Postcard? Postcard? (2)

Posted by Oliver Eckl on

In 1869 a Viennese invented the postcard: Over 150 years ago, on January 26, 1869, an article appeared in a Viennese newspaper entitled “About a new type of correspondence by post”. In it, the economist Emanuel Herrmann suggests the introduction of the postcard - an idea that Austria's postal director immediately took up. The card was finally sent out for the first time on October 1, 1869 and immediately became a hit: the millionth copy was sold after just four weeks.

What did the postcard look like back then?

The postcard fit with the general push for innovation and acceleration in the second half of the 19th century, which also included travel. The need arose to greet those who stayed at home and thereby make them jealous. The now widespread photography made it possible to send photos of the holiday destination, which could be purchased there: “Look, it’s so beautiful here!”

However, these postcards were not entirely authentic; they were missing the color. A color image process suitable for mass production had not yet been invented. Photo postcards were colored by hand, print by print, often using stencils to make things quicker.