Thursday, August 20, 2009

PFF -- Vintage Postcards & Servicemen

This is a photo from the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog of the Library of Congress. It is one I found when I searched for photos of mailboxes and postcards. It is dated 1941 and the title is "Post cards for sale at a novelty goods store just outside Camp Stewart, near Hinesville, Georgia." I think it is always interesting to see vintage postcard racks, but what is really special in this one is that I recognized one of my postcards in the middle of the rack--the "It Floats" lady. I wouldn't be surprised if I have one of the others, but the others are too hard to see. Look at the price--4 for 5¢! I wish I could go back in time and buy some.

Probably most people know that fat people float better than skinny people. If you are young or not a native of the United States, you probably don't know that "It Floats" is a famous advertising slogan for Ivory Soap.

A 1944 magazine
article "Post Card Parade" by Oren Arnold (July 29 issue of Saturday Evening Post), has some interesting facts about postcards and the WWII era servicemen. During WWII servicemen increased postcard sales more than 100 per cent. Although the servicemen did buy many postcards of girls, the best-selling postcards were the cartoon cards in which the soldier was the butt of the joke.


  1. What a great coincidence, to see a card you have inside a photo!

  2. That is absolutely fascinating! How incredible. What a wonderful coincidence--and yes, wouldn't it be great to go back in time?

  3. That's a fun card! I love the Library of Congress website--bein' a librarian and all :) And I'm fearful when I go swimming that is my back view! Hope not!

  4. Did Ivory Soap originate that image or did some clever chap adapt the Ivory Soap motto and pair it with a large female backside? I have a couple of photocards circa 1912, one of which may be British that has "It Floats" printed on the backside of a bathing costume.


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