Scope and Contents
The collection consists of seven series, the largest, Series 1, being the postcards. The largest categories in this series are the geographic, both United States and foreign, and greeting cards. The most important and probably the most interesting of the geographic cards are from Maryland as they give us an historic view of the state. This is particularly true of the large number of cards depicting Baltimore and its buildings, parks, schools, etc. There are several cards showing the Great Fire of February 7, 1904 and postcards such as this are a valuable historic resource.
The greeting cards are primarily from the "golden age" of postcards and were sent or given on many occasions. There are large numbers of Christmas, Easter and Valentines Day cards, but there are also substantial numbers of cards for days that we no longer associate with card giving such as Decoration Day (now known as Memorial Day) and Washington's Birthday (though these cards are included under political figures in Box 8).
There are a number of postcards depicting various Popes and other religious themes such as the Lord's Prayer. Some of the postcards of Rome have cartouches of a Pope in the center of the pictures and were sent by a monsignor to someone in Baltimore.
Many cards show various means of transportation such as airplanes, boats and ships, and railroads and streetcars. Another interesting category is "novelty" with a number of postcards with pictures of women with real hair. Throughout the collection there are other novelty cards on wood and leather.
The other series are smaller, though all consist of ephemera collected by Mrs. Litzinger. Series 2, Oversize Postcards, and Series 3, Greeting Cards are the largest and those most directly related to the primary collection. These series are organized in the same manner as Series 1. Series 4 consists of paper dolls, another popular collectible in the early part of the century. Series 5 consists of scraps which were chromolithographed pictures which were either cut out of printed sheets of pictures and designs or punched out of die cut sheets. The designs were then used to make early greeting cards or were placed in albums called scrap books. Sometimes scraps and postcards were included in the same album. Series 6 consists of trade cards which were used to advertise various businesses. Sometimes these were in the form of postcards and sometimes the designs were cut out to make scraps, so it is easy to see how these various types of ephemera are inter-related. Series 7 consists of a small number of miscellaneous items such as metal prints the size of postcards, religious cards, political birthday cards, magazine clippings, plastic cards, invitations and bicentennial souvenirs.