original and intact early twentieth century advertising postcard promoting h.c. evenson's optometry practice and storefront in la crosse, wisconsin


UR #:: UR-23473-15

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Product Description

single antique c. 1911 postcard advertisement for eye-sight specialist h.c. evenson in la crosse, wisconsin. the front of the card features a black and white detailed halftone print of the view from the corner of 5th & main streets in la crosse. the image maps the location of evenson's optometry practice, and nicely illustrates the architecture of the building that housed the business. evenson's trade sign, as well as a clock and a coca cola window display are visible at the ground level storefronts in the scene. the card features a superimposed image of h.c. evenson's face, overlapping the corner of the facade. at the right hand edge vertical typewritten text reads "eyes must be examined. glasses need changing. my office is the best place to do it correctly. a thousand testimonials h.c. evenson." on the reverse the stamped postcard is dated to september 1911, and features a one cent stamp. the designated address lines have fountain-penned name and address written in, though the cursive is not legible. on the left side, in the message area, typewritten text reads "don't ruin your eyes with poor glasses. have them correct. it costs no more to be sure they are correct. save your eyes and money. / "then you'll come to me" / h.c. evenson / eye-sight specialist / la crosse, wis.". soon after postcards were introduced as a quick and cheap method of correspondence, they were used also for advertising purposes. two years after the first mass-produced picture postal card was developed in austro-hungary by 1870, the first commercial advertisement was sent as a postcard in england. the u.s. government didn't embrace the concept of the postal card until 1872. that year the u.s. postal service issued “pioneer” cards, which had a blank space on the front of the card for the sender's message (the other side was strictly for the address). the first advertising picture "pioneer" postcard in the u.s. commemorated the world columbian exposition of 1893 in chicago, and the government issued several other ad cards in the following five years. it wasn’t until 1898 that commercial enterprises were allowed to print their own postcards, and in 1907 divided-back cards created space for a message on the card's reverse. postcards could be mailed for a penny each, so businesses and politicians used the medium as a means to get their messages out, creating the first junk mail. since most of these cards were seen as worthless solicitations and thrown into the trash—just as junk mail now goes directly to the recycling bin—advertising postcards are therefore more valuable today than postcards such as birthday cards or world’s fair souvenirs, which were saved and treasured by recipients. exposition cards in particular, starting with that 1893 world columbian exposition, are incredibly common now. most are view cards portraying the fairgrounds or individual attractions of the world’s fair, which were events held in major cities around the globe to encourage cross-cultural travel, trade, and understanding.