The very first postcards were issued in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in October 1869,
and were soon followed by a number of other countries, including the UK where postcards
were introduced on 1st October 1870.
But for more than twenty years after their first appearance, they were only for brief
written or printed messages. It was only when picture postcards were permitted in
the 1890s that they became really popular. Within a very short time, millions were
being sent and collecting them became one of the most popular hobbies of the day.
With so many possible subjects, how on earth does anyone collect postcards now? The
answer is, as always, to collect whatever interests you.
Do you like plain postcards designed for simple, cheap, communication? Cards which
give us an insight into the business world of a hundred years ago. To see more, click
here and go to Plain Cards.
Or do you prefer picture postcards designed for people to buy and send as a record
of their travels? It is generally considered that the ‘Golden Age’ for postcards
was the twenty years leading up to the start of the first World War, and during this
period there were millions of different cards issued, in many different countries.
For a flavour of Picture Cards, click here.
And as Southport is the home town of our Club, we have chosen a few classic views
of the town and its attractions to whet your appetite. Most towns have numbers of
illustrated cards to collect, but as a major tourist destination there have been,
over the years, literally hundreds of images of Southport. A treasure trove for the
local historian! Click here to see what we mean.