Williamsburg Postcards - History Through Pictures
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More About this Website:

This website was mainly inspired by two books: Gas, Food, and Lodging, by John Baeder and Williamsburg Before and After, by George Humphrey Yetter. I recommend seeing both books in order to get a feel for what this website is all about.

Mission statement:

The purpose of this website is to preserve, in digital format, vintage images from Williamsburg's past. Most, but not all, of those images come from postcards.


If I have violated any copyright laws by posting these pictures, please let me know before you sue me! I assure you it is out of ignorance and not spite. I will happily remove the offending graphics. However, please note that although they may look good on your monitor, none of these cards are scanned at a resolution suitable to reproduce illegally on cardstock.

More about the images:

As a general rule, if you see the card on this site, I can be counted on to have the actual card in my personal collection. However, when the cards themselves are not available, but scanned images of them from other sources are, I have used those images and credited the source. So, for most of these cards, if you wish to know more about them or wish to see more detailed scanned images, I will be happy to oblige.

None of these images are actual-size. Because different people have different browsers, monitor sizes, and resolutions, it is hard to define what "actual-size" means anyway. The overall majority of the cards printed before the 1970's are 3.5" by 5.5", and most newer cards are 4" by 6". Odd-sized cards are noted where appropriate.


Some terms used on these pages may be unfamiliar to the uninitiated. Hopefully this will help:

Chrome - a color photograph postcard.
Deltiology - the study of postcards.
Divided - reverse has a midline (post-1907).
Linen - a rough finish used from the 1930's through 1950's.
Midline - the vertical center of a postcard's reverse.
Moiré - checkered pattern resulting from additive dot frequencies.
Obverse - the front of a postcard.
Printer - the company which actually makes a postcard.
Publisher - the company which commissions a postcard.
Real Photo - a photograph developed on postcard stock.
Reverse - the back of a postcard.
Undivided - reverse has no midline (pre-1907).

Where can I find out more?:

[1] My book! You can order it at any major online book retailer. Click on the cover for Amazon.com.

[2] A great website for postcard collectors: America as it Was.

[3] The Library of Congress has a searchable on-line database, including many photographs: American Memory Collections.

[4] Earl Gregg Swem Library, Special Collections has a large
collection of postcards from Williamsburg and vicinity.

[5] AtoZee.com's Virginia postcard site list.


Generous server space for this website was kindly donated by Gilinda Rogers of Williamsburg, and help in setting it up was provided by Andy Bogursky.

Sources used to provide information about the postcards come mainly from the postcards themselves - postmarks, hand-written dates, picture content, and knowledge about individual printers and publishers can provide information about when a postcard was printed, but several other sources have contributed to the explanations accompanying the images, including books, current and former residents of Williamsburg, and countless librarians.

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