Postcards galore at annual show Saturday

  • Robert Garrity, of Arlington, looks through postcards at the 24th annual postcard show held in 2017. This year’s will be held Saturday at the First Congregational Church in Greenfield. Garrity who is a member of the Worcester postcard club in additional to several others, estimates that he has about 150,000 postcards. FILE PHOTO

  • Robert Garrity, of Arlington, looks through postcards.

  • George LaCroix, of Greenfield, looks through postcards at the annual postcard show held in 2017. FILE PHOTO

  • Ted Sargent, of Leverett, looks through postcards at the 24th annual postcard show in 2017. FILE PHOTO

  • A vintage postcard with a photograph of a church in Northfield. FILE PHOTO

  • A postcard with a photograph of the Deerfield River in Shelburne Falls.

  • Tilda Hunting, of Conway, looks through postcards at the 2017 show. Hunting, whose hometown is Rochester, N.Y., collects postcards from places she has visited as well as from Rochester. FILE PHOTO

  • Postcards with photographs of buildings in Colrain. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 4/18/2019 6:31:48 PM
Modified: 4/18/2019 6:31:37 PM

GREENFIELD — The only postcard collectors’ show in western Massachusetts is being held Saturday at the First Congregational Church at 43 Silver St., 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

About nine dealers will bring their collections to buy and sell, said show organizer J.R. Greene. Prices range from 25 cents a piece for relatively commonplace cards, to a few dollars for the rarer and more collectible cards. Admission is $4, to benefit the church.

Greene will also be doing free appraisals of collections.

The collectors’ market mostly revolves around postcards from the first few decades of the 20th century, Greene said. At that time, postcards were an accessible and inexpensive way to communicate, and even small towns like Leyden and Heath would have had their own cards.

“So it’s a very universal hobby, unlike coins or stamps,” Greene said.

People who collect postcards tend to collect around a theme, Greene said — either a town or region, or a “topical” theme like Christmas, or dogs and cats. Cards of the North Quabbin and the Berkshires tend to be highly sought after, Greene said. Less coveted are “woodsey-pondsey” cards of nonspecific nature scenes, or generic “topicals” like Christmas cards with poinsettias.

“If you're not that fussy about what you want to collect … you can often find stuff at a very reasonable price,” Greene said.

A fussy collector will typically focus on an area with personal significance, so the most valuable cards tend to be ones with good downtown scenes, Greene said. Greene’s collection is based on his hometown of Athol and its surrounding area. 

“I like to say that picture postcards are the best reflectors of what early 20th century America looked like,” Greene said.

Reach Max Marcus at mmarcus@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ex 261.


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