When Did Postcards Become Popular? A Brief History

Postcards have long held a special place in our hearts, capturing moments in time and allowing us to share them with others. As America’s largest vintage postcard shop, we at Mary L. Martin Vintage Postcards are proud to be part of this wonderful history. But when exactly did postcards become popular? Let’s take a brief journey through the fascinating history of postcards.

vintage postcards

The Invention Of Postcards

The history of postcards can be traced back to the mid-19th century. In 1861, John P. Charlton of Philadelphia patented a postal card, which he sold the rights to Hymen Lipman. Lipman’s cards were the first known postcards in the United States, but their popularity grew slowly.

vintage postcards

The Golden Age Of Postcards

Postcards began to truly gain popularity during the “Golden Age” of postcards, which spanned from 1898 to 1918. This period was marked by the introduction of the divided-back postcard, allowing both the address and a message to be written on the same side. The high-quality images and affordable prices made postcards an attractive means of communication, and they quickly became a popular way to share experiences, thoughts, and greetings.

vintage photo postcards

The Introduction Of Real Photo Postcards

Real photo postcards, which featured actual photographs printed on postcard paper, emerged in the early 1900s. This innovation allowed people to share personal images and memories with friends and family. Real photo postcards played a significant role in further popularizing the use of postcards and contributed to their enduring appeal.

vintage postcards and photos on a wall

The Timeless Appeal Of Vintage Postcards

Even as technology has advanced, the charm and allure of vintage postcards have remained strong. Collectors and enthusiasts appreciate them for their historical significance, unique artistry, and the stories they tell about people, places, and events from the past.

At Mary L. Martin Vintage Postcards, we’re passionate about preserving and sharing the rich history of postcards. We invite you to explore our extensive collection of vintage postcards, ranging from national park postcards to rare, one-of-a-kind finds. Whether you’re an avid collector or new to the world of vintage postcards, our knowledgeable team is here to help you discover the perfect addition to your collection. Start your journey into the captivating world of postcards with us today!

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