Who, invented the postal card?

March 23, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

The use of postal cards was first suggested in 1865 by Heinrich von Stephan (1831-1897) when he was director of the Royal Prussian Post. Later Stephan became the first postmaster general of the German Empire and founded the International Postal Union, which became operative July 1, 1875, and which nearly all countries later joined. His suggestion about postal cards, however, was not approved by the Prussian postal system, and two years later Dr. Emanuel Hermann of the Vienna Military Academy, apparently without any knowledge of Stephan’s proposal, suggested a handy stamped card in a letter published in a Vienna newspaper. The Austrian post office approved the idea and the first postal cards, called Korrespondenz Karten in German, made their appearance in that country in 1869.

In 1870 postal cards, sponsored by Prime Minister William E. Gladstone, made their debut in Great Britain and immediately became popular, nearly one million being disposed of the first week they were on sale. Postal cards were first issued in the United States May 1, 1873, under an act of Congress approved June 6, 1872. The design on these first American postal cards consisted of the head of the Goddess of Liberty. By 1943 the Government Printing Office in Washington was printing penny postal cards at the rate of 2,500,000,00o a year.

Just who invented post cards, unstamped picture cards handled by private firms, is not known for certain. One story is that they were created in 1870 by a man named Schwartz in Oldenburg, Germany, About 1890 Dominique Piazza, of Marseilles, France, published picture cards, and he is regarded by his countrymen as the originator of illustrated post cards. Heinrich Lange, a stationer at Gottingen, Germany, who died in 1932 at the age of eighty-four, sent such cards through the mails about 1890, and they were introduced into the United States a short time afterward. By 1944 post cards in the United States were being mailed at the rate of some five million a day.


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