See how Washington, DC and Smithsonian visitors have shared their trips with others by taking a historic look at the Smithsonian through the picture postcard. This page provides a few general methods for determining a time period or date for postcards. Postcard producers printed cards that followed the current trends of postcards. Dates can be approximated by the material and design of a postcard. Our Postcard History page provides information about these general trends. For example, a card printed on linen was most likely produced between and
Some of these same cards were later reproduced in the series.
Detroit postcards are easy to manage by the number, regardless of subject. Inherent content of the picture may be helpful in dating assuming that the postcard used a recent view. What style of clothes are the people wearing? Look at the modes of transportation.
Horse-drawn vehicles? What model of vehicles?
What clues can be drawn from the style of interior decorationsappliances, and furnishings? Have the buildings been modified since the time of this view? Look for other time-related details. For example, how many stars are in the U.
Do the buildings have window air conditioners? Is a wall calendar in the picture? HTM may be useful for figuring out the year.
Dating old postcards
As Allmer notes p. Allmer also suggests p. Allmer notes page 19 that "postcards created directly from photographic negatives and printed onto photographic paper are difficult to date when they have not been postally used.
Covington, in Postcard CollectorJulypages Does it include postal mailing codes? The U. Does it list a phone number with area code? The first unassisted coast-to-coast direct dialing with a three-digit area code began on November 10, Other clues on the back of a postcard:. T ips for determining when a U.
Dating Postcards Many of the postcards in my collection have been posted and so are easy to date, even if the postmark is unreadable. But even more haven't been posted and so, whilst the photograph can be very important in dating a card, the back of the card can be equally useful. Making sense of dating old postcards with a short general history of postcards, detailed listings for Great Britain, the United States of America and France. The German cards were of exceptional quality and are some of the best examples of old postcards available. However, World War I shut down the German printing presses and cards started being printed in the United States or imported from Great Britain. If your early postcard says it was printed in Germany, it is from before
On June 1,the General Postal Unionan international postal organization, signed a new treaty, changing its name to the Universal Postal Union. This treaty set the maximum size for postcards produced by governments of member nations at 3.
Afterpostcards typically measured 3. In the s, some printers began producing 4 x 6 inch postcards. Curt Teich was the largest volume printer of these types of postcards in the world from the s to the s. This dating guide compiled by the Curt Teich Archivesa wonderful wealth of images and information, provides detailed information about the postcard print numbers and dates.
Hope, you dating old postcards opinion you are
Report of the Postmaster-General. Greetings from the Smithsonian A Postcard History See how Washington, DC and Smithsonian visitors have shared their trips with others by taking a historic look at the Smithsonian through the picture postcard.
Dating Postcards. Menu: Greetings from the Smithsonian. The earliest cards date from the midth century and have a very well-documented history. But for any individual card, there can be some doubt about its exact age. Many people prefer to collect unused postcards which have never been posted. As a result, you can't use the postmark as a guide in estimating the card's age.
Even so, all collectors are curious to know how old their postcards are, because their age has some bearing on their value. Even when there is a postmark, it may be blurred, or someone may have lost it in the depths of a drawer for years before sending it through the post.
As a result, we have to find our clues from the card itself.
Regret, but dating old postcards are absolutely right
The story for each country varies, so I will have to generalise to some extent. This is the oldest card in my possession. The address side gives the date the card was manufactured, Septemberalong 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 first postcards were not allowed to have any form of picture. The address was on one side, and a message could be written on the reverse.
This card, old and battered though it is, is clearly dated As an aside, this message never fails to bring a smile to my face. Clearly the fact that the label carried the word "champagne" was of great importance.
By this date,the USA was already allowing picture postcards, but Great Britain waited until before pictures were permissible. These first picture postcards still had the address alone on one side.
100-Year-Old Postcards \u0026 Creating My Own Postcards
If you wanted to write a message, it had to be crammed in alongside the picture, around it and sometimes over it.
Very often, manufacturers of the cards allowed quite a lot of white space for this message because the back was given over entirely for the address. These were called "undivided back" postcards because there was no dividing line to the side of the address.
No messages were allowed on this side! Gradually, countries started to allow the message to be written on the same side as the address. The Royal Mail in Great Britain was the first to do this in As you can see from this scan, the instructions were not to write a message in this space apart from a card being sent within the British Isles. Because some countries still insisted on the back for the address alone, space continued to be left for a message alongside the picture. These early divided backs gave priority to the address so that the address took up two thirds of the space, with the message being confined to one third.
The size allowed for the message grew larger over the years, and nowadays you often find the proportions reversed on some modern cards. As time went on and more countries allowed both address and message to appear together on the same side of the card, it led to some interesting instructions appearing.
The USA allowed divided backs from 1 March and Japan from 28 Marchso this particular card's manufacture can be very neatly dated because it states "This space can now be used for communication to all countries except Japan and Spain". Other cards have restrictions for Japan, Greece and Turkey.
At first, manufacturers continued to leave space for a message with the picture, as in the card above, then later extended the image over the whole card. The instructions for whether or not to include a message with the address were steadily replaced by details about the picture itself. 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:.
It is really quite a fascinating subject, when you get into it, as is all postal history. See more about all of these dating methods below. Ina 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 s, a new method of printing became more widely used.
This involved printing on textured paper which gave the cards a texture like linen. Publishers developed the process so that the inks would dry more quickly. Although many postcards have white borders, even modern ones, people generally mean the cards published between and approximately.
Suggest dating old postcards theme, very
The reason for the border in those years was because of the printing process. When the printing presses produced sheets of cards, the different colours would bleed, or leak, into each other along the edges.
The border separated out the cards making. There is a school of thought that the white borders were introduced to reduce the amount of ink needed, but this would be a minimal saving. Deckled edges are an effect which was popular in the s and '60s and sometimes beyond. The edges of the card are irregular and uneven to mimic hand made paper.
Paper, even commercial, has uneven edges where the pulp meets the side of the mould, but it is usually removed. It would be close to impossible for me to address the subject of changing fashion styles here. However, the Victoria and Albert Museum has some great illustrated pages covering the periods " History of Fashion - " and " History of Fashion - ", splitting it up into decades.
The following tables show the postage rates for postcards from the pres until approximately the mids. I will add other countries in time, but it isn't an easy task to find out.
They are useful, however, because they do at least tell you when your postcard was posted not, you'll note, when the card was purchased. Using this chart can help estimate the age of a postcard sent in the USA.
Of course, you need to bear in mind that someone can keep a card for years before sending it, but it is a help. Again, these rates of postage are only a guidance. If the card has been lying around waiting to be sent, it may be a lot older than the stamp would indicate. In - when the rate was increased, there was such an uproar that it was reduced again.
A similar protest recently has introduced a special postcard rate for overseas addresses when the letter rate rose considerably. There are always vintage postcards available on at reasonable prices, though I have to say that there are fewer bargains than there used to be. Do study the images, and read the description carefully, both for what is said and, more particularly, what is not said regarding condition.
Watch out, too, for reproductions. I hope that this has given you some guidance as far as what you should be looking for in order to decide on how old a postcard is. In summary, you should be looking at the following:. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.
KateFeredayEshete: Yes, sometimes people do mention current affairs and that's so very interesting. Unfortunately most seem to be very mundane. I even have one asking someone to ask the milkman to leave a bottle of milk.
Which, now that I come to think of it, will be interesting to anyone who grew up after milk deliveries became a thing of the past. Even if there's no date written and no postmark, what the postcard sender writes about could help to pinpoint the approximate date, if they mention a historical event.
Other clues: picture content, card size, printing process, phone/zip codes, and real photo postcard stamp boxes. Inherent content of the picture may be helpful in dating (assuming that the postcard used a recent view). The Official Identification and Price Guide to Postcards by Diane Allmer (New York: House of Collectibles, , ISBN , page 16), suggests looking at the following. Oct 22, The first postcards were not allowed to have any form of picture. The address was on one side, and a message could be written on the reverse. This card, old and battered though it . There are several ways to date postcards that are seemingly undated. This page provides a few general methods for determining a time period or date for keitaiplus.comL POSTCARD CHRONOLOGY[edan-image:id=siris_sic_,size=,left]Postcard producers printed cards that followed the current trends of postcards. Dates can be approximated by the material and design of a .
Thanks for a very interesting lens. I feel I've learnt a lot about vintage postcards and this will help me when I have any. Oh pretty postcards! I realized I have some really old ones as well. When I was a kid I remember that my grandma used to show me old postcards and when she died I got them all.
I know those cards must be in the same boxes with pictures, I must find them! Great lens! Old post cards are so fun. I have lots of post cards from China, but I haven't sent them out - we just collected them.
31 rows Help for identifying the age and paper manufacturer of Real Photo Old Postcards Most Real Photo Postcards, abbreviated RPPC, have information on their backs to help in identifying the manufacturer of the photographic paper that was used by the postcard publisher. Post Card History and Dating Methods. Although the world's first picture post cards date from the s to the mids, post cards, as we know them, came into being in the United States about Prior to that time, there were trade cards and postal cards, which usually carried advertising or . Old Postcard Dating Information. Home Home Postal main page. I am indebted to Peter Stubbs for much of the information below (extracted from Peter's site keitaiplus.com) and his permission for allowing me to use this on the Harberton website. Summary. United Kingdom postcards can be roughly dated from their FORMAT.
Thanks for all your information! Another lens written with some very interesting information about vintage postcards. I couldn't believe the prices at a penny to send a postcard.
However, I can remember times when sending a postcard cost three cents. If I remember correctly, I think I should have a couple of them I've kept. Thank You for sharing this lens as I enjoyed reading about the vintage postcards. Congratulations SheilaMilne for this lens receiving a Purple Star Award as this lens is well deserving of it. Have a Great Day!
For that dating old postcards something is
Postcards are so evocative of nostalgia from childhood and postage in the pennies. Sure enjoyed learning about your means of dating these oldies.
A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy I think you've got it covered! Lovely lens - I love old postcards and wish I had kept the ones I used to have.
I have quite a few postcards I am going to check them out for age. Interesting lense. Thanks for your blessing and squidlike. My husband just uncovered a large envelope of postcards that belonged to my grandmother. This lens will help us date them! Interesting topic. Congrats and hugs. These old postcards look really beautiful.