Q: My great-grandfather mailed these leather postcards to his wife in Denver in 1906. They are sewn together with strips of rawhide. I don’t have any idea how much they are worth, but I’d like to tell my great-grandchildren something about them. Can you help?
A: Leather postcards were first made in 1903. They were a novelty that appealed to tourists. When stitched together, they could be used as a pillow cover or wall hanging. The holes along the edge could also be used to attach fringe. The cards were made of deer hide and the pictures burned in. The U.S. post office banned leather postcards in 1907 because they jammed postage-canceling machines. Leather cards continued to be made as souvenirs until about 1910. Value of the cards today depends on their condition and design. Common postcards, including those with comical pictures, have sold at auction for less than $1 per card. Those with pictures of important people, like the U.S. president, sell for more. One very special leather card cut into the shape of Theodore Roosevelt sold for $325.
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