State Postcards


While the “Golden Age” of postcards in the United States is frequently identified as spanning from 1905 to 1915, it is important to note that Americans frequently bought and mailed postcards throughout the twentieth century, especially when traveling and on vacation. The three state map postcards on display here were all created in the middle decades of the twentieth century.

The latest of the three, “Greetings from Maryland” [#42], was produced by Boston’s Tichnor Brothers firm sometime in the 1960s (as indicated by the 1960 census figure on the reverse side). Similar to the popular pictorial maps of the 1930s and 1940s, the postcard features the locations of Maryland’s major cities and is crowded with images of locally produced foods and goods.

The postcard of Utah [#40] also shows the locations of the state’s principal cities, looking strangely disconnected as no roads or highways are depicted on the map. The postcard border features ten images of Utah landmarks, including the famous Great Mormon Tabernacle Organ in Salt Lake City, which was finished in 1948. Because the postcard’s publisher, E.C. Kropp Co. was only in business until 1956, this card was produced in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

“Oklahoma: The Sooner State” [#41] is the only one of the three postcards to include roads on its featured map, which depicts the principal routes through Oklahoma before the construction of Interstate 35. The map also shows the major cities and significant landmarks of the state, including the Grand River Dam, completed in 1940. Around the edges of the map are some images, including one of a bison, Oklahoma’s state animal, and some oil rigs, fitting since Tulsa was considered the “Oil Capital of the World” at the time this postcard was produced in the 1940s or 1950s.


40. E.C. Kropp Co., Utah, c.1950
Osher Map Library Collection

State Map

More About Utah

Statehood: 1896
Fun Fact: Utah has an official state cooking pot, the Dutch Oven.


41. Baxtone Publishing Co., Oklahoma: The Sooner State, c.1950
Osher Map Library Collection

State Map

More About Oklahoma

Statehood: 1907
Fun Fact: The world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City.


42. Tichnor Bros., Greetings from Maryland, c.1960
Osher Map Library Collection

State Map

More About Maryland

Statehood: 1788
Fun Fact: Jousting is the offical state sport of Maryland.