Robert G. Lamparter Postcard Collection

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Robert G. Lamparter Postcard Collection
2603.168 - Image Source

Collection Facts


Historical Context

Robert G. Lamparter (1936 – 2013) was an art and photography teacher at Walt Whitman High School in Huntington, N.Y. Retirement in 1996 allowed him to move year-round to his beach house in Montauk, where he became involved in civic organizations and pursued his hobbies of surfcasting and postcard collecting. Lamparter acquired different views of Montauk that spanned more than a century of postcard manufacture, and in fact, are richly representative of the evolution of postcard production.

View cards are postcards of places: states and cities, and the buildings, streets, monuments, and sources of amusement and entertainment that give those places a personality. For Montauk, that means beaches, fishing boats, surfcasters, hotels, restaurants, golf courses, dude ranches, and of course – the Lighthouse. Lamparter avidly collected postcards of the Montauk Lighthouse. He was passionate about its history and preservation.

The Lighthouse – Montauk’s iconic structure -- is one of the most photographed monuments in the United States. Robert Lamparter collected great postcard examples of this beacon, whose construction was authorized by George Washington in 1795.

The Robert G. Lamparter Collection is comprised of postcards that represent almost every time period and style of postcard history. They are important for their photography, publisher, printer, postmark, stamp, age, and handwritten message. For this reason, the back of each postcard was also scanned.

Scope of Collection

This digital-only collection was donated in 2018 by Keri Lamparter, Robert Lamparter’s daughter. The collection numbers 175 examples. Of these, almost 140 are scenes of Montauk or the Montauk Lighthouse. The remaining postcards include scenes of Long Island and New Mexico.