Vintage postcard dating

vintage postcard dating

How to identify and date postcards?

In identifying and dating postcards there are specific eras, defined by both style and dates; however, these dates do not account for the transition from one era to the next. It is important to remember that these “Eras” refer to the printing on the back of the postcard.

How old is my old postcard?

People often find themselves in possession of an old postcard and want to know how old it is. If the postcard is used, the most obvious solution is to check the date on the postmark. However, there are many vintage postcards out there that were never mailed, so here are some clues to determining the age of your post card.

How to date Your Vintage cards?

The divided back (or lack of it) is one of the most obvious dating methods for early vintage cards, but later on the style of the card becomes more important: You can also look at the fashion styles worn by men and women and the cars on roads.

When was the first colored postcard made?

In 1889, a publisher in Austria became the first to produce a coloured postcard. They used a method called chomolithography. This remained the main type of coloured postcard until the start of the 20th century. By the 1920s, a new method of printing became more widely used.

What does the address side of a postcard tell you?

The address side gives the date the card was manufactured, September 1875, along with instructions that ONLY the address was to appear on this side of the card, with further instructions on how to write the address accurately. The message on my oldest postcard, which is an undivided back postcard from 1877.

How can you tell how old a photo postcard is?

And there is usually some indication on the back of the card of what type of photo paper was used - this is often indicated by the stamp box, which will be visible if your postcard has not been mailed. See Playles guide to real photo postcard stamp box marking to help identify real photo postcard ages.

How can you tell if a postcard has a divided back?

The back of the postcard was for the address ONLY. There was often a statement that said this side for address only. The postal service started allowing the use of divided back postcards in March of 1907. So, if your postcard has an undivided back, it is from 1907 or earlier.

How do you date a postcard?

You can also date postcards by whether they are white border, linen, chrome etc. or for real photo (rppc) by the info on the stamp box. Lucky you for having a pc from the 1870s!

What was the first postcard ever made?

The earliest known picture postcard was a hand-painted design on card created by the writer Theodore Hook. Hook posted the card, which bears a penny black stamp, to himself in 1840 from Fulham (part of London). He probably did so as a practical joke on the postal service, since the image is a caricature of workers in the post office.

When did postcards without images start being issued?

In Britain, postcards without images were issued by the Post Office in 1870, and were printed with a stamp as part of the design, which was included in the price of purchase. These cards came in two sizes.

When did the post office change the back of postcards?

In December 1901, the Postmaster-General issued Post Office Order No. 1447, which allowed the words “Post Card” instead of the longer “Private Mailing Card” on the back of postcards. Private printers were now also allowed to omit the line citing the 1898 Private Mailing Card Act.

When did the US start printing postal cards?

The United States issued pre-stamped postal cards in 1873. The Unites States Postal Service was the only one allowed to print the cards until May 19, 1898 when Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act which then allowed private firms to produce cards.

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