America’s Nice Inns Through the Golden Age of the Image Publish Card
- Evans collected postcards throughout his life during the golden age of 1900 through the 1920s.
- This phenomenon was promoted by the US Post Office’s decision in 1907 that the blank side of a postcard could contain the recipient’s address and a message.
- At the same time, Swiss Post has put a stamp price of 1 on these postcards.
Another boon was the reduction in the cost of offset color lithography, which gave postcards the appearance of hand-colored images with soft blues, greens, and reds.
Postcard categories from this period included hotels, resorts, train stations, cars, boardwalks, main roads in villages, state capitals, factories, professions, and many more subjects. The best of these hotel cards were produced by two companies: Curt Teich & Company, Inc., Chicago and Tichnor Brothers Inc., Boston, both of which closed in the 1970s. It is estimated that Curt Teich & Company printed approximately 400,000 different views of hotels in the United States, Canada, and overseas over a period of 77 years.
Tichnor Brothers produced 25,000 hotel postcards mainly from all states. An overview of America’s great hotels during the Golden Age of the Postcards appears in Barry Zaid’s “Wish You Were Here: A Tour of America’s Great Hotels during the Golden Age of the Picture Postcard” Crown Publishers, Inc. (New York 1990).
“But all the hotels are in their prime on the cards. This is a trip across America that we can still take. We can imagine swimming on the golden sands of Atlantic City in front of Marlborough – Blenheim, strolling through the magnificent cactus gardens of Phoenix’s Camelback Inn or enjoying the view of the mountains through the high windows of the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes, Canada -National Park. Isn’t that our table in the tree-lined dining room, next to the babbling brook that runs through the lodge in Brookdale, California? This is visual history, a record of yesterday’s traveler’s life. “
Fortunately, many classic hotels are preserved in these colorful unique postcards in the book “Wish You Were Here”. Here are the best of them: