Among the members of any stamp club you will often find member who are avid diltiologists, better known as postcard collectors. It is a natural fit since many fine pieces of postal history went through the mails as postcards.
I’m one of those folks — collecting old postcards from the history of the San Francisco Cliff House and private mailing cards from 1898.
Postcard exhibits at stamp shows has slowly been gaining acceptance at shows. It hasn’t been that many years since the postcard exhibit category has been added as a category. If you have a great collection — here is a link to a great article on how to exhibit postcards.
What is deltiology? A nice definition from Wikipedia…
“Deltiology (from Greek δελτίον, deltion, diminutive of δέλτος, deltos, “writing tablet, letter”; and -λογία, -logia) is the study and collection of postcards. Professor Randall Rhoades of Ashland, Ohio, coined a word in 1945 that became the accepted description of the study of picture postcards. It took about 20 years for the name to appear in the dictionary the first time.Compared to philately, the identification of a postcard’s place and time of production can often be an impossible task because postcards, unlike stamps, are produced in a decentralised, unregulated manner. For this reason, some collectors choose to limit their acquisitions to cards by specific artists and publishers, or by time and location.
Postcard collecting was a huge craze in the early years of the twentieth century with the peak years being approximately 1907 to 1913. We have the early collectors to thank for the large supply of antique postcards that are still available for collectors today. Postcards were popular among both sexes and all ages. The cards were used to keep in touch with friends and family, for exchanging with strangers in othe geographical areas, and even for courtship.
Official United States Post Office figures for the year ending June 30, 1908 cited 667,777,798 postcards mailed in the United States. By 1913 the total in this country was over 968,000,000, and by this date the craze was reportedly declining (quoted in the book Picture Postcards in the United States by George and Dorothy Miller). In addition, many unused cards went directly into collections.”