Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for: it is exactly 150 years since the first postcard was sent!
As the very first postcard was being sent on October 1st 1869 in Austria-Hungary, few people could anticipate the mail revolution that would ensue, or just how long postcards would last. One hundred and fifty years later, we’re still just as happy to discover a bit of sunshine on our mailbox at the end of the day, or to send a smile to loved ones or strangers far away. It’s inexplicably charming how something so simple can bring so much joy. 😊
Earlier this year, when we noticed there didn’t seem to be that many activities planned to commemorate the anniversary, we decided to take matters into our own hands and use the power of the Postcrossing community to celebrate this historical milestone. We’ve contacted postal operators and postal museums, and also invited you guys and the whole world to join the party by creating events and spreading the word about this anniversary. The response was just amazing! Over one hundred events are taking place in 34 different countries, including 58 meetups, 11 exhibitions, 8 cancellation marks, 8 workshops, 6 seminars, 4 commemorative postcards issued by post offices, 3 guided tours, 2 postage stamps about the anniversary and even one country offering free postage on postcards sent today. Hurray!
We’ve also invited everyone to participate on a postcard exhibition at the Universal Postal Union headquarters in Bern and hundreds of you have sent postcards and expressed your love for the medium in creative forms. We teared up going through all these small tokens of love, and it was a real struggle to pick the 200 or so that we ended up bringing with us, as they were all incredible. So many of you have written about connection and healing, about traveling and learning, about conquering fears, making discoveries, teaching little ones and making the world a smaller place. They were all messages of hope and appreciation, and it was our huge honor to carry your words with us to the UPU and hang them on this 10 meter wall.
All throughout October, postal delegates from all countries in the United Nations will walk this lobby and browse these postcards. They too, will realize how much we all treasure these little pieces of paper that travel the world in our stead. We’re so proud of each and every one of you, for your enthusiastic participation and creativity — this would not have happened without you!
We plan to show you more of the exhibition later, but for now, it’s time to celebrate! Join a local event if you can, or just take the time to write a postcard (or 10!) to someone you care about to spread the happy vibes.
And last but not least, happy birthday dear postcards!!! 🎉