A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope. There are novelty exceptions, such as wood postcards, made of thin wood, and copper postcards sold in the Copper Country of the U. state of Michigan, and coconut "postcards" from tropical islands.
In some places, one can send a postcard for a lower fee than for a letter.
This was known as the "undivided back" era of postcards.
The first postcard to be printed as a souvenir in the United States was created in 1893 to advertise the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
The Post Office was the only establishment allowed to print postcards, and it held its monopoly until May 19, 1898, when Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act, which allowed private publishers and printers to produce postcards.
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source ; calling.
Meaning "to visit" (Middle English) was literally "to stand at the door and call." Telephone/telegraph sense is from 1889.
Conlie was a training camp for soldiers in the Franco-Prussian war. Cards showing images increased in number during the 1880s.
The cards had a lithographed design printed on them containing emblematic images of piles of armaments on either side of a scroll topped by the arms of the Duchy of Brittany and the inscription "War of 1870. Images of the newly built Eiffel Tower in 18 gave impetus to the postcard, leading to the so-called "golden age" of the picture postcard in years following the mid-1890s.
The world's oldest postcard was sent in 1840 to the writer Theodore Hook from Fulham in London, England.
The study and collecting of postcards is termed deltiology.
Initially, the United States government prohibited private companies from calling their cards "postcards", so they were known as "souvenir cards".