Frequently Asked Questions
How will I receive my purchased images?
These are high resolution digital images - not hard copy post cards.
When you pay for your order through PayPal, I will be notified by e-mail. I will send you an e-mail message letting you know that your order has been received. PLEASE make sure that the email address you use for Pay Pal is an address that you frequent, because I have no other way to contact you except snail mail.
Unless your order is placed late at night, you should receive a response from me the same day, usually within two hours. If you do not receive a message from me, please check your spam box. When you receive my message, you may let me know if you have any special requests for delivery.
Typically, I will email the digital images if there are no more than three. They are large image files, and I'll send them to you one at a time to avoid overwhelming your email inbox. Larger orders usually are burned to a CD and mailed at no extra charge to the customer.
Please keep in mind that I am a full time real estate agent, and may be away from my computer when your order is placed. I will respond the same day, and usually within two hours.
What are some uses for digital images of vintage postcards?
High resolution digital images can be used in any format, including print media, enlargements for wall art, craft projects such as mugs, tote bags, and memorabilia for special events like destination weddings, family or class reunions, etc. They are ideal for use in postcards, greeting cards, and note cards. In the rare occasion that I feel that an image would not work well for enlargement over 8" x 10" I will note it on the listing. Certainly, the hand colored cards printed in Germany make some of the highest quality enlargements. You'll find some suggestions for framing HERE , and some here are some ideas for Gifts and Crafts.
I've also added a brief page with suggestions for Save The Date cards. Since I'm an avid genealogist and historian, I think vintage postcards are ideal for enhancing family histories and for family reunion memorabilia. Think about mixing your family photographs with vintage postcards of the places they lived and create a CD or DVD for other family members. I have a new favorite almost every week, so I display them one at a time in an 8" x 10" frame on a tabletop easel and rotate them.
Will every image work well for enlargement?
Yes and No. Every 600 dpi image will provide a crisp, clear print in the original postcard size. The high quality hand colored images will look different in a larger size, but often they are even more beautiful. The most important thing to remember is that most vintage cards (1930s and earlier) are prints, not photographs. For the best result, I recommend enlarging no more than 4-5 times the original postcard size.
How does the high resolution scan differ from the original postcard?
With few exceptions, I scan at 600 dpi. At this magnification, I can zoom in and see the imperfections of the original card which would be visible in a printed enlargement. I digitally clean and color correct the image, which may take several hours. I do it because I love the images, and get great satisfaction in restoring them to their original beauty and sharing them with others. You'll find a few examples on this page about Restoration.
If you zoom into a 600 dpi resolution scanned image, you will see texture that is not visible in the original postcard size. This is due to the texture of the paper and also the "texture" and patterns of the printing process.
Can you restore one of my postcards?
If you have the ability to scan your postcard at a resolution of 600 dpi, you may e-mail it to me, and I will give you my opinion. PLEASE send a quick e-mail message before forwarding the attachment. E-MAIL . The cost per custom image restoration is $20.00.
Your completed image will be e-mailed to you within ten days. I wish I could accept postcards in the mail, but I would hate for your original postcard to be damaged or lost in the mail.
I can't give instructions for scanning using your computer and scanner, but I have an HP all-in-one flatbed printer/copier/scanner. It includes software called HP Image Zone and HP Director. To scan, I click on HP Director and follow the steps to scan an image. After it shows the preview, you can crop close to the edges of the card and change the resolution to 600 dpi (standard is 200-300). After the scanning is complete, give it a name and save it to your documents/pictures as a .jpg file.
Ink Jet Printing vs Laser Printing - Which is better?
You will see quite a difference in an ink jet print vs. a laser print on the same paper (I recommend 64 lb or better). Typically, an ink jet print will be a lighter, "cooler" print, and a laser print will be "warmer" with more color saturation. The laser print will look more like the original postcard. I printed a postcard image with a laser printer and ink jet printer using the same 64 lb paper. Here's an example of how LASER & INK JET differ. (These are large image files, so it make take a few seconds to download the page).
Are there any restrictions for use of the images?
The images you purchase may be used in any way you choose for personal or business projects. If you are purchasing the image for use in a publication, if needed I will issue a release for that purpose. The restored digital images may NOT be distributed or resold, nor may they be used to create any product for sale without written permission.
May I alter the image?
Yes, you may alter the image in any way for use in a personal project, including but not limited to cropping, colorizing, or reducing the image in size. CAUTION: If you are doing your own editing, make sure that you save the altered image as a new file name, or you may accidentally overwrite your original high resolution image (I've done this many times when working late at night!). The safest practice is to save your original digital images on a "write only" CD and work from it.
May I use the digital image on my web page?
You are free to use the digital image in any way you choose for personal use or for use on your office or business web site. If you are planning to use it on a web page, you'll need to reduce the size and resolution by using your photo editing software. For a reasonable download, I recommend the physical size at no larger 8 x 6 at 72 dpi. Please link back to Vintage Images on your page using the logo below.
Why do prices vary on view card images?
Generally, the cards I select to scan at high resolution and restore are high quality cards. Restoration sometimes takes several hours, but the results are excellent. Occasionally, I will add a popular view card that may not be ideal to enlarge more than 8" x 10". On those, I may reduce the price accordingly.
Do you have additional images not pictured on this site?
I have been collecting vintage postcards for years, and have many that are not offered for sale here. In some cases, I may no longer own the original card, but if you are looking for a particular city, or have an interest in a card in any of my online postcard collections, please let me know. I'll be happy to accommodate if possible. They are all listed at Pat's Place.
Do you offer printing services?
At this time, I do not offer printing services, but may add them later. You can easily print a digital image at home (I like 64 lb paper), but any local or online printer can print an enlargement from your digital image, and give you good advice on what size will work best for your image. I would recommend using matte paper for enlargements to come closest to the original look of the antique post card. There are several good online stores for browsing photo products and prices. Kodak Gallery is a good place to start. However, if you are unsure of what size and cropping may work best for your project, I would recommend visiting a local printer.
As stated above, you'll see quite a difference in an ink jet print vs. a laser print on the same paper (I recommend 64 lb or better paper). Typically, an ink jet print will be a lighter, "cooler" image, and a laser print will be "warmer" with more color saturation. The laser print will look more like the original postcard. I printed a postcard image with a laser printer and ink jet printer using the same 64 lb paper. Here's an example of how LASER & INK JET prints may differ. (These are large image files, so it make take a few seconds to download the page).
Copyright and Vintage Phototgraphs and Postcards
Copyright laws have changed, giving protection to original creations whether the copyright is registered or not. However, virtually everything published in the United States prior to 1923 is now in the Public Domain. Exceptions are rare. Read more about Public Domain in the United States and other copyright information:
With few exceptions the postcards in my collection were published prior to 1920, with the majority published prior to 1912. Almost none of the early postcard publishing houses still exist today.
If your organization or publisher requires a signed release for use of the digital image, please be aware that I do not consider myself to be the copyright holder of the original published postcard. My creation is the restored digital image, and any release will be for specific use of that image.
If you have any questions not answered on this page, please click on the link below to e-mail your question.