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New Jersey collector to display postcard collection from ‘golden age’

Boasting a number of prints from the "Golden Age" of postcards, a collector in Lambertville, New Jersey, will put his cards on display for a free presentation this Sunday.

Over the years, Jeff McVey has amassed 500 out of the approximately 700 Lambertville-themed postcards ever made. The vast majority of these prints come from the so-called "golden age of postcards" – the period from 1905 to 1920 when postcards were, according to McVey, "all the rage, about the same way that Twitter is now."

McVey told the Hunterdon County Democrat that during that period, postcards were made by sending photograph negatives to factories in Germany, where workers would then manually colorize and print the images for distribution.

"Even in those days they had Photoshop," McVey added. "They would add people … or the moon in the wrong hemisphere for effect. Just like in 2010 they could take out or add features, like taking out a power line and putting in a carriage with a horse."

For historical gurus and collectors such as McVey, the images provide a glimpse into the life and culture of older times. As postcards have essentially become novelty items in the 21st century, with the advent of instant communication, it is refreshing to find individuals dedicated to these more traditional crafts.

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