THE BRITISH POSTCARD
Something so simple which seems to have been around forever was in fact only begun in the late 19th century.
The Europeans had discovered the postcard in Austria in 1869 and Britain had the following year.
It wasn't until 1894 that Royal Mail gave publishers permission to sell and send picture postcards through the post with just a stamp. The British postcard then took off and became a quick and simple means of sending a message or greeting to someone. Their huge popularity continued until around 1920.
It was in 1902 that Britain first introduced the idea of splitting the reverse between message and address, so that the picture could be shown in full on the front; prior to that the message had been on one side and the address on the other.
Up until WW1 the postcard was generally used as a means of communication, much like a text is today, but after then the telephone became more widely available. It is difficult to imagine today, but in those days there were up to seven deliveries each day. Millions were posted every week !
After the War, the postcard became a means of showing friends and family where the sender had travelled or gone on holiday.
Collections now exist which are interesting to the genealogist showing how a particular place has developed, how the fashions changed and modes of transport got faster. People collected them as cheap souvenirs both to send to friends and to keep for themselves ..... similar to taking a photo today of where you are staying.
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