Fairies and the Golden Age of Postcards (1905 – 1915)

The ten year period from 1905 – 1915 is known as the ‘Golden Age of Postcards’ when the popularity of postcards reached its zenith with the general public, especially the US. This period of time corresponded with the US Congress updating it postal laws to allow private publishers to create and produce postcards for mailing. Competing with these changes were postcards created from overseas publishers, such as Germany, France and England. Both correspondence via postcards and collecting postcards became very popular, particularly among the women populations in small towns across the midwest. Literally billions of postcards were printed, mailed and collected during the ten year period beginning in 1905, with over 700  million postcards mailed in 1908 alone. So many postcards were created that the market became completely glutted by around 1915, which led to a drop in popularity and subsequent production of postcards of all kinds.

Fairies (along with many other themes) were very popular during this time. The gallery below shows a cross-sampling of imagery from that time. Some of these postcards images were produced or mailed very early or before the golden age, beginning in the late 1800’s. Also pictured below are a few images from trade cards and advertisements of the day, which were also popular. Note the presence of butterflies and flowers. These images are from both well known, lessor known and unknown artists of the day.

References –

New York State Library

Wikipedia – History of Postcards (in the US)