(Collection of Kathy Alpert, Watertown)
Before text messages, before e-mail, before telephones, there was a quick and cheap way to transmit a message: postcards.
Postcards are widely considered the third-most popular collectible -- after stamps and coins -- in the United States, although more for the image on the front than the message scrawled on the back.
On Saturday, enthusiasts from across New England will converge on the Armenian Educational & Cultural Center in Watertown for the Bay State Postcard Collectors Club's 58th annual sale and show.
Nearly 50 dealers are expected to display their cards for several hundred collectors, both serious and casual, organizers said.
The interesting thing about postcards, said Watertown artist Kathy Alpert, is that their value is primarily in the mind of the collector.
"It's not always about rarity, it can be a lot of things, like history, sentimental value, the way some people feel about certain things or places. There's a real emotional element to it."
The Bay State Postcard Collectors Club's 58th annual show and sale is scheduled for Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Armenian Educational & Cultural Center, 47 Nichols Ave. in Watertown. Admission is $2. Parking is free.
-- Erica Noonan
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