These cards are not old. I purchased them while on vacation in Wyoming in 2006. What they are are reproductions of 1930s Works Progress Administration (WPA) posters done for the National Parks. To quote the back of the cards:
Between 1935 and 1943 the WPA's Federal Art Project printed over two million posters in 35,000 different designs to stir the public's imagination for education, theater, health, safety, and travel. Due to their fragile nature only two thousand posters have survived.
This is a nice example of ephemera being reissued/repurposed to our current times. To see more from the company that produced these click on the following link:  Ranger Doug's Enterprises.  I have nothing to do with this company, but I do think I'd like to purchase a few more cards and a poster to frame. Looking at the list of National Parks posters I'm happy to see I've been to all but 5 of the parks. I do love the National Parks, and I especially love the old lodges. We're very lucky to have these places. For me nothing can match standing at the base of a Sequoia tree looking towards the heavens. Nothing man-made can ever match it.

WPA National Park cards_tatteredandlost

(a) circa 1939, artist unknown
(b) artists: Doug Leen and Mike Dupille
(c) circa 1939, artist unknown

To see the other cards in this collection and purchase the set click here.


  1. These look really special with a black light. Heh. Not that I own one, but...

  2. You're right. I bet they would. Did you read at the site about how the fellow did these? It's quite interesting. He found some old b/w files and turned them into what we see now. Did a beautiful job. I really love these cards. It was so fun to find them while at the parks because it was like finding old ephemera.

  3. I'm pretty sure I've seen those somewhere, but can't remember. I've been to all three of those and quite a few more. We love them all.

    Are you watching the Ken Burns' National Parks series on PBS? I'm TIVO'ing it to watch later. I can't wait to see them all.

  4. I would imagine they're for sale all over the country at the parks. That's where I got these three. They remind me of the old Santa Fe railroad ad illustrations. I love their simplicity.

    Yea, I'm recording the show on my DVR. Haven't watched it yet. Can't wait. I'm also hoping Costco has the book. Add it to all of my other Ken Burn's volumes. His work is just amazing.

  5. Oh, and I can imagine these cards grouped with a nice mat and framed would look beautiful on the wall. Nice vintage looking piece.