Join our zoo community

Article about zoo postcards

Discussion in 'Zoo Memorabilia' started by Tim May, 28 Jan 2018.

  1. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Posts:
    2,121
    Location:
    London, England
    I know that, like myself, several ZooChatters are enthusiastic collectors of historic zoo postcards.

    They might be interested to know that the current (January 2018) edition of the magazine Picture Postcard Monthly features an article about zoo postcards.

    The article We’re Going to the Zoo, written by John Claydon, is illustrated with reproductions of old zoo postcards; all but one of the postcards is from Bristol Zoo, the exception being a London Zoo postcard depicting animal rides (elephant, camel and llama cart).
     
  2. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    7,286
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I don't collect postcards usually (though I do have a couple from my European trips). However I do like to mail postcards when I am on vacation (or "on holiday" if you learned your English in the British Commonwealth). Sadly in the age of Facebook etc, mailing postcards is a dying art. One of my pet peeves is how most American zoos now use generic stock postcards that do not show the facilities or the individual animals at their own zoo. I mean they may show the same species, but not their individuals (and sometimes it is not even a species the zoo holds).

    The irony is that large, well funded zoos are even more prone to this than small, underfunded zoos. As an example, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park sell stock postcards from a national distributor in spite of the fact that they have an extremely talented professional photographer on staff and produce their own full color monthly magazine. Contrast this with Heritage Park Zoo, a tiny zoo in small town Prescott that has mostly rescue animals in very basic enclosures and no staff photographer. Yet their gift shop sells postcards featuring their animals exclusively, complete with the animal's name and story on the back. The irony is their cards are as cheap or cheaper than the generic big city zoo shops (I think they were something like 35 cents).
     
  3. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Posts:
    2,121
    Location:
    London, England
    Sadly, it is becoming increasingly common for zoo shops in Europe to sell generic animal postcards instead of unique postcards depicting photographs taken in that zoo.

    However, my collecting interest is in historic zoo postcards not contemporary ones; I generally only collect modern zoo postcards if they depict a species that I’m especially interested in. The majority of zoo postcards in my collection are from before 1950, with many that date before the First World War and some that are earlier than 1900.
     
    Arizona Docent likes this.
  4. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Dec 2017
    Posts:
    1,202
    I noticed this for the first time in Germany. I’m a sucker for souvenirs and I try to at the very least pick up a magnet from every zoo I visit, but often I will collect other things too, including keyrings, postcards and wristbands. For me, it is way more special if they do depict the actual animals within the zoo.
     
  5. Buldeo

    Buldeo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Aug 2012
    Posts:
    465
    Location:
    The Yay Area
    I've noticed this as well -- not only in postcards, but in everything. Several zoos seemingly sell the exact same plushes even if they don't exhibit the animal. Tee shirts too. I've also noticed a bunch of odd action figures that remind me of Bring 'em Back Alive.

    Back on topic though, Parc Zoologique de Paris had postcards featuring their animal collections. 'Aramis', the black jaguar seemed to dominate the selection though. Nothing historic unfortunately.
     
  6. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Dec 2017
    Posts:
    1,202
    This was very apparent at Olomouc Zoo yesterday. They had magnets with elephants and brown bears on.
     
  7. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    4,276
    Location:
    South Devon
  8. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Dec 2017
    Posts:
    1,202
    That’s a great way of spreading the word about their plight in the wild, as who doesn’t love free stuff?