North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. And the North Carolina Collection at UNC Chapel Hill has devoted a section of its website to postcards from Wake County– a number of them from Wake Forest.

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This entry was posted on July 19, 2013 by in Images and tagged , , .

Hours & Info

Tues-Fri: 9am-noon & 1:30-4:30pm
Sun: 2pm-5pm

Closed: Saturday and Monday

Call us at 919.556.2911

Free Admission

Follow us on Instagram!

Flying the Demon Deacon flag as we host visitors from the WFU Alumni Council. Welcome to #oldcampus! Happy Easter from the Wake Forest Historical Museum. (Old Well photographed from the Brewer-Harris Garden) These are the brothers of Kappa Sigma fraternity. They went to school here on the Old Campus and reunite each year at the Trek. They are an amazing group and we appreciate all they do for the Wake Forest Historical Museum! #kappasigma #wfu "His most unusual talent was combining profanity in unexpected ways," author Tucker Mitchell says to our Trek to the Old Campus crowd, about the subject of his excellent biography, legendary WFC football coach Peahead Walker. #wfu #oldcampus