First postcard – Austria – 1869
On this date in 1869, Austria put on sale the first government postcards. (According to some histories, at least—other sources say this was the first private postcard.)
Picture postcards came later, and with them came the very popular pastime of collecting postcards. (This hobby is called deltiology. In case you were wondering.)
Collectors enjoy acquiring postcards from different countries, and some love discovering old postcards. Unlike postage stamps, postcards are manufactured by many different publishers in many different locations, so it is often hard to figure out the exact date of printing. I imagine some collectors like the challenge of trying to figure out the year of printing from postmarks, clothing and cars, and printing codes that appear on some postcards.
Find out more about collecting postcards here.
Here is a link for a cool geography-learning, postcard-swapping activity. When my kids were little, we did something similar and had a great time trading with kids from 35 or 40 of the United States.
To start a collection...
Next time you go on a trip, be sure to buy a postcard from each place you visit, and buy a few extra to send to relatives and friends.
Then, when they go somewhere, ask that they return the favor by sending you a postcard for your collection. (When you tell people you are collecting postcards, you're sure to get more!)
Ask your closest pals and relations to save postcards that they receive for you. (IF they don't have a collection themselves, that is!)