Tracy Bradford recently named as treasurer of IFPD

Many of us wear a few hats in our lives, but for Tracy Bradford, the various hats are quite plentiful. His list of activities and interests include the following: teaching junior college classes (deltiology); operating a postcard business; selling art and antiques; participating as a member at large for the board of directors for a Houston choral group; acting as a professional Santa Claus; and most recently, being named as treasurer for the International Federation of Postcard Dealers (IFPD). As a retired CPA, Tracy also continues seasonal work in the tax field.

Tracy is a busy man and the best part is he loves all of it. “My wife said to me a while ago, that I’m busier now that I’m retired than I was when working,” he said with a laugh. He and his wife, Barbara, have been in the postcard and antiques and art business for 17 years. He has operated a booth at seven different North Houston, Spring, and Conroe, Texas, antique malls. He and his wife currently have a space at the Spring Antique Mall, and also take part in eight to 10 postcards shows each year. He is also a member and volunteer instructor with the Houston Area Lone Star College’s Academy for Lifelong Learning program, having given more than 30 history and collecting presentations utilizing postcards during the last three years.

With an inventory of approximately 80,000 to 100,000 postcards, Tracy said he carries a general line of cards including holiday cards and topical postcards as well as postcards from Houston and Galveston, Texas.

He got interested in collecting as a youngster and began by collecting stamps and postmarks. “Soon I bought a few cards and really liked the old paper.” His personal collection includes rare glitter postcards from the early 1900s, with undivided backs that depict building and architecture from larger cities around the United States as well as a few international postcards. Tracy said some glittered building/architecture cards were also issued by publishing companies in addition to the hand glittered ones.  “The glittered postcards got complaints from the U.S. Post Office, in that the cards were breaking equipment because of metal used in the glitter,” Tracy said, noting that when the post office demanded the cards be sent in a cellophane wrapper, their popularity waned. “I have about 450 of those glitter postcards and I love them –my collection is unique,” he said.

Traveling around to attend postcard shows is another ongoing event for Tracy and Barbara. They attended the York, Pennsylvania postcard show in November of last year as visitors, and he was named treasurer of the IFPD. He and Barbara also visited Mary Martin’s shop in Havre de Grace, Maryland. “That was great to visit Mary’s shop –she has more than a million postcards.”

On his involvement with the International Federation of Postcard Dealers, Tracy had this to say: “I am very proud to be a part of this professional organization of postcard dealers and collectors promoting the collecting of postcards.  I believe all of the points of the IFPD Code of Ethics are very important to promote the professionalism and dealings of everyone involved in our great hobby.  To have been elected to the Treasurer position by the IFPD members is a great honor for me and I look forward to meeting and working with everyone.”

Tracy is also serving as vice-president of the Houston Area Postcard Club; secretary of the Tomball (Texas) Postcard Club; and is a member of the Wichita, Kansas Postcard Club, including giving approximately six to eight postcard-related presentations to the clubs in the Houston area each year for the past five years.

He also produced the 2015 and 2016 Houston Metro Postcard & Paper Shows, with guidance and assistance from Jim Taylor. Tracy continues to assist Jim Taylor with the production of the same show annually in Houston. He has participated as a Postcard dealer at Houston, Austin, Dallas, New Braunfels, Texas, Tulsa, Kansas City, Springfield, Missouri, and Chicago Postcard Shows, the annual Houston Antique Bottle, Advertising & Collectibles Show, the New Orleans Stamp and Postcard Show, and the Bellaire, Texas Coin Show. Tracy can also provide appraisal services for postcard and antiques collections. Tracy said the antiques he sells are of a general nature including paperweights, art glass, china and collectible books. He also has original art in the form of old prints, antique pieces, water colors and oil paintings, a few of which were done by his mother, who was a professional artist.     

For more information on Tracy Bradford’s postcards, antiques, art and other inquiries, contact him at Spring Antique Mall at 1609D Spring Cypress Road, Spring, Texas, 77388 or via e-mail at bradfordantiques@yahoo.com. He can also be reached via telephone at (281) 881-0271 or at (281) 288-0564.