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Postcards turn 150


Postcards turn 150

Ian Kerr

Postcards will celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2019.

Originally conceived as a way of sending a short message, postcards quickly evolved to become the ultimate souvenir. Better than collectable spoons, that’s for sure.

On 1 October 1869, Austrian Post implemented Dr. Emanuel Herrmann’s recommendations for a practical and cheaper means of sending short messages. Up until then, letters were expensive and filled with time-consuming formal etiquette.

150 years later, postcards are up against cheap and easily accessed digital communications. But seriously, is there a thrill in receiving a photo of someone on holiday via WhatsApp?

Postcards are tangible tokens of someone’s care and attention - and you don’t stick a text message on your fridge, do you?

To celebrate 150 years of history and connection, events are being organised all around the world - including local gatherings of postcard enthusiasts, museum exhibitions and library events.

Postcrossing - an online project that allows its members to send and receive postcards from all over the world - is also organising a global call-for-postcards, in which anyone can participate. A selection of the received postcards will be showcased in an exhibition during October at the Universal Postal Union headquarters in Switzerland.

Visit the 150 Years Of Postcards website for details of seminars, exhibitions, and special cancellation marks, as well as Postcrossing’s global postcards campaign.

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