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Wooden Postcards: Part 2—Vintage Cards

Many of the vintage wooden postcards have a distinctive "retro" style, but some are very similar in style to more recent ones. Sometimes the only way to estimate the age of an unused or undated card is by the amount of postage required. Nearly all the wooden postcards require the one ounce letter rate postage which was 3 Cents from 1932 to 1958. A few wooden postcards are light enough for the postcard rate which was 1 cent until 1952, 2 cents from 1952 to 1958, and 3 cents from 1958 to 1963. Not all of the cards have the amount of postage printed on the card, but many do (at least up until the time when postage rates began to increase more rapidly).

One of the most unusual wooden postcards is the one showing courtyard of Fort Dearborn at the Century of Progress, Chicago 1933. It is smaller (2-3/4 X 4-5/8 inches) than most wooden postcards with a bas relief design and an undivided postcard back. I have seen another view of Fort Dearborn like this, but nothing else of this type.

The next two postcards are birds-eye maple with a Paul Bunyan theme. They were both mailed for one cent in the 1930s from Wisconsin, but don't seem to be from the same manufacturer. The back styles, thickness, and wording of the Paul Bunyan legend are different. The legend explains how the force of Paul Bunyan's sneeze sprayed gravel which bruised the trees in a way that resembled birds eyes. The card with the verse lists B.B. Quality Line; no company name is printed on the Stamping Grounds card.

The next postcard describing the feats of Paul's Blue Ox, Babe—"big as a mountain and smart as a fox"—is oversized and again makes a connection between Paul Bunyan, Wisconsin, and wood. The card is 4-7/8 X 7 inches and weighs close to 2 ounces. I think the 1-1/2 cents postage indicated in the stampbox was the third-class postage rate at the time. This card was meant to be sent by someone attending the 1938 Wisconsin State Convention of the American Legion in Ashland.

Grison's Steak & Chop House in San Francisco used wooden menu advertising postcards for a number of years. Grison's Chicken house—"just across the street"—also had wooden menus cards. This one can be dated as 1939 because it has "Come to the Fair!" printed on the back and was mailed with a 1939 commemorative 3 cents stamp.

I always find it interesting to see the name of the wood the postcard is made of printed on the card. This one is "Genuine Florida Cypress" and has a lovely azaleas design which appears to be silk-screened. This postcard is copyright 1940. It is designed and produced by Bowman Studios, Tampa, Fla. The Carolina pine trees postcard is another cypress card by Bowman Studios and is copyright 1941. It states on the back that it is "Hand Made in Oil Paint."

Next is a World War II comic postcard by Dixie Novelty Co. of Asheville, N.C. It was mailed in 1945 and has a Parcel Post cancellation on the 3 cents stamp. The card below it has the same type of postcard back and is probably also from Dixie Novelty Co. although no company name is printed on the back. Dixie Novelty Co. either made or distributed many designs printed in brown. I think the wood is basswood, but I am not sure.

The Lumber Jubilee at Tuolumne, California used Paul Bunyan, "Monarch of All Timberlands," to invite you to their 1952 celebration. The front lists the various contests and events. The back states that the invitation is printed on a sample of Sugar Pine lumber manufactured by the West Side Lumber Co., Tuolumne, Calif.

The Wisconsin Dells postcard is handpainted in Japan. "A Hand Painted Greeting From" is printed on the back. Wisconsin Dells, Wis. is stamped on both the front and back.

The "World Famous Tree House" has appeared on many types of postcards. Here it is on a wooden card. I thought this card looked more recent than it actually is. The stampbox says "Place 3¢ Stamp Here."

Here is another version of the popular quotation. This one is on on a cedar card called "The Original Ceda-Card.".

Here are some more witty sayings on wooden postcard plaques from various manufacturers. None of these cards that I have are mailed. The first three must be from the same manufacturer. The back of cow card is shown. This is the only one that gives a company name: Attco in Brooklyn.

The two cards below have different zigzag edges. The card on the left is from Jaffre Prod Corp of Brooklyn, Printed in U.S.A. The card on the right is "Made in Japan" and is a different type of wood.

I have seen a lot of the plaques with witty sayings, but I never saw any of the figural cards like the ones in the next two rows until I started looking for wooden postcards. These are my favorites, especially the ones with the googly eyes. None of these have company names. The paper postcard backing on the googly eye cards is the same style as on the "Keep Smiling" plaque above and also says "Made in Japan" in the stampbox.

<<Wooden Postcards: Part 1Wooden Postcards: Part 3>>

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