Photographer Ed Herbener Produced Many of Delaware’s Real Photo Postcards

Almost everyone enjoys looking at old postcards from around the Delmarva Peninsula.  Plying the trade that produced these tiny early 20th century time capsules were a number of local and itinerant photographs.

One of them was Edward Herbener, a Newark photographer.   The Newark Post said in 1910: “Mr. Herbener is one of the pioneers in the post card business.  He not only furnishes views of Newark, but makes views for the trade from New York to North Carolina. He has built up quite a business in this line. He also makes fancy cards.  And all this work is done in Newark. . . .”. .”

Herbener, whose business flourished during the height of the postcard craze, produced many of Delmarva’s real photos postcards, and we are fortunate that he was such a prolific artist.  Around one hundred years old, these old views provide a visual record of day-to-day life, solid visual evidence of the past.   In this era, photographers were few and far between, and many people did not have a camera, so images weren’t as common as they are today.

Fifteen or twenty years ago, I met Mr. Herbener’s grandson.  He was a retired college professor, living in Michigan at the time.  He gave me a copy of this card, a selfie if you will.  The self-portrait shows Edward Herbener at the East Newark Station on the B & O Line.  The real photo card was an advertisement, which was mailed to alert customers that he would be in their area soon.  It read:  “I hope to get away from here soon and will be in your town in a few days with a full line of seasonable goods, including a nice assortment of local pictures.”

Ed Herenber, Newark photographer, sold postcards on Delmarva. Source: personal collection

Ed Herbener, Newark photographer, sold postcards on Delmarva. Source: personal collection

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