If the postcard has a stamp box, click on one of stamp box links below.
Post Card History and Dating Methods Although the world’s first picture post cards date from the 1860s to the mid-1870s, postcards, as we know them, came into being in the United States about 1901.
Prior to that time, there were trade cards and postal cards, which usually carried advertising or printed messages.
On 'real photo' post cards, codes in the stamp boxes can be helpful in dating the card.
'Real Photo' postcards are cards that have been produced in the darkroom on photographic paper.
Of course, if the card is used and has a stamp, that too gives a clue, both by its value, and the style of stamp itself. When World War I ended at the end of 1918, the rate was lowered to its prewar level of one cent. Commission (Rate Board) overestimated revenue needs in 1974 and was forced to reduce the postage rate in 1975.
The postal rate was raised briefly from 1 cent to 2 cents in 1917-1919 and in 1925-1928; the conclusive raise to 2 cents was in 1951. Post Card Eras Pioneer Era (1893-1898) Most of the earliest American picture post cards that exist today are those that were sold at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, starting on May 1, 1893.There are many Postcards that reproduce photos by various printing methods that are NOT "real photos"..same methods used when reproducing photos in magazines and newspapers.The best way to tell the difference is to look at the Postcard with a magnifying glass.Stamp boxes are the small rectangular boxes printed on the upper right hand side, where the stamp is to be affixed.By comparing identical mailed and unmailed cards, researchers have developed a pattern to determine when a particular style of card was produced.One of the popular photographic papers used for printing postcards was Kodak Professional AZO Paper.