Leather postcard, ca 1908
What makes this postcard so interesting is not the subject matter but the material on which the card is printed. This is a leather postcard. Cards like this were novelty cards first introduced in 1903 and discontinued by 1909. Most often they had cartoons or other artwork burned into the leather. This one just has a simple greeting.
Leather cards were popular with tourists. Most were made from deer hide and could be stitched together with rawhide to make pillow covers or wall hangings. Some of the pictures on leather cards featured famous people, including U.S. Presidents, local scenery, comical designs and pictures. Some of these artworks were also hand colored but most others like this one were just burned letters or images. There were several publishers of this type of card and some even allowed purchasers to add their own pictures or wording on the front.
In 1907 the U.S. Postal Service banned the leather cards because they jammed the postage-canceling machines. Even so some cards were still made and mailed until as late as 1909.
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