All About Postcards

Not many people think about or discuss postcards anymore. Postcards are usually associated with travel. When someone takes a trip, they may say, „I’ll send a postcard.“ Postcards are sold in most convenience stores and travel stops and are the lowest cost greeting card one can find.

The low rate on a postcard certainly makes it user friendly for even the lowest budget. Although the postal rates have risen, the postcard is still a mere twenty-four cents a stamp to send. Not a bad price to send a greeting to someone to keep in touch.

Postcards were not created for long, windy letter writers, but for the short notes that get to the point. Whereas you can have room to write quite a bit inside a regular greeting card, the postcard allows for very little, but sometimes a little says a lot!

A normal postcard size is 3-1/2 inches tall by 5 inches long. The card is divided usually on one side, with room for a note on the left and a space for the stamp and address on the other side of the line. The „front“ of the card is usually a picture of some sort, such as the state to which the person has traveled. Although cards can be made from several different materials, I’ve even bought a postcard made of what appeared to be copper, with the picture as a 3-D type molded into the card.

Postcards were patented in 1861 by a gentleman in Philadelphia. However, the first in the United States was created in 1893. Printers published this type of greeting card for a penny.

There were eras in which the type of postcards changed. There was a linen era, a photochrome era, and in France, erotic postcards appeared in 1910. The British created cartoon postcards, also known as „saucy“ for their humor.
Who knew something as simple as a postcard could be so complex!? There are at least 22 defined postcard terms. There are postcard collectors, postcard publishing houses, postcard books, postcard pals, postcard associations, exchange sites, and web sites all about postcards. You can even create an online postcard, which actually look cute and appealing. There is a company that creates something similar to a postcard, but it has unusual shapes. The company had to get permission to allow these type postcards to go through the mail without an envelope.

There are postcards that include facts, which can be quite impressive. I once bought a postcard with an Indian alphabet listed, which involved pictures with interpretations. Postcards can show miniature maps of an area, which could be helpful.

Postcards are used also to enter contests. Many contests will state that you may enter by putting your name and address and phone number on a postcard to mail to their company, no purchase needed to enter. Of course, you do have to buy your own postcard and stamp! Although, if you enter a contest with a postcard, I would think that would take the „greeting card“ definition away from the card. After all, a contest entry isn’t a greeting.