Friday, November 12, 2010

In the beginning: Postal postcards

In 1869, Austria became the first country to issue cards imprinted with stamps. Other European countries soon did the same and the public response was overwhelming.

 A year later, the U.S>  Postmaster General recommended that Post Office Department follow the same route. It took nearly two years to get congressional approval, however, because of concerns about the privacy of messages.

The Post Office Dept. issued its first penny postal card in May of 1873.

US Postal Department-issued penny postcard
It was immediately a smash success. More than 200,000 cards were sold in 2½ hours in New York City. Nationwide more than 64 million were sold in the first five months, or roughly two for every man, woman and child, long before the advent of direct marketing.

Except during WWI, postal cards were 1 cent until 1952, hence the name “penny postcard”

In 1994 the first postal card sets featuring collectible artwork were introduced. These are sold in packets or booklets of 10 or 20 and the postage matches the design.

Do you use postal-issued postcards?
Comment here.


PostMuse said...

I like the recent lighthouse series and the Disney series, but I would prefer if the USPS issued postcards were printed on a heavier weight stock, like the one I featured just today on my blog. And, I had no idea when I wrote that post, weeks ago (scheduled in advance to post today), that the Friday addition to Your Postal Blog would be about postal issue postcards. Nice!

grannybunny said...

I do sometimes use USPS-issued postcards, the decorated ones (like Looney Tunes), rarely the plain, stamped ones. Postcards are an awesome way to communicate, especially for non-confidential-type communications.