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Postcard designed by Ellen ClapsaddleThis vintage postcard pictures a snare drum, drumsticks and patriotic ribbons surrounded by bars of music and the lyrics, “Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue!” It was designed by Ellen Clapsaddle. The card has a divide back – half of the back is for the address and the other half is for a message – indicating it was made after 1907.

Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle (1865–1934) was a commercial illustrator and artist and one of the most popular postcard designers of the time. Born South Columbia, N.Y., she was encouraged by her parents and teachers to develop her evident artistic ability and she decided on a career in art. Clapsaddle studied at Cooper Union and offered art lessons out of her home. She also painted landscapes and family portraits. When she began to submit her work to publishers in New York City, she became known for illustrations used in advertising, calendars, paper fans and greeting cards. Eventually, her artwork was used on postcards, which were becoming increasingly popular.

The “golden age” of postcards was from 1898 to 1915. Clapsaddle created more than 3,000 designs during this time. Themes included Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Fourth of July, and featured young children with sweet faces, or automobiles and airplanes of the time.

Postcards like this sell from about $5 to $15 online. Find prices of more postcards – including cards by Ellen Clapsaddle – in the Kovels.com online price guide.

Have a Safe and Happy Independence Day!




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