Deltiology (from Greek δελτίον, deltion, diminuitive of δέλτος, deltos, "tablet, letter"; and -λογία, -logia) is the study and collection of postcards. Compared to philately, the iden- tification of a postcard's place and time of production can often be an impossible task because postcards, unlike stamps, are produced in a decentralised, unregulated manner. For this reason, some collectors choose to limit their acquisitions to cards by specific artists and publishers, or by time and location.
Glossary of Postcard Terminology - click here * * * Postcard History - click here

Postcard History

A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope and at a lower rate than a letter. Stamp collectors distinguish between postcards (which require a stamp) and postal cards (which have the postage pre-printed on them). While a postcard is usually printed by a private company, individual or organization, a postal card is issued by the relevant postal authority. The United States Postal Service defines a postcard as: rectangular, at least 3-½ inches high x 5 inches long x .007 inch thick and no more than 4-¼ inches high x 6 inches long x .016 inches thick; (in metric; 12.7 cm*8.9 cm) however, some postcards have deviated from this (for example, shaped postcards).
The study and collecting of postcards is termed deltiology.
Postcard Era*: Pioneer - 1893-1898 - During this time only the government was allowed to use the word "Postcard" on the back of the postcard. Privately published postcards in this era will have the titles "Souvenir Card", "Correspondence Card", or "Mail Card" on the back.
Private Mailing Card - 1898-1901 - In 1898, by an act of Congress, private printers were granted permission to print and sell cards that bore the inscription "Private Mailing Card". Postcards of this era have undivided backs. During this period around 1900, Real Photo postcards (postcards on film stock) began to filter into use.
Undivided Back - 1901-1907 - Cards from this era have the word "Post Card" printed on the reverse. Written messages were still restricted to the front side, with the entire back dedicated to the address. This "undivided back" is what gives this postcard era its name. At the end of this period in time, the picture postcard hobby became the greatest collectible hobby that the World has ever known. The official figures from the U.S. Post Office for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, cite 677.777.798 postcard mailed. That was at a time when the total population of the U.S. was 88.700.000.
Divided Back - 1907-1915 - The divided back card, with space for a message on the address side, began the Golden Age of American Postcards, which lasted until about 1915, when World War I blocked the import of the fine German-printed cards.
White Border - 1915-1930 - After World War I, the German publishing industry was never rebuilt. Most locally available postcards were printed by U.S. publishers during this period. On U.S. Views, to save ink, a white border was left around the view, thus we call them "White Border" postcards.
Linen - 1930-1945 - New American printing processes allowed printing on postcards with a high rag content. The rag content gave these postcards a textured feel. They were also cheaper to produce and allowed the use of bright dyes for image coloring. They proved to be extremely popular with roadside establishments seeking cheap advertising.
Photochrom - 1945-1970 - A new type of postcard, the color Photochrome (called Chrome) appeared around 1939. These "Chrome" postcards started to dominate the scene soon after they were launched by the Union Oil Company in their western service stations in 1939. They were easily produced, of high photo quality and most importantly, they were in color.
Continental.

Printing Method* : Lithography & Photolithography, Printed Photo, Real Photo and Tinted Photo

Postcard Topics* : Advertising, Animals, Artist Signed, Children, Circus, Comics, Expositions, Famous People, Fantasy, Games, Gruss Aus ("Greetings From:"), Holidays, Military, Novelty, Nudes, Political, Pretty Ladies, Propaganda, Sports, Telephones, Transportation, U.S. Views, World Leaders and Worldwide Views.

Important Events in Postcard History**

1861 - The Lipman's Postal Card, "COPY-RIGHT SECURED 1861", Philadelphia.
1869, October 1 - Austria issued the world's first postal card. In the next few years, Austria's example was followed by many other countries: Switzerland (1870), Belgium (1871), Spain (1873), Italy (1873), Greece (1876), most of Scandinavia.
1870, October 1 - Britain issued first postal card, for use in that country only.
1871, June - Canada (the first non-European country) issued their first postal card.
1871-72 - The second edition Lipman card.
1872 - The first Russian postcard.
1873, January 15 - France issued their first postal card (120 x 78 mm).
1873 - Germany issued first official postal cards.
1873 - The first U.S. government postal card, one cent rate, including the imprinted stamp.
1873, June - Romania issued their first postal card (CARTA DE POSTA).
1873, December - Japan's first postcard was issued. See year conversion table for Japanese postmarks.
1875 - General Postal Union was formed, at a meeting held in Berne, Switzerland.
1875, July 1 - Britain issued their first postal card for foreign use.
1878 - Universal Postal Union (UPU) congress held in Paris.
1878 - France issued first official postal cards (140 x 90 mm).
1882 - The first commemorative postcard was issued in Germany for the Nuremberg Exhibition.
1889 - Pictorial card showing the Eiffel Tower, engraved by Léon-Charles Libonis.
1890 - Gruss Aus (Greetings from) cards.
1893 - The World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The first commercially produced pictorial card.
1894 - Britain issued first picture postcards.
1897 - Heinrich von Stephan died in Berlin, having made a profound impact on the standardization of mail service worldwide.
1899 - Raphael Tuck & Sons issued their first postcards.
1900 - The World's Exposition in Paris.
1902 - Great Britain became the first country to allow divided back cards, allowing senders to write both a message and the recipient's address on the back of the card.
1920 - Art Deco designs.
* by PostcardCollector.org
** by Old Picture Postcards

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