History of the Postcard

Postcard:

noun \ˈpōs(t)-ˌkärd\: a card on which a message may be sent by mail without an envelope and that often has a picture on one side

 

The United States Postal Service first began issuing pre-stamped postal cards in 1873.  They were introduced to the public as an easy way to send quick notes. Until May 19, 1898 the USPS was the only establishment allowed to print postcards. The monopoly ended when Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act which allowed private publishers and printers to produce and mail their own postcards.

 

 Private Mailing Cards Period, 1898 – 1901:

 

During the Private Mailing Card period, messages were not allowed on the back of the card. The only area where notes from the sender were permitted was a small space on the front of the card. The postcards required a 1 cent stamp.

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Post Card Period, 1901-1907:

In December of 1901, the USPS issued Post Office Order Number 1447 which allowed the words “Post Card” to be on the card instead of the longer “Postal Mailing Card.”  Messages were still not allowed on the back of the post cards during this period.

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Divided Back Period, 1907-1914:

A major change took place on March 1, 1907 with the way the backs of postcards looked. The left side of the back of the card was now allowed to have message written in that space. The right side of the card was for the address.

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White Border Period, 1915-1930:

Up until this period German printers dominated the market in postcard printing. With the start of World War I, postcards were supplied mostly by printers in the United States. During this period, printers saved ink by not printing to the edge of the card leaving the white border around the image.

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Linen Period, 1930-1944:

As time went on, new printing processes were developed. During this period, postcards could be printed with high rag content, which gave them a look of being printed on linen or cloth. Bright colors were also introduced during this period.

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Modern Photochrome-style Period, 1939 - to date:

This style of postcards first appeared in 1939. The Union Oil Company carried them in their western service stations. Production of the postcards slowed during World War II because of supply shortages, but after the war, this type of postcards dominated the market. The photochrome postcards are in color and are the closest to real photographs and are the ones most familiar to us today.

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At RSVP we love the postcard (obviously!). It's not just a nostalgic piece of every family vacation we ever took - it's a modern, upscale advertising tool that has proven itself to be as diverse as the pictures on the front. Long live the postcard!

Contributed by Marcella Gillespie.

Marcella

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick thank you to our sources for this awesome information:

http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/postcard/postcard-history

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postcard

 

Shout out to Cincinnati!

I am very proud to oversee the prospecting here at RSVP in our Cincinnati, Ohio zone. Of course we love all of our zones (all 12 of them!) but Cincinnati will always be very special to me. I was born and raised here in Dayton, but I have considered Cincinnati to be my home away from home. Surprisingly enough I traveled there a lot while I attended the University of Dayton. Sometimes my roommates and I would need to get away from it all, and Cincinnati was just close enough to take a day trip. I was fortunate to have one of my roommates from there so she knew all the hot spots.

One of the many things I love about Cincinnati is their beautiful parks. Most of the parks in the area are free to AultParkexplore and even have events and activities in the summer. Ault, Eden, Hyde Park are just to name a few of the many  that are located in the city, all of them unique. My favorite is probably Ault Park. It isn’t the biggest of the parks and it doesn’t have any restaurants or shops. It does have a large overlook that is fun to climb. I think it is one of the most beautiful places.

CinciSubwayStationThe city of Cincinnati is  full of history. Did you know that during the 1800’s Cincinnati was actually considered one of the top ten most populous cities in the country? It’s true! Also, the growth rate during the end of the 1800’s was compared to New York City and Chicago. Wikipedia says that “6 million dollars was going to go towards a Rapid Transit system similar to Boston and Chicago.” In today's numbers, that would be like us spending nearly $74 million on it!  City Council delayed progress on the terminal because WWII had started. After the war the estimation of how much it would cost to finish the subway had almost doubled. The stock market soon hit which made it even harder for the subway to get completed.

Unfortunately the subway never did get completed, but I have faith that one day Cincinnati will have an active subway station that will be a wonderful addition to the city. Until then, twice a year the Cincinnati Museum center and the Over the Rhine Foundation operate tours through the historic tunnels. I haven’t been yet, but it is definitely on my list.

Most recently Cincinnati has been the host to a few big named celebrities. Cate Blanchett has been spotted in the city filming the movie Carol and also Don Cheadle and Ewan McGregor will be in the city to shoot a film about jazz musician Miles Davis. If you’re in the city keep an eye out and you just might run into them or get to be an extra in one of the movies??? Okay that might be a little much, but still very exciting to look out for while walking around downtown.

With the summer coming soon, take some time to visit a new city. Whether it is Cincinnati or just a place you’ve wanted to visit for a long time; even if it’s just a short car ride away. Wander around the parks and explore a little of the city’s history. You will be glad you did!

Happy exploring!

Contributed by Crista Kling.

 

Crista