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Many of the real photo postcards being done at the current time are reproductions of earlier historic photos.The easiest way to distinguish a real photo postcard is to look at it under a magnifying glass; it will show smooth transitions from one tone to another. (Britain had already pioneered this in 1902.) The address was to be written on the right side; the left side was for writing messages.Postcards that are actual photographic replications were first produced around 1900.They may or may not have a white border, or a divided back, or other features of postcards, depending on the paper the photographer used.Compiled by Todd Ellison, Certified Archivist (last revised 8/7/2006)Although the world's first picture postcards date from the 1860s to the mid-1870s, most of the earliest American picture postcards extant today are those that were sold at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, starting on May 1, 1893. At this time, a dozen or more American printers began to take postcards seriously.
A publisher of regional view-cards capturing scenes from Virginia to Pennsylvania.By 1960s, the standard size of cards had grown to 4 x 6 inches.Photochromes are not real photos but rather, printed cards done by a photochrome process.The government postal cards included a printed 1-cent stamp; the privately printed souvenir cards required a 2-cent adhesive postage stamp to be attached. The term Post Card was not widely used until the early 1900s (it was later contracted to "postcard" as a word-counting cost-saving measure). Government-issued cards were to be designated as Postal Cards (Staff, p. Writing was still not permitted on the address side.Messages were not permitted on the address side of the cards; after attempting various forms of explaining that regulation, the U. Post Office adopted the printed message that This side is for the address only (Staff, p. Other backs from this pioneer era of the American post card are known today as Souvenir Card and Mail Card. In this era, private citizens began to take black and white photographs and have them printed on paper with post card backs.