Real Photo Postcards were a way to "mass-produce" and distribute an image to others. Mass is a misnomer…usually the photographer or studio printed only what they thought they could unload, so quantities seldom exceed a few hundred. More popular images run into the thousands, but for the most part the photographs printed on postcard stock were limited editions. They tell the true history of America. Shot with little pretense, seldom doctored up or enhanced (except for novelty items) and cheap. They document small towns and rural places. Newspaper wire services always had an Eastern bias, but anyone with a camera and access to a Folding Pocket Kodak (introduced in 1903) and a printer could produce their own.
The story here is well documented for a Real Photo Postcard and it might provide some illumination on the photos and how they were used. A story of one 1919 parade float created by the Holland Michigan Furnace Company. As you will read, the good ship "Warm Friend-Ship" was used on July 4th and some of the fixtures were made of mashed sweet peas! NOTE: Only one of the women on the float was married.
Real Photo Postcard and accompanying documentation Collection Jim Linderman