Sometimes, the most interesting aspect of a postal card is the message it contains.
First up is a UY7a postal reply card from 1928 offering baby chicks by mail.
Bees by mail. A UX5 postal card from 1878 regarding bees and beekeeping information for sale. Apparently, the seller received payment for the bees prior to delivery and sent a message ahead to cancel the C.O.D. requirement for the delivery. I'd hate to be the postal carrier responsible for making this delivery!
To this day, you can still send baby chicks and bees, along with a number of other live animals, through the U.S. Postal Service.
Following are 2 postal cards requesting payment of an insurance policyholder's share for claims made against a fire insurance company. This is when mutual insurance was truly mutual. To keep one's fire insurance policy in effect, the policyholder had to pay his share of claims made by other policyholders within the group.
Once upon a time in a kiloware lot I came across an old leather postcard from around 1903 or so, if I remember correctly. Apparently burning designs on to blank leather post cards was a hobby in the times before the USPS added restrictions which prohibited their mailing. This card was from Port Arthur, TX and had a cartoon showing a cowboy on the design side. The letter side was addressed to New York City and the message contained a complaint about how horrible the mosquitoes were in Port Arthur. I snooped online and found a museum in Port Arthur and sent them the card, as I figured they might appreciate it. Unfortunately, I sent away my find without scanning it so I have no image to show - oh well.
Here's one that made me look twice when I first saw it. It's written in cypher! I was finally able to get a translation on another forum. The actual message is pretty mundane, but it certainly is eye-catching!
Here's something a little new. A UX55 card from Portland Ore. to Vancouver BC with a cute if not crude drawing of a choo choo on the back. Not postmarked. It may have been used as a receipt. There is a faint '9' hand stamped on the back. The only marking.
A UX55 card from Portland Ore. to Vancouver BC with a cute if not crude drawing of a choo choo on the back. Not postmarked. It may have been used as a receipt.
Note that this is a precancelled postal card - it's not supposed to receive a postmark. Have a look at this exhibit of U.S. precancel postal cards from Josh Furman (found on the APS site) for many other examples. They were government-issued from 1961 to 1985 and those cards are commonly found, but many of the earlier issues are rare, occasionally unique.