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Blog > From Correspondenz-Karte to Picture Postcards

You might have noticed that the postcards we’re familiar with today (picture on one side, and space for the address, postage and a message on the back) are very different from the first postcard issued in 1869 by the Austrian Post.

Correspondenz Karte

The Correspondenz-Karte, as it was initially called, was just a brown rectangle of paper with space for the address and postage on one side, and a short message on the back. Despite the decorative border, they weren’t meant to be fun or especially pretty. Instead, their purpose was much more practical, enabling short messages to be sent cheaply through the post, a departure from letters and their formal etiquette. Their look was as concise as the messages they carried.

So, when did these lackluster pieces of cardboard begin to be adorned with images and acquired the modern format of our beloved postcards?

Well, that’s a longer story… but in a way, an almost inevitable development. From ancient papyrus to Gutenberg’s bible, decorations have been sneaked onto the pages of written materials ever since humans began to record history on paper. In the 17th and 18th centuries, printing developments brought images to the masses: commercial invoices would sometimes showcase a little miniature of a storefront, and often people carried illustrated calling cards with them. Also common were letter sets featuring elaborate illustrations both on the writing paper and on the envelopes. In 1840, the same year that the Penny Black was issued, Royal Mail launched its own decorated prepaid letter sheets.

Postcards with illustration vignettes

Thus, even though the original postcards did not feature illustrations, there were plenty of other items with images on them, and so, bit by bit, they were introduced on postcards as well.

At first, images appeared on the corners of the message side of the postcard, as small vignettes often with advertisement to a hotel or restaurant. Slowly though, other images made their way onto the postcard format and by the 1880s, postcards with the Gruss Aus (greetings from) salute and a few illustrations of a town were a popular holiday souvenir in German-speaking countries.

Divided back postcards

And then, as photography and printing techniques evolved further still, photos started covering more and more space in postcards, with just a small area left for messages. Finally, in 1906, at the Sixth Postal Union Congress in Rome, the UPU declared that postcards with a divided back could be sent internationally. With no need to write the message on the front any longer, pictures were free to take over the whole space on one side of the postcard.

And this is how the modern format of the picture postcards we know and love today came to be! 😊 If you’re curious to learn more, check out the History page we’ve put together for the 150th anniversary of postcards, and stay tuned for more interesting tidbits of postal history here on the blog.

PS – Our friends at papersisters made a neat postcard to celebrate the 150th anniversary of postcards, and generously sent us a bunch to give away! So if you’d like a postcard with a greeting from the Postcrossing’s headquarters, here’s your chance: leave a comment below and let us know one cool postal fact about your country. We’ll pick 15 random commenters by this time next week to be the recipients of one of these postcards. Good luck!

Ok! Giveaway closed, and the winners as chosen by Paulo’s random number generator are… Tabse, jime2e4a, Stargrace, picketfence4, LuSays, BrittJohnson, betslets, Bia5546, fmstrada, surlykitty, duck2006, Daniela_P, yudi, serendipity2 and jm1122. Congratulations everyone! Keep an eye on your mailbox for the incoming postcard. 📬

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164 comments so far

GuyT, Canada
Pictureless postcards are issued in Canada on June 1st, 1871. These prestamped cards are made available at a cost of one cent, which covers both the costs of the card and delivery to any address within the Dominion of Canada (source: Canadian Museum of History).
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siff, United States of America
John Charlton copyrighted the first postcard in the USA in 1861. It was a plain card with a decorative border.
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NIDUSKA, Finland
Thank you
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Hawwa, Spain
In Spain, it wasn't until 1905 that the back of the postcard was divided in two columns: one for the address, another one for the message.
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arie_yanti, Indonesia
In Indonesia we still use pictureless postcard to send quiz answer (mostly crossword puzzle) to magazine/newspaper
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captainsamafs, Portugal
The Portuguese postal service logo is a horse rider with a bugle, because that's how postmans used to announce that the mail, just like winter, was coming before they had motorbikes and rang the bell. :P
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Peskipixi, United States of America
The US issued the first governmental postal cards in 1873. These differ from postcards in that the stamp is printed on instead of attached after.
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arenaewright, United States of America
The Pony Express was a privatized mail service delivering messages between the west and east coasts of the U.S. in 1860 and 1861, through a relay system of riders on horseback. Before the transcontinental telegraph, it demonstrated that a system of communication could be established and operated year-round, and was essential for communication between the just-established state of California and the rest of the U.S. There is also a very cool little museum honoring it located in St. Joseph, Missouri, which I cannot recommend highly enough.
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Heepy, United States of America
When the Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, it went via U.S. mail.
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myshellyamour, United Kingdom
After the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, over 100 post boxes were painted gold in honour of the United Kingdom’s gold medal winners in both the Olympics and the Paralympics. :)
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piscean, United Kingdom
The postcard – defined as an open card that could be used to send a short message, at a concessionary postal rate – was first introduced in Austria-Hungary in 1869. The British Post Office adopted the idea the following year.

Initially the only permissible cards were the pre-stamped postal stationery sold by the Post Office itself, but stamped to order postal stationery cards were allowed from 1872, and privately produced cards franked with adhesive stamps from 1st September 1894 (provided that they were of similar dimensions to the official cards).

On 16th September 1968 the Royal Mail discontinued the concessionary rate for postcards; since then, a postcard from the UK has cost the same to send as an ordinary letter.
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bandcrab, United States of America
Just learned this right now: Apparently, Americans sent 2,075,510,000 in 2018 alone! Wow!
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RutterFamily, United States of America
The first American post office was established in 1639 in Boston, Massachussetts
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Daniela_P, Belarus
Until the fourteenth century, messengers carried mail. Hardy and strong people were selected for this position, since there was danger in the way: animals, robbers. Messengers always had a horn and a hammer or arrows to protect themselves. The letter-carriers also had to know the area and have a good memory (the most important messages were not recorded, but transmitted orally). Only rich people could have such postmen.
At all times, those who transported letters had very high demands. For wrongdoing and bad news, they brutally punished.
Now 85% of the postal staff are women. But until the middle of the 19th century, exclusively men — educated, knowing geography and several languages ​​— were accepted into this service.
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Akatsukie, Belarus
The first stamp of the Republic of Belarus was put into circulation on March 20, 1992. The stamp depicts the ancient cross of Euphrosyne of Polotsk.
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ALFAVIT, Russia
Postcards began to circulate in Russia in 1872 and were first called "open letters." After the October Revolution of 1917, the production and sending of postcards were declared a bourgeois remnant and were banned, but soon the ban was lifted.
And one more thing about the size of postcards 9 * 14 cm is the officially approved size of postcards by the world postal congress in 1878.
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Chirp2lou, Canada
Albert Jackson who was Canada's first Black letter carrier. He was appointed to the civil service (rare for a Black person at the time) and reported to work in May 1882. He delivered mail until his death in 1918.
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ctr, Germany
In Germany we called the picture postcard "Ansichtskarte" = 'view card'.
A "Postkarte" = 'postcard' was a pictureless card with a printed stamp and address of sender and receiver on one side and you could buy it only at the Post Office.
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Herzl, Canada
While the first commercially produced card was indeed created and patented in 1861 by John P. Charlton of Philadelphia, nevertheless, he sold the rights to Hymen Lipman, whose postcards, complete with a decorated border, were labeled "Lipman's postal card". These cards had no images, and were most likely the first commercial postcards ever.
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HMAlbert, Malaysia
during the colonial era all Malaysia states issued stamps for postal service with the picture either the local sultan orofrom Ruler from 9 Malay state or the monarch of U.K
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ned44440, Ireland
During the month of June 2019 the Irish Post Office decorated a few of the Letterboxes in Dublin to celebrate Gay Pride Month with the rainbow colours. You can see one here https://www.postcrossing.com/postcards/IE-184323
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BlueVWBeetle, United States of America
In 1966 the Chicago post office, the largest post office at the time came to a halt when 10 million pieces of mail became jammed.
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jime2e4a, United States of America
Around 1900 there was a lot of "Train Wrecks", photographers would take pictures and make postcards, these old postcards are very popular here in the UDA.
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alterego, Canada
- The first Canadian post office opened in 1753 in Halifax, linking the Atlantic colonies with Britain. That was almost 100 years before Canada officially became a country!

- An April report by the Conference Board of Canada said almost half of all Canadian households send no more than two pieces of mail each month.
(clearly, they aren't postcrossers!!)
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CraftyTokyoMama, Japan
There is a post office at the summit of Mt. Fuji. They have a special picturesque cancellation stamp used only for mail sent from that post office. It is only open during the summer climbing season.
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Inspired_rus, Russia
Friends, you all know the music of Russia from the works of Tchaikovsky. The composer lived and wrote his works in my town, in Klin. His house museum is in front of my home! Of course, in 1890 all communication was through mail. Many letters of Tchaikovsky survived. He wrote to Nadezhda von Meck that his anonymous trip to Rome had failed - he was recognized by several Russians and they began to invite him to dinner. He did not want society and broke down to go back. He signed that letter to Nadezhda with the words "...I humbly ask you, my dear, to send me letters already to Russia, in Klin." I am proud of famous fellow countrymen! Not far from my town there are summer residences of Dmitry Mendeleev, Alexander Blok, Vera Mukhina and other famous people.

Mail unites me with them, I can also humbly ask you now to send letters to me in Russia, in Klin. :)
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Kristi-D, United States of America
In the USA, in order to qualify for the lower "postcard" rate, the card must be rectangular; must be a minimum of 3.5x5" and .007 thickness (same as a common index card); and a maximum of 4.5x6" and .016 thickness.
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MissKitty, United Kingdom
The first ever postage stamp was the Penny Black in 1840 showing a picture of Queen Victoria.
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jm1122, United States of America
I just read that the US Postal service employs people who decipher horrible handwriting. The Remote Encoding Center in Utah gets all of the hard-to-read mail that can't be figured out by automated mail sorters.
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mavrocks, Australia
Australia Post was founded on the 25th April 1809
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mavrocks, Australia
Australia Post is 210 years old
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GalinaZai, Russia
March 31, 1918, during the Soviet era, a military pilot Petrov with a cargo of mail and one passenger flew 600 kilometers in 4 hours 10 minutes. It was the first air mail flight in history.
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mavrocks, Australia
First postcards were introduced in Australia by the NSW Government in December 1875
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maroen, Netherlands
In Holland we had these "briefkaarten" too. My mother used this blanco postcard to send answers from puzzels in magazines. I always made drawings on the Blank side of the "briefkaart". To make my own postcards so my mother sended my home made postcard to magazines to answer the puzzle. And yes she won often so maybe that was because of my drawings. 😁😁😁.
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Dimble, United Kingdom
Here in the UK, TV quizzes and competitions used to tell viewers to send their ‘answers on a postcard’
Now this phrase has passed into the language so if someone asks a question no one knows the answer to, a common reply is to shrug and say ‘answers on a postcard!’
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Avani, India
Nestled in the snow clad mountains of Srinagar on the beautiful Dal Lake, is India's first and the only floating post office erected on a house boat.
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notmadyet, Ukraine
In Ukraine, the price of stamps for postcards are pegged to the dollar, so it oscillates between 25 and 30. The fun thing about it is that you can end up with as little as one stamp as many as five or six on the back of the postcard, depending on the denominations available and what they have to add up to --- and you never really know what that's going to be until you get to the post office and they do the calculation :p
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AnnaLeonidovna, Russia
During the World War II russian soldiers mailed home using a paper from a copy book folded in triangle shape with no envelope and stamp on it. This triangle shape was caused by several reasons. First of all it was easy to open them, because all letters were checked by censor control, secondly there were no envelopes, it was easy to make. The front side was used for address. All the text was written inside.
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livi16, Spain
The first official Spanish postcard was issued in December 1873. But it was not an illustrated postcard, but it had the stamp printed and a decorative border.
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mavrocks, Australia
Adelaide's General Post Office, built from 1867-1872 is one of South Australia's oldest buildings and is a part of Australia's Commonwealth Heritage
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GalinaZai, Russia
During the Second world war, hundreds of millions of letters, parcels and famous soldier's "triangles" (sheets of paper folded in a special way and sent by mail – for lack of envelopes) were delivered by military postmen from the front to the rear and back. Tens of thousands of military postmen died in the line of duty. In the city of Voronezh in 2016, with the support of the Russian Post, a monument to the military postman was erected.
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ridu, Belgium
je fais un hello au monde entier depuis bruxelles (schaerbeek) où j'habite
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Bia5546, United Kingdom
My great grandfather was a butcher in Victorian times and customers would write him a postcard to order meat for delivery in a couple of days. No phones then, and more post deliveries in the day. It seemed to work well!
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Berwyn, Germany
The Deutsche Post is the owner of an electric car company called Streetscooter. On many routes these electric cars are being used to deliver the mail.
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nanayniboki, United Arab Emirates
Postcrossing did not only open possibilities of new friendships thru writing for me but the vastness of knowledge about posts and mails is another wonder that amazes me every time I get to read this kind of stories. Thank you Postcrossing!
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Mosshumla, Sweden
Unfortunately a few weeks ago the Swedish Post decided to no longer empty mailboxes on sundays. They say that it's not necessary, but my favourite mailbox is overflowing each monday now. Impossible to put in postcards or letters - they risk falling out again.
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Demmi, Romania
Kudos to "Der Erfinder der Postkarte" / "The Inventor of the Postal Card"
Herr Emanuel Alexander Herrmann!

Gruss Aus Kronstadt aka Brasov
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GalinaZai, Russia
The foundations of Russian post were laid in the last quarter of the IX century, at the beginning of the Kievan Rus.
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Millefolia, Germany
About 151 million cards were carried by Deutsche Post throughout 2013
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Catlady, Germany
Thanks for the hint on the postcard exhibition "150 years of postcards" at the Museum of Communication in Berlin. I was there yesterday! Great collection of hundreds of cards (along them even a Christmas greeting from the postcrossing team,), well done, and the museum itself is worth visiting with all the old devices telling a lot about communication in the past.
Cards and postcrossing have become an important part of my life!
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Zaara, Finland
The first colored postcards of the cities of Finland were made in in the 1890s.
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DorotheeB, Germany
In Germany the postage for square postcards is much higher than for "normal sized" postcards.
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kimbufeys, Belgium
In Belgium we used pre-stamped pictureless postcards, known as the "yellow letter-card" (gele briefkaart) to answer quizzes and compete in competitions from television, magazines, newspapers, etc.
They were the same price as a postage stamp. This practice is not used anymore, because of text messages and the internet, but you can still use the yellow postcards and send them to someone if you have them at home.
I think I once won a t-shirt with a competition from a children's newspaper by sending a yellow lettercard.
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Rosit, Poland
In Lithuania, a local artist Jolita Vaitkutė made a portrait of Jonas Basanavičius (patriarch of the nation) from more than 10 000 outdated litas (now we have euro in Lithuania) postage stamps, which were gifted to her by the post office! You can see photos here - https://kaunas.kasvyksta.lt/2017/09/26/kultura/kaune-pristatyta-rekordine-mozaika-is-pasto-zenklu/
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Piccolia, France
In France, from 1845 to 1994, mail was sorted in the train by night during transport, it was called ambulant post. For example mail would be collected during the day in Paris, would be loaded on a train from Paris to Toulouse in the evening, would be sorted during the travel by "ambulants" postmen and would arrive in Toulouse early morning already sorted and ready to be distributed by local postmen. There is a museum in Toulouse about ambulant post: http://www.ambulants.fr/index.html (in French).
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pivi21, Finland
The Finnish Post Office is established September 6, 1638. Queen Kristina of Sweden confirmed then Finland's first postal rates. Finland was a part of Sweden in those days.
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emotis, United States of America
THERE IS STILL ONE PLACE LEFT IN THE UNITED STATES WHERE MAIL IS DELIVERED BY MULE.
Although it sounds like an archaic practice, the village of Supai in Arizona still gets their mail delivered by mule. Since they're located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the local Havasupai tribe gets its deliveries from a fleet of 50 horses and mules that make an 8-mile trek to get there.
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duck2006, Germany
There is one little village in Germany where mail is delivered by boat!
Link (in German): ➡️https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postkahn
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Strawberry131, United States of America
USPS unofficial creed is "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" BUT there are some exceptions. January 2019 in the US Midwest was so cold (greater than -31 C/-25 F) the USPS suspended delivery for several days as a lot of home delivery is done on foot and it just wasn’t safe to be out in the extreme cold. ⛄️
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Lisanne95, Netherlands
Raymond van Barneveld (a famous Dutch darter) used to be a mailman in Holland😊📬
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Momentensammlerin, Germany
In 1865 it was tried to establish a "postcard" without an envelope for the first time in the region of nowadays Germany. It did not work because people thought it was not ok, that strangers would be able to read the messages. Only then when Austria allowed to send those first postcards in 1869, a year later it was although possible in parts, for example Bavaria, which are Germany now. Postcards soon become very popular and it is said, that only in the first two month, already 2 million postcards were sold!
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heleen3824, Netherlands
The Dutch word for postcard (ansichtkaart) is based on the German word Ansichtskarte. Beautiful how neighbours borrow words from each other.
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XLPZ, China
I'd love to go to this party but I have to study at my school now because I'm a senior three student.However,I hope you will have good time😉
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misschim, United Kingdom
The Post Office or Mail Rail, transported mail under the streets of London from 1927 to 2003, in underground tunnels. I’ve been to the museum & rode the mail
rail this year! :-)
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KAS, Norway
Postcards were used for patriotic propaganda in Norway when the union with Sweden was dissolved in 1905.
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GalinaZai, Russia
In 1266, almost a century earlier than in Germany - the country with the most developed at that time mail - in Russia there is the first document regulating postal exchange: the rules of passage of messengers on Russian lands. Russian Russian state was not only ruined by the Tatar-Mongol invasion, but also stopped the development of Russian post for several centuries, which happened soon after that.
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Singalarius, Germany
With the postcrossing project let us bring peace, harmony and tolerance to the world!
Deltiology (from Greek δελτίον, deltion, diminutive of δέλτος, deltos, "writing tablet, letter"; and -λογία, -logia) is the study and collection of postcards
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John_Doe, Germany
The red and the blue Mauritius are the first two stamps of the then British colony Mauritius, which were issued in 1847. Through these brands, the British crown colony Mauritius was the seventh postal area that brought out stamps.
Since then, the development in the postal service has apparently stopped.
You can travel almost anywhere in the world in 24 hours.
However, mail is still transported by stagecoaches,or sailing ships when the travel times of postcards are considered.
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sannah82, United States of America
The five digit ZIP codes used in the US today weren’t introduced until 1963. They increase in number from east to west with the lowest codes in the NE and the highest in the NW.
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LuSays, United Kingdom
Those first postcards, with a proper picture and small writing space on one side, where the address was on the whole of the other side. They were called Court Cards in the UK...
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Jupie, Italy
The most famous and rare italian stamp is "Gronchi Rosa": it was part of a 1961 issue for the voyage of president Giovanni Gronchi to three South American countries. The 205 liras rosa was intended for the stopover in Peru. The artist made a mistake with the boundaries between Peru and Ecuador. The rose-colored stamp was quickly replaced by a grey version with corrected boundaries... but some philatelic souvenirs using the Gronchi Rosa already existed!
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ekofan, Netherlands
The Dutch writer Rico Hop has written two books about delivering mail. For months he phoned, he stopped by, listened to special anecdotes and recorded what he heard. The best postal bid stories are bundled in two books, namely:
"Here's the mail!" about the world of the postman, who as a fixed value in a turbulent society often turns out to be more than just someone delivering the mail. Also "Here is more mail!" is an ode to the mail deliverer as ambassador of the truly personal contact between people.
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freshwaterwi, Italy
In the historic center of Florence, Italy, there are many pedestrian roads, narrow cobblestone roads, and one-way streets. Mail is delivered by postal workers on bicycles and motorcycles, or sometimes in a teeny, tiny electric cart. Most packages are kept at the main post office and you will only receive a ticket in your box telling you to come pick it up.
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Tjoks, South Africa
In South Africa we have a post office tree! The famous Milkwood Tree in Mossel Bay is over 500 years old, and is known as the Post Office Tree.

In 1500 a sailor left a letter in a shoe, tucked in the tree. In 1501 this letter was found by Joao da Nova, who was en route to India. In this way the first post office in South Africa was founded. You can read more about it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_Office_Tree

Maybe some Postcrossers have been lucky to receive a card from there and with the special postal stamp.
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freshwaterwi, Italy
In Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, USA, there are many lovely houses on the lakeshore, all with their own boat dock. In the summer, since 1916, mail is delivered by a boat that never stops. The boats slows as it approaches a dock, the postal worker jumps off the boat onto the dock, races to the mailbox and then back to the end of the dock to jump back onto the boat. It is a physically challenging job and college students are often hired for this summer job. Check out this video of tryouts for the job! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVLXVLoXnIM
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rousita, Mexico
The Postal Palace, in Mexico City, was commanded by President Porfirio Diaz. It was inaugurated on 1907 and was designed by Adamo Boari, an Italian architect and was supervised by Gonzalo Garita. Nowadays it remains as one of the most beautiful buildings in downtown Mexico City, still used by the Mexican Postal Service. You can buy stamps and postcards there and get a very pretty photo next to the amazing iron cast staircase.
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John_Doe, Germany
funny video 😃😃😃, THANKS freshwaterwi
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KJ_lillianopal, United States of America
The first US scratch and sniff stamps, Frozen Treats, were released last year in 2018!
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CAM91, United States of America
The pony express is so well known as part of the American postal history but only lasted for a little over a year
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SylviaM, United States of America
Getting postage stamps can be a challenge in a combat zone. For the United States, military members who are deployed to a combat zone can send first class mail home for free. In lieu of a postage stamp, the service member writes " FREE MAIL" in the corner of the envelope.
https://postalmuseum.si.edu/mailcall/3a.html
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Shambala, Canada
As Canadians, we have an American to thank for getting Canada's postal services started. Benjamin Franklin, opened the first Canadian post office in Halifax in 1753, when he was serving as joint deputy postmaster-general for the British colonies.
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InTheDoghouse, United States of America
A scruffy dog named Owney became the unofficial mascot of the Albany, New York, post office around 1888. He began to ride with the bags on Railway Post Office across New York and then across the United States. After his death in 1897 he was stuffed and is now on display at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.
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GalinaZai, Russia
During the terrible fire of Moscow in 1812, which burned 6532 of 9158 houses, the building of the Moscow post office and the post office Church of the Archangel Gabriel, which still stands on the territory of the capital's post, defended from the fire post office employees together with French soldiers who understood the importance of mail for both opposing sides.
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cherrytree687, United States of America
The very first USA post office was established in 1639 inside of tavern in Boston.
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MrsMidsomer, Finland
The card issued by papersisters is beautiful :)

The first stamps were issued in Finland in March 1856 when Finland was an autonomous part of the Russian Empire. The stamps were oval, hand-made and had a face value of 5 kopek and 10 kopek. The Finnish postal services, however, date back to 1638 when Sweden ruled Finland.
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HMAlbert, Malaysia
Malaysia just release a stamp for our new king installation
featuring the king and the Queen consort wearing royal regalia.
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EngelDD, Germany
In Germany postboxes are usually yellow with modern design but some historic ones are yellow/blue/black with wonderful historic design and ornaments. You can find those in Cochem, Dresden, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Wiesbaden, etc. An exhibition is in the "Posttower" in Bonn where you can find even more mailboxes from around the world.
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IndonesiaRaya, Indonesia
The first Indonesia post office was established in Batavia (now Jakarta) by Governor General G. Baron van Imhoff on 26 August 1746, during Dutch colonization.
During Japanese occupation, the Post & Telegraph & Telephone (PTT) service was controlled by the Japanese military. In September 27, 1945 the Youth Force took over and it officially changed to the Republic of Indonesia PTT Service, commemorated as a PTT Service Day or POSTEL Service Day (Hari Bakti Postel). This year is its 74th year.
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IndonesiaRaya, Indonesia
Indonesian first stamp started with Dutch East Indies stamp, issued on April 1, 1864.
First stamp by the Pos Indonesia, issued on December 1, 1946.
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sonataca, United States of America
There is a post office that sits right on the borderline of Arkansas and Texas...in the town named Texarkana that is in both Texas and Arkansas! It is the second most photographed post office in USA...where else can you practically be in two states at once??
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GalinaZai, Russia
On December 22, 1857, the Post Department of the Russian Empire issued the first postage stamp in the history of the country with a face value of "10 kopecks per lot", that is, for every 13 grams of the weight of the letter. A total of three million stamps were issued. Today, the price of one such outstanding (that is, not passed the mail and not stamped) brand reaches 1.2 million rubles.
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Kittykatten, Åland Islands
Every summer Åland post have a sailing race between Åland and Sweden. The race is for big rowingboats with sail and real post is transported during the race.
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poppypaper, Philippines
In the Philippines, there is only one price to send a postcard to anywhere in the world. This price disregards the size and shape of the postcard. No matter how big or small, it only costs 15 PHP (0.30 USD)! The largest postcard I’ve sent was around 10 inches in diameter and was in the shape of a cat’s head!
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RomaZanders, United States of America
The formal name for the study and collection of postcards is called DELTIOLOGY and there's even an institute dedicated to it. The Institute of American Deltiology is North America's only such institute and serves as a research center and library for the study of postcards. It houses an estimated collection of over 1 million postcards printed and published in North America and its library encompasses all things postcard related including books, slides, periodicals and news bulletins.
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mszatnik, Hungary
The Hungarian postcard production was started in 1896. This year was the Millennium of the foundation of Hungarian State too.
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-Bille-, Germany
Did you ever see or heard something like this:
In the German city Detmold is located a mailbox in each bus of the local public transport, which is emptied daily.

Thank you Ana for your interesting story and thanks to papersisters for the chance to get mail from our bosses 👫
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Stargrace, Canada
Canadian mail doesn’t run on Saturdays, and hasn’t for over 35 years.

I'd absolutely love to win, I have such bad luck though I will say congratulations to whoever gets it :)
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ciprea, Italy
In Trieste, Italy there's an interesting Postal and Telegraphic Museum. You can see also a reconstruction of a vintage post office and various mailboxes from different countries. It is well worth a visit. the entrance is free.
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starrymist, United Kingdom
In Victorian times, post was delivered up to 7 times in a day meaning a postcard posted in the morning would arrive at its destination the same day. (I wish we still had a postal service like that... 😉)
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manders2280, United States of America
My great-grandfather, born in 1870 in Liverpool, was a photographer. He moved to New York sometime before my grandmother was born in 1894. He had a photography studio in Manhattan and in the summer, a small booth in the great resort town of Atlantic City, New Jersey. There are many postcards among the photos we still have. My grandmother told us postcards were popular among tourists as well as customers in Manhattan.
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CyndyK, United States of America
"Everyone had to go to the post office to get mail—until the Civil War helped change one man’s mind.
In 1863, Free City Delivery—i.e., free delivery of mail at your home—was first launched in Cleveland. Joseph Briggs, a postal clerk in that Ohio city, is said to have come up with the idea over the previous winter when he saw so many women customers who were forced to wait in long lines at the post office, freezing and fretting, since the only way to get news of their loved ones fighting in the war was via the mail. His Free City Delivery was such a success that it quickly spread to other cities before becoming a national norm." www.rd.com/culture/us-postal-service-facts
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GalinaZai, Russia
During the Second world war, hundreds of millions of letters, parcels and famous soldier's "triangles" (sheets of paper folded in a special way and sent by mail – for lack of envelopes) were delivered by military postmen from the front to the rear and back. Tens of thousands of military postmen died in the line of duty. In the city of Voronezh in 2016, with the support of the Russian Post, a monument to the military postman was erected.
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jimfields3, United States of America
People in the US once had to pay for the postage on the letters they received. The postal service introduced prepaid postage stamps in 1847 to solve the problem of mail being returned when the recipient didn't want to spend the money.
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betslets, United States of America
In the United States, a railway post office, commonly abbreviated as RPO, was a railroad car that was normally operated in passenger service as a means to sort mail en route, in order to speed delivery. The RPO was staffed by highly trained Railway Mail Service postal clerks, and was off-limits to the passengers on the train.
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-Cool-, Philippines
Postal vehicles in the Philippines is only for ferrying mails between post offices/delivery centers. All mails are delivered by the mailman on foot to the addressee! More enterprising ones bring their own personal bicycles to do so.
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ButtonKnopf, Canada
Canada Post delivers to a larger area than any other postal service in the world! We're a big country!
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yudi, Indonesia
On April 2019 Indonesia Post Office released postcard and stamp of Indonesia superheroes, not to celebrate the release of Avengers End Game, but to commemorate 100th birthday of the late Raden Ahmad Kosasih, widely recognized as the “Father of Indonesian comics”.
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nediam_nori, Finland
Finland has 4 cute postcrossing stamps:)
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mamarochat, United States of America
Benjamin Franklin was the "father" of the United States postal system.
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carlafed, Italy
In Italy, when I was a girl in 1960s and 70s, postcards came in two forms: the so called 'postal postcard', sold with a stamp printed on it, for communications, and illustrated postcards, with the picture, as we are familiar to. 'Postal' postcards have disappered completely, but I have some as a personal token ;-))
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Ganesha08, Germany
In all industrialized countries, mail was delivered to cities at least three times a day until the First World War, and often even more frequently in large cities. It was theoretically possible to arrange an appointment by postcard on the same day.
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Ukucaitie, United States of America
The Postal Service employs more than 100,000 military veterans and is one of the largest employers of veterans in the country.
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Bowyum, Australia
In 1838 a prepaid letter sheet was introduced for use in the Sydney area, costing one penny. First of its type in the world, two years before the UK issued Mulready envelope.

Prior to the federation of Australia in 1901, the individual colonies issued their own stamps. These continued to be used afterwards, as it was not until 1913 that postage stamps were issued inscribed “Australia”. The colonial stamps were valid until decimalisation of the Australian pound in 1966.
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Flippie, Canada
When I send my postcards away, I walk to the nearby post-office, they greet me like "a Queen", they know me by name and they love the way how Post-crossing started etc. Most of the workers are members now too because of me! So nice isn't. We always talk about our latest postcard we received. Isn't a nice fact!
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adianto, Indonesia
The early postcards in Indonesia (Dutch East Indies at that time) were only issued by state postal service (the first was in 1874). Private company is allowed to issue postcards since 1890s.
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Srunolfson, United States of America
Postcard stamps cost 0.20¢ less than a standard letter stamp. Also, if you are writing to your Senator or Representative in the U.S., using a postcard will ensure your message will be sorted and read sooner. Postcards do not have to be checked for harmful substances, like anthrax.
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GalinaZai, Russia
In the 1990s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the crisis in all spheres of society, serious difficulties began to experience and mail. Many projects for the development of postal services in the country have been suspended or canceled altogether. However, the post office in those years remained one of the few companies in which employees were guaranteed timely payment of wages.
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petrini1, United States of America
The Postmaster General of the United States used to be in the line of succession to the Presidency. During the term of President Andrew Jackson (1829-37), Postmaster General became a cabinet position, putting the office in line for the presidency - if anything should happen to the president, vice president, and everyone else in the line of succession. The position was removed from the Cabinet in 1971.
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jordi07, Spain
Happy Birthday dear Postcard!!
In Spain, the circulation of postcards between individuals is authorized in a decree of December 31, 1886. The first editors are two Swiss, photographers by profession, who arrive in Spain in 1894, are Oscar Hauser and Adolfo Menet. The first postcard published in Barcelona, ​​my city, is from this year, and the oldest found circulated with postmarks is dated October 14, 1895. In my private collection I have 5 copies of this postcard, the oldest being canceled from 1898.
I collect old postcards of Barcelona since I was a child. Every Sunday I went to the flea market, from my father's hand, to look for treasures, that is now for my memories of true happiness. My father is not today, but I am still doing the same with my childrens.
The collection has been growing, which started with a shoe box today occupies a room in my house, but when I find the postcard that I am missing, satisfaction cannot be explained in words.
I have a small part of my collection here, I leave the link for you to enjoy with my old postcards:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordipostales/albums/72157600087646260/page1
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hogpet, Finland
The postalcode to Santa Clause is 99999 Korvatunturi, Finland
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serendipity2, Turkey
The first Turkish postage stamp was printed in 1862 during the Ottoman Empire. The first stamp was printed by Darbhane-i Amire stone printing method and painted by hand. The postage stamps were used in the post in 1863.
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Maxi85, Germany
That's so interesting and exciting, that Postcards still connect and give so much joy to the people all over the world. 😊
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picketfence4, United States of America
Thank you, what a great article! I loved seeing the Calling Card actually, so much a part of my reading, like Sherlock Holmes or 1800s Victorian England. Such fun, thank you for the time and effort to write such an interesting article!
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triplightly, United States of America
Utah State University has collected hundreds of postcards from the last century and created a digital archive of them. It is fun to look back at the vintage history of both the mail and our state. Other states have collections as well, though some are not visually available online.
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GalinaZai, Russia
On June 28, 2002 the Government of the Russian Federation approved the concept of restructuring of the organizations of Federal postal communication according to which all existing organizations of Federal postal communication United and the Federal state unitary enterprise (FSUE) "Russian Post"was created.
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ritvapeltola, Finland
Here the link to Finnish postal museum https://www.postimuseo.fi/en/
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alianakristen96, India
India has the largest postal network in the world with 1,54,939 post offices as on March 31, 2015.
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JoDennis, United States of America
I remember when mail was delivered twice a day!
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die-Dusche, Canada
1963: Equipment that automatically segregates, stacks and cancels mail is installed in Winnipeg, the first of its kind in North America. (Source: Canada Post Corp.)

Thanks for the giveaway! It's been great reading all the replies and learning a little bit.
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honeybee, Austria
It was not only an Austrian who invented the first postcard, it was also an Austrian who invented the first stamp. From Vienna went also the first post carriage constantly and in that times there was the longest rabbit system of Europe.
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RainWang, China
The first postcard in China was made in 1896. And Chow Yun Fat sent her wife a postcard a day before they got married! That is how a guy to get a wife!!
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DonnaM, Canada
The town of Lunenburg in Nova Scotia, Canada has a special postmark of our famous ship the Bluenose! Many other towns have special postmarks.
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ejcain, United States of America
Official postal service in America began in the 17th century, under King William III. The postal tax was just one of the many dominos that eventually led to the Revolutionary War.
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kssmith, United States of America
Griswold cast iron skillets are very collectible in the U. S., but Griswold also made cast iron mailboxes. I learned this when my Dad cleaned out his garage and I saw the old mailbox that I remembered from my childhood, on the junk pile. So glad I was there to save it! I still have it. Imagine all the mail and postcards it has seen!
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GalinaZai, Russia
The new postal era begins with the liberation of Russia from the yoke – from the end of the XV century. There are the first postal institutions, there are new types of postal services. The foreign visitors in those days the Moscow government, has called the work of coachmen "mail" - they learn all the signs of the best postal services in Europe.
Regular mail chase (delivery of letters) from Moscow to Arkhangelsk, St. Petersburg, Astrakhan, Azov, Kiev, and even across Siberia in Kyakhta from the Chinese border, and also in the "German country" – the Baltic States, Scandinavia and the German lands – organized and developed in the late XVII - early XVIII centuries Riga (Riga), and Vilnius (in Vilnius, later – Vilnius) mail sometimes referred to as "merchant", because at first the bulk of correspondence sent abroad, were the letters of foreign merchants. Ordinary people could not afford mail services.
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Aerxya, Canada
Some postmasters, USPS and armies got the idea to send mail faster with guided missiles and rockets. The mail could cross canyons and obstacles way faster than other means! Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield was convinced that “Before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to England, to India, or to Australia by guided missiles.” The fastest one might be the submarine USS Barbero who fired a guided missile with 3000 letters. It covered 100 miles in 22 minutes (but the cost was too great for standard delivery). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_mail

NYC had "rocketeers" to deliver mail via a pneumatic tube mail system until1953. The mail was put inside a tube that travelled really fast inside the "mail tube system". Similar systems were installed in British cities and Paris before. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumatic_tube_mail_in_New_York_City
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sobriquet67, United States of America
One of my earlier postcard memories was around the "controversy" of making FOREVER stamps available to the public. In 2007, in the States, the rates were going up with such frequency, that people were becoming outraged. Enter the solutions: the FOREVER stamp. It would be purchased at market rate but would be accepted for any future mail needs despite the increase in cost as the years (or months! eep!) advanced. :D
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Tutubi, Philippines
The first Philippine stamp featured Queen Isabella II of Spain. This was produced in 1854 during the Spanish colonial era
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Tabse, Germany
53% of Germans still write postcards from their vacation. It's getting less over the past few years due to whatsapp and other social media platforms, but I hope we continue sending many more postcards to our loved ones.
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May_words_dance, Singapore
From 1992 onwards, all mail that you need to send within Singapore would be sent by the next working day! If you send mail from within the central business district by 7pm, it will reach its destination the next day. If you send your mail from outside the business district by 5pm, it will be guaranteed delivery the very next day. This was a significant change for mail processing staff from a predominantly day to an overnight operation. Kudos to the postal service staff in Singapore for such efforts! :)
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futouristka, Russia
The state / government post was not represented well in some areas of Russia in XIX century, so there were some local postal systems operated by local self-government. They even had a right to issue local stamps.
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Lighthouse_Lover412, United States of America
Here is something I found, hope it's interesting for everyone.
Contrary to popular belief, the rugged Pony Express was a trailblazing mail and private service that took on the difficult task of bringing mail through the Wild West before the U.S. postal service got there. The Express was in business for a year and a half, from April 3, 1860, to October 24, 1861. Scrappy riders—“orphans preferred,” a help-wanted ad stated—ferried letters from St. Joseph, Missouri, to San Francisco, galloping through the Great Plains, the Rockies, and the High Sierras.
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fmstrada, Italy
In Italy, the red mailboxes we are used to are a model installed in 1961 in the whole country. When they are removed (over the years they have been reduced), they are fixed and repainted to replace the damaged ones (new mailboxes are not produced any longer).
About red mailboxes: last week I mailed postcards in Jerusalem (travel mode on), from a historic mailbox dating back to the British Mandate of Palestine, with a crown and "Post Office" written in English instead of Hebrew!
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Ineminemutte, Belgium
Thank you for the interesting blog post!

- Not a nice fact really, but from March onwards Belgian post (Bpost) will only deliver (non-priority) post twice a week.
- In Belgian Dutch we often use the word "postkaart", which is not really used in The Netherlands I think. All together we have quite a lot of words for postcard in Dutch, "ansichtkaart", "prentbriefkaart", "postkaart" or just simply "kaart(je)".
- Today I saw/read this documentary by RTBF about postcards and the question if they still have a future. Maybe someone should tell them about postcrossing? :)
https://www.rtbf.be/info/regions/detail_les-cartes-postales-s-accrochent-et-resistent-face-au-numerique?id=10293307
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Qplate, United Kingdom
In the 1930’s humorous saucy seaside postcards reached their peak in popularity selling 16 million a year.
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swap_bengaltiger, Bangladesh
The first postage stamps of Bangladesh was 8 value printed in uk and the year was 1971.
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Eef_NL, Netherlands
In the Netherlands, there is no mail delivery on Monday with the exception of mourning cards and medical letters. This is to keep the mail delivery cost-effective.
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Photoshoot, United Kingdom
Happy Birthday dear Postcard.
From 1927 to 2003, Royal Mail in London had its own Underground rail system, dubbed “Mail Rail”. The line ran from the Paddington Head Sorting Office to the Eastern Head District Sorting Office in Whitechapel. It operated 19 hours per day for 286 days per year and carried around 4 million letters a day.
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k8cre8, United States of America
Prior to 1915, most postcards in the U.S. were printed in Germany. That changed after World War I, and as the U.S didn't have the lithographic infrastructure, the U.S. imported cards from England instead.
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angeleye, Germany
The German postal service was a state-owned enterprise until 1995 and besides the postal service also ran a telecommunications service. After privatization it was broken up into three businesses, for postal service, telecommunications and banking.
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Monika_N, Poland
The very first Polish stamp was produced in 1860 :)
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BrittJohnson, United States of America
In rural Minnesota during the early twentieth century, a postcard traveled faster than a telegram!
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la_luna_pusa, Philippines
The neoclassical Manila Central Post Office was built during the American colonial period by famous architects Juan Arellano and Tomas Mapua. It was destroyed during World War II but it was rebuilt in 1946.
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surlykitty, Malaysia
The highest post box in Malaysia is 3,289 meters above sea level, located at Pendant Hut, Mount Kinabalu - the highest mountain in the country and in Southeast Asia. Travelers climbing the mountain can purchase special postcards only available there and get them stamped with the official Mt. Kinabalu postal stamp.
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JMei, Malaysia
The oldest prime minister in the world is in Malaysia
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Braam, Australia
How wonderful to read all these fascinating tidbits of history! The only interesting piece I can add is: In Sydney, New South Wales, we still have mail delivered via boat. A Postal Service called The Riverboat Postman operates along the main stretches of the Hawkesbury River, delivering mail & other orders. It is a popular tourist trip. Happy PostCrossing to all!
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NZ_Chris, New Zealand
New Zealand was the first country in the world to prototype and install stamp vending machines; one was installed in the General Post Office, Wellington in 1905.
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discpain, United States of America
The area where I live in Oklahoma has 39 Native American Tribes whose headquarters are in Oklahoma.
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GalinaZai, Russia
In the 1820s, the first postal stagecoaches appeared in Russia. In 1840, in St. Petersburg opened a "post office coaches and brick." Only competition from the Railways gradually drove the passengers on the mail transport
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B00, United Kingdom
Sir Sandford Fleming was born in Scotland in the town where I live. He designed Canada's first postage stamp.

" Sir Sandford Fleming KCMG (January 7, 1827 – July 22, 1915) was a Scottish Canadian engineer and inventor. Born and raised in Scotland, he emigrated to colonial Canada at the age of 18. He promoted worldwide standard time zones, a prime meridian, and use of the 24-hour clock as key elements to communicating the accurate time, all of which influenced the creation of Coordinated Universal Time. He designed Canada's first postage stamp, left a huge body of surveying and map making, engineered much of the Intercolonial Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway, and was a founding member of the Royal Society of Canada and founder of the Canadian Institute, a science organization in Toronto.
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justinevbe, Belgium
some postal facts from Belgium :) :
The official appearance of the Belgian postcard dates from January 1, 1871. That is, barely two years after the appearance of the very first official postcard
The oldest Belgian illustrated map, which is know today, dates from 1879 (there are certainly older ones).
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GalinaZai, Russia
In 1918, the RSFSR civil war began. Despite this, the postal service functioned, interrupted and restored depending on the course of hostilities.
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Mirfi, Australia
IN Australia, many of our posties have chosen to swap their motorbikes for pushbikes and electric bikes over the last few years. As well as reducing emissions, this also helped to improve the health and wellbeing of our people.
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robinmp, United States of America
In 1775 Benjamin Franklin became the first USA Postmaster General. The US post office was born. Also in1829 the position was included in the presidents cabinet.
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