Here are two vintage postcards for the winter season and a little history on postcards.
Deltiolgy is the formal name in the US for postcard collecting. It is currently the third largest collectable hobby in the world. It is surpassed only by coin and stamp collecting. The popularity of post cards can be attributed to their broad subject appeal. Postcards continue to be the most popular form of souvenir for travelers as well as economical means of communication both personal and business related.
Theodore Hooke posted the first picture postcard in 1840. It was a hand painted postcard depicting the post office and its workers. It was Theodore Hooke himself who posted it as a practical joke and it featured caricatures of the postal office workers themselves.
The US postal card was first conceptualized and patented by John P. Charlton in 1861. He eventually sold the rights to Hymen Lipman, who added borders to the postal cards. These cards though, did not contain images and were known as “Lipman’s Postal Cards”. A few years later, Leon Besnardeau made another picture postcard version. The postcard, which was completed in 1870, became the first picture postcard in Britain. A year after Britain’s first picture postcard was created, the first picture postcard that served as a souvenir came from Vienna. The following year, the first advertising card was distributed in Great Britain. In 1874, the first German postcard became available to the public.
In 1873, Morgan Envelope Factory was the first to develop the American postcard. In the same year, John Creswell, who was the postmaster during that time, presented the first pre-stamped postcards. The main function of these postcards was to make convenient means for people to easily send notes. Two decades later, the post office created the first postcard souvenir to inform the masses of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This boosted the sales of the postcards. In 1880s as well, the cards depicting other forms of images became extremely popular. This has led to the “Golden Age” of postcards until the 1890s.
On May 19, 1898, the post office ceased the monopoly on printing postcards because Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act to enable publishers to create and distribute their own postcards. However, there was a prohibition. These cards were not supposed to be called postcards, but souvenir cards. Fortunately, the lawmakers lifted the said prohibition in 1901. This enabled the private publishers to use the word postcard.Postcards became popular especially during the early 1900s, when postcard publishing companies printed images of buildings and other structures. In 1908 alone, there were approximately 700 million postcards mailed.