WORLDKINGS – On This Day – October 01, 2019 - 1st postcards are issued in 1869


( In 1865, at the Austro-German Postal Conference held in Karlsruhe, Germany, Dr. Heinrich von Stephen put forward the idea of an "open post sheet" made of stiff paper or thin card, which could be used as a cheap form of written communication. However, Dr Stephen's idea of an officially produced postcard was not adopted.


In January 1869, Dr. Emmanual Hermann of Vienna, a professor of economics, revived the idea of producing printed postcards and on 1st October 1869, the Austrian Post Office issued the world's first official postcard. The postcard was a great, popular success and around 2 1/4 million postcards were sold in the first three months.

Other postal authorities in Europe followed the Austo-German example. On 26th May 1870, the British Postmaster-General recommended the production of "Correspondence Cards" and on 1st October 1870, the first official postcards in Britain were issued by the Post Office. These early postcards were printed by the famous firm of De La Rue and incorporated a printed, stamp. The officially produced Post Card carried a prepaid stamp to the value of 1/2 d, a new postal rate for open correspondence. The postal rate for letters in a sealed envelope remained at one penny. At half the standard postal rate, the Post Card was immediately popular, and 675,000 were sold on the first day of issue.

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