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The development of postcards

In 1865 at the 5th Worldpostkonference in Karlsruhe, Germany there was the first suggestion to induct a kind of “postpiece” with an integrated postmark. But this suggestion was rejected because of moral aspects. At the end of 1869 in Austria there was an idea of an “correspondence-card” with an imprinted postmark. This card did cost 2 Kreuzer in contrast to a letter with 5 Kreuzer. In 1870 this idea was picked up in Germany. They have educed forms that had to prepay with a postmark though.

Particularly in the German-French War in 1870/71 lots of cards were send via field post. These cards mostly showed landscape-motives of the conquered areas. In 1872 the name “postcard” was born and for the first time firms did photos on the cards. One year later these cards were also available with imprinted postmarks. At the turn of the century postcards were offered in tobacco- and stationery shops.

Types of postcards: Picture postcards: The front-side of the postcard shows one or several photos of a holiday resort. On the back-side the sender has space for writing a few nice sentences to the receiver. The first picture postcard was send from a printer and bookseller named Albert Schwartz at the 10th July 1870. Reply cards: In 1872 the first postcard with an attached reply card appeared. Later these cards were also sold with imprinted postmark. That meant, that the sender also paid the postage for the receiver. In 1992 the production of these types of cards was stopped. Film postcards: On these cards you can find portraits of famous film stars and film-scenes. This idea came from the Ross-publishing house in the years between 1910 and 1920. About 40000 motives were published and today these cards are still popular collectibles.

Serrated postcards: Since the 1st June 1913 postcards of an ordained series were delivered in form of stripes and later in sheets, too. Because the writing machine was more and more omnipresent in this time, you could write on these stripes one after another without changing the card. Later the serrated postcard was sold with a reply card, too. World postcards: Since the 1st July 1875 it was allowed to send postcards internationally. On these cards the imprints were of another language, for example in French. Later these cards were also available with a replay card. But it was more expensive because of postage increase due to a special handling like airmail or registered mail for example. E-cards: The „electronic greeting card“ is the internet match to a real postcard. The providers of greeting card-sites offer several motives from different categories. Like with real postcards you can chose between, birthday, holiday or invitation cards, for example.

The motives correspond to the virtual picture page of a postcard. The message as well as the sender and receiver data you enter in a webform. The card and the message are send via e-mail. Furthermore you have the possibility to send animated pictures and music by this means. That makes the card more individual.


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