The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 36, September 6, 2020, Article 7


Whitman Publishing has released a new book by Dave Bowers and Mary Martin on collecting postcards. This was a sideline hobby of mine for many years. I built a nice little collection of postcards picturing scenes from my hometown of Pittsburgh which I later donated to the local Heinz History Center. I still have other numismatic-themed postcards in my numismatic ephemera collection. You can be sure Dave didn't neglect the numismatic connection in the new book. Here's the media release. -Editor

Whitman Publishing Releases
A Guide Book of Collectible Postcards, by Bowers and Martin
New Book Will Appeal to Coin Collectors and Other Hobbyists

GB-Collectible-Postcards_cover_ Whitman Publishing announces the release of A Guide Book of Collectible Postcards, by Q. David Bowers and Mary L. Martin. The 432-page book will be available for preorder Labor Day weekend, 2020. In mid-September it will be available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide and online (including at for $39.95.

Postcard collecting has been a popular American pastime since the hobby’s Golden Age (the 1890s through World War One). For today’s collector, postcards offer historic photography, snapshots of pop culture and everyday life, colorful works by famous artists—and the thrill of the hunt while building a collection.

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Various United States Treasury facilities pictured on vintage postcards.

The Guide Book covers the hobby from the earliest postcards of the 1870s to the modern chrome cards found on store racks today.

Leonard A. Lauder, in the book’s foreword, wrote, “Together, Mary Martin and Dave Bowers have raised the bar for the serious recognition of the postcard as one of the most important forms of mass media in history.”

The Guide Book includes:

  • more than 1,500 illustrations
  • Real Photo Postcards (RPPCs), linens, chromes, signed artist cards, sets and series, hand-colored cards, error cards, composites, mechanicals and novelties, and more
  • Christmas, Halloween, comics, and other popular categories
  • famous artists like Charles Dana Gibson, Winsor McCay, Alphonse Mucha, and many others
  • history of the hobby and postcard production methods
  • advice for smart buying and collecting
  • valuation charts for hundreds of card types
  • grading instructions
  • check lists for sets and series, to keep track of your collections
  • high-resolution images of more than 1,300 example postcards
  • a comprehensive appendix describing more than 2,000 historic postcard manufacturers and distributors
  • extensive indexes for further research

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Beautifully embossed and colored U.S. and world coin images.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and U.S. postage stamps

“Collectors and dealers have been waiting for a full-color overview and in-depth reference to this fascinating hobby,” said Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker. “The Guide Book of Collectible Postcards is a one-stop resource for newcomers and experienced collectors alike.”

GB-Collectible-Postcards_Bowers-and-Martin Q. David Bowers and Mary L. Martin share decades of experience in buying, selling, and collecting. Bowers, well known to coin collectors as the “Dean of American Numismatics,” says that “Postcard collecting, like coin collecting, takes you on a unique trip into the past. The Guide Book of Collectible Postcards showcases cards of high society and lowbrow humor, natural disasters, social, political, and religious movements, popular artists’ illustrations, newspaper comics, circus animals, early movie stars, athletes, planes, trains, automobiles, and the corner general store.”

Coauthor Mary Martin grew up in the postcard business when her parents were among the nation’s leading dealers. She is recognized as an organizer of collector shows, a prolific researcher and author, and one of the field’s most active buyers and sellers.

# # #

A Guide Book of Collectible Postcards
By Q. David Bowers and Mary L. Martin; foreword by Leonard A. Lauder
ISBN 0794847374
Softcover, 8.5 x 11 inches
432 pages
Full color
Retail $39.95 U.S.

Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing writes:

"I can’t wait to hold a copy of this book in my hands, hopefully next week. I’ve seen every page in layout, of course, but finally having a bound book in hand is still exciting after all these years. This one is not only beautiful to look at, but also fun to read --- an immersion in American history. I can’t think of anyone who could have brought it all together, other than Dave Bowers. The depth and breadth of his knowledge is almost hard to believe. I know I’m preaching to the choir!"

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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