However web-based communication has hugely repressed postal service, traditional postcards are widely known all over the world. The tradition of sending greeting cards and postcards have not yet been completely forgotten, and as All Saints’ Day is coming, many revive the old custom of sending postcards and greeting cards to their relatives and friends. 

The origin of these cards may surprise even those who use the postal service on a regular basis: the first postcards were mailed from the Austro-Hungarian Empire 145 years ago.

Of course, different plain or illustrated cards have been exchanged earlier, but those had to be put in an envelope. The idea that short, simple messages could be sent on standard envelop sized postcards have been put into practice on the 1st of October, in 1869. With the address and the stamp on one side, and the sender’s message on the other, the design was created quite simple.

The Austro-Hungarian Postal Directorate was the first to release postcards, which became very popular and widely used throughout the 19th century. The main reason for this popularity was the price of these newly released cards: mailing a postcard cost less than half of the prize of mailing a letter.

The rapidly growing market for the postcards paved the way for the illustrated picture postcards which appeared in the 1870s and gained popularity instantly.

based on article of
translated by Laura Kocsis



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