Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mysterious postcard message of the day

Oct. 17th, 1907

I still weigh 123. Love C.H.

In case you can't make that out, the message is written upside down, around the right-side-up date, on the front of the card. Odd.

As late as the early 20th century, you couldn't write on the side of the postcard where the address is written--I'm not sure why, or when the regulations changed.

Click on the "postcards" label below for more.


Laurie said...

I was aware of why messages were written on the front of UK postcards (cheaper postal rate) but not US postcards, so I wiki'd:

"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. Initially, the United States government prohibited private companies from calling their cards "postcards", so they were known as "souvenir cards". These cards had to be labeled "Private Mailing Cards". This prohibition was rescinded on December 24, 1901, when private companies could use the word "postcard". Postcards were not allowed to have a divided back and correspondents could only write on the front of the postcard. This was known as the "undivided back" era of postcards. On March 1, 1907 the Post Office allowed private citizens to write on the address side of a postcard. It was on this date that postcards were allowed to have a "divided back""

ahhh, knowledge my friend....

Jim Donahue said...

Thanks for the info.