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Friday, 6 July 2012

The Not At All Boring, In Fact Pretty Interesting, History Of Post Cards...

The earliest known postcards were private cards patented in 1861 by John P. Charlton of Philadelphia. Later the copyright was changed to H. Lipman. Official cards, issued by the Post Office, were introduced in 1869, in Australia.

The Post Office introduced postcards to Britain in 1870. They were plain with a pre-printed stamp.

In 1894, the Post Office allowed private cards to be published, this encouraged companies to produce their own cards, many including a picture. However, the picture and space for a written space were on the same side of the card, with the address on the other side. In 1902 the Post Office allowed the message and address to be written on the divided back, enabling the picture to feature on the other side.

The 'Golden Age' of postcards then began. They became a common form of communication, with many people collecting them.

The First World War, however, changed this. Postcards were no longer available from most European countries and British production was much reduced. 

Increased telephone use also affected postcard sales.

Since that time, postcards have become more associated with holidays. However, the hobby of postcard collecting is becoming extremely popular. Indeed, early postcards are greatly increased in value, due to there  lovely pictures and historical significance.

(Above information taken from Postcard Investor magazine, Hartley publications.)

A sweet hand drawn postcard. Date unknown.

Circa. 1909

Circa. 1915

Circa. 1918

Circa 1920s


Snow White. Netherlands. 1941

Multiple choice! Date Unknown

Date unknown

Marilyn Monroe. Date unknown.

Mabel Lucie Atwell. Boo-Boos. Date unknown.

Date unknown.

Kewpie 1976

At the time of writing this piece, all the above cards are available for purchase from Vintage Vic.


Nothing to do with Vintage Vic, but lovely!


  1. Well, that was very interesting..!! What a great selection of cards you've got...
    Somewhere in my attic, there must be the box of postcards my mother & auntie used to bring out when I was a little girl. I was allowed to look through them but very carefully cos of the age. Some were from the 1st World War & had pics of soldiers on them, sent home from family serving in the army.....
    Jo. x

  2. Hi Jo, Thanks for your comment. That box sounds wonderful, perhaps you should 'dig it out' and have a good old trip down memory lane! If you are on Facebook, you should look me up, Vintage Vic. I am showing 'new' vintage cards all the time. You don't have to buy anything, just have a browse and join in the chatter!

    I'm so glad you found my post interesting!
    Vicki x