In 1870 the first British Postcard was issued by the General Post Office. It was designed to take the address on one side and a picture on the other where you were able to put a small message along side it. This came with a printed halfpenny stamp.
A little later in 1893 the U.S Government had cards printed in a similiar format called (Pioneer Cards) but they had a one cent stamp already printed on. At that time privately printed souvenir cards, had to have a two cent stamp stuck on them.
1898, saw private printers in the USA being granted permission, by an act of congress, to print and sell cards with the inscription (Private Mailing Card). Called today "PMC's". This time, a one cent
The word 'POST CARD' was granted by the US government to private printers in December, 1901. During this period people began to take black and white photographs and have them printed on paper with post card backs. Writing was still not permitted on the address side. This came on March 1st 1907 when cards were printed with a divided back, that is a black line was printed down the middle. The address to be written on the right hand side and message on the left. At this point most cards were printed in Germany that is until World War 1, when they were printed in Britain and supplied to the US.
It was in 1894, that independant companies in Britain issued postcards for use with adhesive stamps.
In 1902 an act of parliament allowed the message and address to be written on the same side leaving the other to contain the picture, the way we know it today.
There are no limits to the catorgaries and themes you can have to build up your collection. Interest like Transport, Events, Countryside, Towns ( how they have changed ) Famous People, etc. They are a history of the past and some of the messages tell us of how people enjoyed themselves in those times and how the felt.
They are relatively cheap to buy, most starting around a pound or so. You can pick up collections at auction and never know what you might find there!
Some sell for hundreds but they are rare, but in your search you may find one. Beware of reproductions, obviously, a used and stamped postcard is the best guarantee of authenticity.
Online auction for postcards, postal history, and stamps - thousands of postcards at auction!
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