Postcards had their heyday in popularity from about 1890 to
1915. There were several factors that
contributed to this, including easing of government restrictions, advances in
photography, printing and mass production and improved rural mail service.
|The Transylvania County Library has a number of
real picture postcards, including this one of Jake
West and a friend, by local photographer Joe Wilde.
In addition, postcards were inexpensive to purchase and mail. Allison & Macfie drug store in Brevard
sold postcards at four for a nickel or 15 cents for a dozen. Their March 12, 1909 advertisement claimed,
“Our supply of local view Post Cards is now complete. In all we have 44,000. 44 different subjects to select from. Come in and see them. They are the prettiest line of Post Cards ever
brought to Brevard. Also a big lot of
Comic Post Cards.”
Photographers often sold their images for postcards. Most of the postcards of the Toxaway Inn were
made from photographs by R. Henry Scadin who resided in Sapphire on and off between
1897 and 1915.
One type of postcard that was particularly popular was the “real picture
postcard.” While typical postcards used
offset or lithographic printing these images were continuous-tone photographs
printed on paper used for postcards.
They often featured individuals or local landmarks and were an
inexpensive means to share pictures with family and friends across the country.
Hiram Glover advertised, “The Latest Novelty Post Cards of
Yourself. Finished on the best grade of cards, in Sepia Color, at $1 per
dozen.” Glover had a studio on Jordan
Street in Brevard from about 1902 until 1914.
|Wilde also created this real picture postcard of
Loeta, Robert and Ford, children of Edward and
Nora Randolph of Rosman, circa 1922.
A news item in the July 10, 1908 Sylvan Valley News stated, “A
picnic party from Brevard spent the day last Wednesday at Cherryfield, and were
hospitably entertained by Mrs. J.C. Whitmire Jr., who furnished the crowd with
a fine dinner. E.H. Glover, who was with the party, took several photographs of
places of interests, among them views of Whitmire & Hamilton’s new store
building, R. H. Zachary’s residence, and others. These views are to be placed on post cards
and kept in the store at Cherryfield.
The outing was much enjoyed by all the party.”
During the period, it was common to collect postcards and save
them in albums or scrapbooks. Today vintage postcards, which provide
a sense of nostalgia, remain popular among collectors.
and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library
hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional
photographs. For more information, comments, or suggestions contact Marcy at