US Stamps

Advertising postcards are as collectible as ad covers

Mar 21, 2023, 8 AM
The Third National Bank built in 1908 in Atlanta graces this postcard used in 1911. The card includes advertising both front and back for those involved in constructing the building.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

The fronts of postcards are not something I usually pay attention to unless the cards relate to a death-and-dying collection that I work on. But I made an exception for the February 1911 postcard depicting the Third National Bank Building in Atlanta that is shown here, front and back.

Built in 1908, it was one of Atlanta’s early skyscrapers.

The front of the postcard shows the building, but to me, the card’s most interesting feature is the text that was added in red advertising a product used in the building. According to the text, Xduct was an “electro-copper-plated-galvanized conduit” manufactured by the American Circular Loom Co. of Boston.

Printed in the message section on the back of the card are the names of the architects, the builders and the electrical contractor. So, this postcard is a parallel to advertising covers of the time, which are eagerly collected by many.

The building still stands in downtown Atlanta, but hardly qualifies as a skyscraper by today’s standards. It was renovated in the 1960s and was converted into condominiums in 1996.

A picture of it today would look very different, especially without the wagons, carriages and early 20th-century automobiles that give the postcard a quaint feel.

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