Our Grandmother on our Mother's side was a warm and wonderful lady called Agnes Hasmall. Sadly she died back in the late 1980s when aged 92, but some of the wonderful memorabila she left for us to remember her by included a large selection of hand tinted vintage postcards she had kept over the years, many of which dated back as far as 1911. Some of these postcards had been written to her by relatives, others were unused but had found their way into her collection, whichever they were what they all had in common was that they were quite beautiful and nostalgic reminders of a bygone era when life was simpler, families closer and warmth of personality seemed to come naturally to far more people than it does today. We are lucky enough to be able to enjoy these postcards whenever we wish to, but I now feel they should be shared with a wider audience, and what better way to achieve this than through Hubpages in the form of a hub.
I have scanned both sides of many of the cards in order for you to be able to read the actual writing on the reverse, as well as seeing the original stamps still in place on most of the cards. Where the reverse side of the card is not shown it is because the card was unwritten.
I hope looking at these postcards gives you as much pleasure as they always give me.
Year Unknown Postcards
Picture postcards from the early part of the twentieth century give us an idea of what the world looked like at the time, as well as a clear picture of people, social customs and costume which underwent huge changes following Victoria's restrictive reign.
Women are rarely without large ornate hats, and loving couples never seem to progress further than the hand-holding during their courtships. Female models in their large picture hats were the subject of many brightly coloured picture postcards. Courtship and marriage were were treated in traditional Victorian fashion on the earlier cards and the men and women are seldom touching.
As the twentieth century moved on women's clothing became less constrictive and the subjects on the postcards became somewhat less restricted where they portrayed couples in love. Captions were more suggestive and couples not only held hands but kissed and cuddled. At the time such images were considered very daring and it often hard to find actors and actresses to pose for such photographs.
Postcards featuring lovers were popular in every country and the captions can be found translated into many languages. Those were slightly titillating were also collected and one theme that is seen over and over is the intrusion of a third person such as a bellboy or golf caddy on a married couple about to 'spoon'.
Women's skirts were still long at the turn of the century and figures were shaped by the ude of heavy corsets and stays. Any postcard showing a woman's legs (usually only from the knees down), was considered to be daring. Nudes were acceptable only if the picture was a reproduction of a famous painting or sculpture. One didn't embarrass the recipient of a postcard by sending anything more suggestive through the mail. Pornographic cards were made in quantity, but were sent through the mail concealed in envelopes. Because of their rarity, pornographic or suggestive picture postcards are among the most expensive for collectors who are keen to add such cards to their albums or files.
A rather complete history of the theatre of England and America in the period leading up to World War I can be found on picture postcards. Some of the most popular are full cast photos of plays. Revered stage stars, opera singers and ballet artists were all photographed in the costumes of their most successful roles, and many stagestruck collectors filled albums with their portraits. 'Life upon the wicked stage' was another popular theme of the period and many postcards depicting the dangers of 'stage life' were published. Opera and ballet were considered socially acceptable, but the theatre had a long way to go before society would accept its actors as artists.
Postcards were adapted from posters to advertise stage shows, and the new motion pictures did not miss the opportunity to advertise their latest productions and their most famous stars. In this brand new art form where photography was the medium, the still pictures of the glamorous movie stars went along way to publicise both the stars and their pictures. Movie historians can still find a great deal of information about the early years of the art on these publicity postcards, many of which were issued by the Hollywood studios.
The interiors of theatres, especially opera houses, very popular subjects. So many of these elaborate nineteenth century buildings have now been torn down or modernised, that often the vintage postcards are the only record left that they existed at all.
Postcards from 1911
There is some difference between American and British picture postcards that represented college life at the beginning of this century. American colleges appear to be places where the only subject taught was football while some serious postcards showing the conferring of degrees at Oxford and other serious subjects to do with British university life can be found. However, the British universities were not without their humorous cards and one especially popular series entitled 'Americans at Oxford', managed to poke fun at the naivety of young American ladies who were obviously visiting the campus unchaperoned. For example, one card in the series depicted two young American ladies coming through the door of what seems to be the student's apartments and the caption: American ladies (bursting into an undergraduate's room) 'Beg pardon, young men, we had no idea these ancient ruins were inhabited!'
1911 Postcards Continued.
Few activities escaped the brush, pen or camera of the picture postcard designers. There are collectors who specialise in such area as sports, pictures of pretty girls, children, couples romancing, special colleges or teams etc. Collectors should remember that millions of postcards were once available that illustrated all these forms of human activity. The line-ups of many local teams to be fond on baseball, cricket, football and other athletic team cards often contain grandfathers of people we know.
Postcards from 1912
Postcards from 1913
As you have probably gathered by now we actually have a great deal of these postcards, so I hope you are willing to view them all the way to the end of this hub as we have many beautiful ones yet to come as the years go on. I could have split this into multiple hubs, but decided in the end they were better kept all in one place. I do hope you agree with my decision on this.
From now I shall simply list the postcards year by year until we reach the end of the hub.
Postcards from 1914
Postcards from 1915
Postcards from 1916
Postcards from 1917
Postcard from 1918
Postcards from 1920
If you have made it this far you must sincerely be a lover of vintage postcards and hopefully you therefore enjoyed this hub article. I would love to hear your feedback on these and look forward to reading your comments.
Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on August 19, 2014:
You are very welcome Lisa. so pleased you liked them as much as we do.
LisaKeating on August 19, 2014:
I really enjoyed looking through your beautiful collection of postcards. The images are stunning. The quality is brilliant. These remind me that people of generations past were not so different than people today. Thanks for taking the time to share.
Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 07, 2011:
Thanks Tony, the old postcards are really beautiful I always feel. Perhaps you could put yours in a hub too!
Tony McGregor from South Africa on April 07, 2011:
These are just stunning! I also have some great old postcards. Thanks for sharing these.
Love and peace
Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 05, 2011:
Thanks Fluffy, they make me nostalgic for times when life seemed so much simpler than today.
Fluffy77 from Enterprise, OR on April 04, 2011:
They are so elegant and beautiful, I have always liked them great page!!
Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on February 17, 2010:
Thanks Craftsmith. It took me a while to scan them all, but was worth it in order to share them with so many other people too.
Craftsmith from India on February 17, 2010:
phew !! what a collection !! am awestruck..its absolutely vintage wonderful. just like wine and men ;)older the better. But i really appreciate your effort to collect them and put them up !! lovely work misty, keep it up :)
Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 29, 2010:
You are welcome Paradise, it is nice to know I am not the only one who finds them so beautiful.
Paradise7 from Upstate New York on January 28, 2010:
These are beautiful!!!! Thank you so much for sharing them!
Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 27, 2010:
Thank you Wannabewestern, don't worry, we are keeping these in the family and have already for a good few years. I love the pictures in whatever form they come in, they make me feel as if I am reliving a part of the past, albeit briefly. So pleased you liked them :)
Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 27, 2010:
Thank you Kimberly for the wonderful feedback, golly, yo are going to use a whole load of ink printing all of this hub off, but pleased you enjoyed it enough to want to and glad that it was just what you needed. :)
Thank you Gus, yes, there were literally millions of these postcards printed in the era, but if you hadn't heard of this kind of work being done on postcards before, at least you have now :)
Carolyn Augustine from Iowa on January 27, 2010:
Your postcard collection is beautiful. So many beautifully preserved antiques. I hope you hold on to this treasure from your grandmother.
I think that the depiction of women and children in the early 20th century is interesting to study, and I love looking at the clothes and hairstyles too. But my faves are the humorous ones. Thanks again for sharing such a beautiful collection of postcards. The images are wonderful.
Gustave Kilthau from USA on January 27, 2010:
Hi Misty - Back before color photos became commonplace and low enough in cost, hand tinting of black and white photos was both commonly practiced and effective. Your examples are very enjoyable, and their being in the form of postcards is, to me at least, quite unusual.
lyricsingray on January 27, 2010:
Oh my god misty, this is one of the most beautiful Hubs I have seen. I am printing it as soon as I finish this comment. Thank you for bringing me such beauty to look at this morning when I really needed it. fantastic job. wow. xo Kimberly
Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 26, 2010:
Thanks Green Lotus. My Grandmother was so loyal to Liverpool you would be amazed. Every possible television star, singer, place, team etc associated with, or from Liverpool she was the greatest fan of, although she spoke like a true lady with no accent at all and actually lived in "Morton".
Hillary from Atlanta, GA on January 26, 2010:
What a treasure! Thanks for sharing these beautiful postcards! Although I 've never been to Liverpool, the words Percydale and Green Lane also have a coincidental meaning to me... more to me than you can imagine. Thanks mistyh!