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Thus began the Golden Age of American postcards, which peaked in 1910 with the introduction of tariffs on German-printed postcards, and ended by 1915, when World War I ultimately disrupted the printing and import of the fine German-printed cards. Postcards, in the form of government postal cards and privately printed souvenir cards, became very popular as a result of the Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893, after postcards featuring buildings were distributed at the fair.
The postcard craze between 19 was particularly popular among rural and small-town women in Northern U. In 1908, more than 677 million postcards were mailed.
The world's oldest postcard was sent in 1840 to the writer Theodore Hook from Fulham in London, England.
The first known printed picture postcard, with an image on one side, was created in France in 1870 at Camp Conlie by Léon Besnardeau (1829–1914). The first advertising card appeared in 1872 in Great Britain and the first German card appeared in 1874.
Stamp collectors distinguish between postcards (which require a stamp) and postal cards (which have the postage pre-printed on them).
While a postcard is usually printed by a private company, individual or organization, a postal card is issued by the relevant postal authority.
The first postcard to be printed as a souvenir in the United States was created in 1893 to advertise the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
The Post Office was the only establishment allowed to print postcards, and it held its monopoly until May 19, 1898, when Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act, which allowed private publishers and printers to produce postcards.
The card design featured a large letter spelling of a state or place with smaller photos inside the letters.