New Year's Greetings have been sent on picture postcards since the late 1800s. The expected Baby New Year, Father Time, a calendar, a clock and the numeral 1 are probably the most popular symbols. But many others were used in the early 1900s. Anything that represented good luck, like a horseshoe, was popular. So were prosperity symbols like pigs, mushrooms, and gold coins. There were special clovers with four leaves that represented faith, hope, love, and luck. Elves were popular, too, perhaps representing their pot of gold ready to be found. Bluebirds and robins both represent happiness. And, of course, smiling children and attractive women in a winter or flower-filled scene were also used.
You can also find New Year's postcards with less-popular symbols. Champagne bottles, noisemakers, candles, bells, an hourglass, or a crescent moon are seen on some. And best of all--picture postcards are inexpensive, so you can start collecting vintage cards now and save any new ones, too.
Happy 2014 from Terry Kovel, Kim Kovel and all the Kovel staff!