We all have a collections of postcards saved by our ancestors. It might only be one special one or hundreds of cards.

So what is a postcard? Postcards are used to write to a friend or family member from a vacation. Postcards can be a means to simply say “Hi.” People often send postcards local postcards as greeting cards. They are a simple and inexpensive method to send a message, postage cheaper than a regular letter stamp. The size was at least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inch thick

The first known printed picture postcard, with an image on one side, was created in France in 1870 at Camp Conlie by Léon Besnardeau (1829–1914). Conlie was a training camp for soldiers in the Franco-Prussian war.

Beginning in the 1890s and opening years of the 20th century the sending of postcards for all types of reasons, including for holidays became very popular. Some of the finest artists of the day drew images for postcard companies.

Around 1900 the first “Real Photo” postcards came into existence These were postcards that had real photographs and were usually printed on film stock paper. Although most “Real Photo” postcards were advertising and trade cards, many were of entertainers and portraits of family members. Popular were photos of people’s hometowns and famous landmarks. Before color film prints, scenes were hand-tinted colors.

By 1907 the hobby of collecting picture postcards became the greatest collectible hobby that the World had ever known. The official figures from the U.S. Post Office for their fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, cite 677,777,798 postcards mailed. At that time the total population of the United States was only 88,700,000! So many family postcards saved may well be from this time period.

By the late 1910s and into the 1920s with the use of telephones more available, people called family and friends rather than sending postcards. These cards were still sent, just not as many. In 1930 there were 298,000,000 postcards sent in the US. In 1950 there 976,000,000 postcards mailed.

If you have such a collection, scan those to preserve them. Then display in an acid-free notebook or picture frames. They have a great deal of appeal even still today because of the artwork and photos.

Photos: Tinted Leavitsburg, Ohio; Drawings Patriot holidays; Halloween and New Years.

Related Blogs:

Ancestral Locations

Wealth of Info on Postcards

Hometowns in Postcards

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