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Postcards Collection

Identifier: I-593

Scope and Content Note

U.S. Synagogue Series

The synagogue postcard series contains 106 postcards of synagogues from cities across the United States and U.S. Virgin Islands. A number of the postcards are of the same synagogue, but from different years. Some postcards are written on and postmarked, but many are blank.


  1. San Francisco, Congregation Sherith Israel, 1915
  2. San Francisco, Temple Emanu-el
  3. San Francisco, Temple Emmanuel (four), 1906
  4. San Francisco, Scottish Rite Temple and New Synagogue
  5. Los Angeles, Temple Emanu-El


  1. Hartford, Temple Beth Israel


  1. Denver, Temple Emmanuel (two), 1913


  1. Miami Beach, Synagogue
  2. West Palm Beach, Temple Israel


  1. Atlanta, Jewish Synagogue (two), 1901-1907


  1. Chicago, Temple Sholom (two), 1952
  2. Chicago, Sinai Temple and Sinai Social Center
  3. Chicago, Max and Lottie Gerber Jewish Center


  1. Indianapolis, The Temple (two)


  1. New Orleans, Touro Synagogue
  2. New Orleans, Temple Sinai


  1. Baltimore, The Synagogue, Eutaw Place (three), 1905


  1. Brookline, Temple Ohabei Shalom
  2. Boston, Temple Israel
  3. Haverhill, Temple Emanu-El


  1. Detroit, Temple Beth El, 1909


  1. Meridian, Scottish Rite Cathedral and Jewish Synagogue


  1. St. Louis, Temple Shaare Emeth, 1907
  2. St. Louis, Temple Israel
  3. Kansas City, Jewish Synagogue (two)

New Hampshire

  1. Rindge, Cathedral of the Pines

New Jersey

  1. Newark, Temple B’nai Jeshrun
  2. Paterson, Jewish Synagogue (Nathan Barnert Memorial), 1905

New York

  1. Buffalo, Temple Beth Zion, 1901-1907
  2. Brooklyn, Temple Israel, 1901-1907
  3. Fleischmanns, Synagogue Fleischmanns (two)
  4. Greenwood Lake, Jewish Community Center
  5. Hunter, Jewish Synagogue, Hunter
  6. Monticello, Liberty Street Synagogue
  7. New York City Temple Beth El Fifth avenue (four), 1901, 1906
  8. New York City, Temple Emanuel, Fifth avenue
  9. New York City, Temple Emanu-El, Fifth avenue and Sixty-fifth
  10. New York City, Congregation Shearth Israel (two)
  11. New York City, Eldridge Street Synagogue
  12. Rockaway Beach, Temple Israel, Hammel Station, 1901-1907
  13. Spring Valley, Temple Beth El
  14. Yorktown, Yorktown Jewish Center


  1. Akron, Temple Israel, 1915
  2. Cincinnati, Jewish Synagogue-Avondale, 1921
  3. Cincinnati,Jewish Synagogue
  4. Cleveland, Wilson Ave, Jewish Temple (two), 1901-1907
  5. Cleveland, Euclid Avenue, Temple, 1916
  6. Cleveland, The Temple, Ansel and 105 street, 1946
  7. Dayton, Jewish Synagogue


  1. Portland, Temple Beth Israel (two)


  1. Altoona, Temple Beth Israel
  2. Chester, Ohev Sholom Synagogue
  3. Honesdale, Beth Israel
  4. Lancaster, Temple Shaarai Shomayim
  5. Pittsburgh, Rodeph Sholom (three), 1913, 1918
  6. Philadelphia, Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue Mikveh Israel, 1901-1907
  7. Uniontown, Temple Israel

Rhode Island

  1. Newport, Touro Synagogue (five), 1906, 1916

South Carolina

  1. Charleston, The Synagogue


  1. San Antonio, Temple Bethel (two), 1908

U.S. Virgin Islands

  1. St.Thomas, St. Thomas Synagogue (six)


  1. Richmond, Beth Ahaba (two)
  2. Norfolk, Ohey Sholom Temple, 1914


  1. Seattle, 1910

Netherlands Antilles

  1. Curacao, Synagogue Mikve Israel-Emanuel (four)


  1. Postcard of boy labeled “Bernard Golding – 13 years”, 1901-1907
  2. Postcard of coal miners in mine
  3. Postcard of the Neue Synagogue in Berlin
  4. Card of Antique Persian Menorah


  • Undated, 1898-1952


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:

American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011


Historical Note<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Linen Period Postcard, Temple Sholom Chicago" href="" show="embed" title=" Postcard of Temple Sholom Chicago"/>

U.S. Synagogue Series:

This collection originated from the donor and was arranged in a binder by city. It includes one private mailing card, nineteen post cards from the Undivided Back Period, 1901-1907 and ten from the linen period, (1930-1945).

The history of post cards in the United States begins in the mid-nineteenth century and originated from government produced mailing cards. The first actual postcard, known as “Postal Card” was issued in 1893. These cards were designed so one side of the card had a picture and message and the flip side was for the address only. Then in 1898, Congress allowed private companies to start printing postal cards. They were called a “Private Mailing Card” to distinguish that they were not government produced. This collection contains one private mailing card of a New York City synagogue (2013.030.054). In 1901 the Postmaster General changed the name officially to “Post Card.” This early period (1901-1907) is known as the Undivided Back Period because messages were not yet allowed to be written on the same side as the recipient’s address so no dividing line between message and address was printed. This signature feature would usher in the next shift in postcards known as the Divided Back Period (1907-1915). When government passed legislation allowing messages to be written next to the address. It is also known as the “Golden Age of Postcards” because postcards became increasingly popular during this time.

Following the Golden Age, printing styles shifted over the next several decades and changed the look of the postcard. This collection has several examples of each of these different printing styles. From 1915-1930, there is the introduction of the white border as production moved from Germany to the United States during WWI and the quality of post cards fell. In order to save money, U.S. printers began using a white border. Beginning in the early 1930s, printers were able to produce higher quality cards. The process gave the appearance of being printed on linen. This sparked the era known as the Linen Period (1930-1945). This collection has ten examples of linen postcards (2013.030.011-013, 018, 020, 040, 058, 069, 073, 085). In 1939 the development of the photochrom postcard was established. These cards resemble photographs and are the popular standard we still see today.

Postcard History, Smithsonian Institution Archives


.25 Linear Feet (1 half manuscript box)


U.S. Synagogue Series The synagogue postcard series contains one hundred postcards of synagogues across the United States and U.S. Virgin Islands. Some postcards are of the same synagogue, but from different time periods. It includes one private mailing card, a few labeled souvenir cards and nineteen post cards from the Undivided Back Period (1901-1907).


The collection is arranged into one series as follows:

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

A portion of this collection related to historic synagogues was donated by Phyllis and Walter F. Loeb to YIVO, who then transferred the collection to the American Jewish Historical Society, 2013.

Related Material

The processing of this collection establishes the basis of the AJHS Postcard Collection and will eventually be expanded to include other postcards not currently catalogued.


Guide to the Postcards Collection, Undated, 1898-1952   I-593
Processed by Kristiana Weseloh
© 1017
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States