History Of The Postcard

When the world’s first postcard appeared in Austria in 1869 and in Britain a year later.The picture postcard began to appear a few years later and during the Paris Exhibition of 1889 they received a big boost in popularity as a means of sending messages.It triggered off a craze for postcard collecting and caught the public’s imagination, so much so in fact that in their heyday between 1890-1920,they even took the place of traditional family photo albums.
Virtually every country in the world produced cards in ever increasing numbers. In 1902 Britain was the first country to divide the back thus allowing the address and message on the back and a complete picture on the other side.

The years before the First World War have been called 'The Golden Age' of picture postcards as everybody used them for messages before the telephone was widely in use.Cards of all descriptions and subjects were produced and personal collections were popular,many of these cards being produced in Germany.Of course with the outbreak of hostilities this supply came to an end.

After the war the hobby never recovered, understandably a nation trying to come to terms with the enormous casualties found it very difficult to resume any pre-war trivialities. The role of the postcard changed becoming increasingly associated with the Seaside Holiday.

Picture cards became status symbols and would reflect a person’s position in society. Cards such as those published by ‘Valentines of Dundee’ and ‘Raphael Tuck’ in particular,were especially sought after as these were of the highest quality.During this golden period, postcards featured every conceivable subject,after all these were exciting times.Notable examples included hand painted picturesque views of famous sites and buildings, while fantastic photographic images captured major political and sporting events, as well as recording and celebrating important moments such as early aviation. From another perspective these cards are historically significant because they provide an insight into the social history of the world, by visually depicting and charting the effects of defining moments which include the First World War, and the rise of industrialism.

Topographical postcards are of particular interest to the more historically minded collector.They are an excellent way of showing how a particular resort may have changed over the years,how people dressed and which modes of transport were available there at that point in time.Some collectors specialise in cards from a handful of resorts only,thus building up a pictorial and social history of each place.


Photo celebrating the end of World War 1
Photo taken 11/11/1918 Possibly France. End of World War 1 1914-1918,
To Purchase

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Valentine & Sons Mickey Mouse Card Valentine&Sons Mickey Mouse card.