Musky historian Larry Ramsell has published a new book that focuses on his longstanding hobby of collecting post cards that feature muskies and musky fishing, Mostly Antique Just Muskellunge (and related) Post Cards.
Post cards were a critical part of the various editions of Ramsell’s A Compendium of Muskie Angling History, and his new, 354-page book features more than 700 post cards that date from the late 1800s to present.
“To say I have become obsessive about post card collecting would be an understatement. In fact, I tend to get a bit excited when I discover another new one,” Ramsell said. “Not only do I collect post cards with muskies on and in them, whether fresh or mounted, single or in groups, comic (of which there are dozens), world records or hybrid muskies, I collect any related post cards as well, including lake cards, rivers, promotional, states, towns, resorts, cabins, dining rooms, boats, fish hatcheries, dams, mills and scenic picture post cards.
“I have no idea how many hundreds of post cards I currently have!. I have already amassed another 200 or so just muskellunge post cards and several hundred more muskellunge-related post cards, which will contribute to a follow-up Volume II of this book in the near future.”
Ramsell continued: “To be clear, not all of my collection are original cards and a few originals will not be reproduced for various reasons. It is hoped that the publication of this book will trigger the discovery or exposure of yet many more different musky post cards. I still find more new ones almost every week or two.”
Ramsell has done his best to date the post cards, which he said is simple when they have been used and postmarked but becomes a bit tougher when they are found unused. For example, one of his earliest muskellunge post cards, if dated by expert methods, would place it at the earliest from 1907. However, of the two copies Ramsell owns of this card, one was postmarked 1903 and the photo on the card was likely taken even earlier.
The new book traces musky post cards from their black and white origins into color versions. All cards that were originally printed in color are reproduced in color in this book.