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A short history of the postcard

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A short history of the postcard

The postcard : a short history

The postcard was officially born on 1869/10/01 in Vienna in Austria.
The postcard appeared in France in 1870 in Strasbourg when besieged by the Prussian army.
1875 is the end of the monopoly of the french Postal administration.

The postcard quickly acquires its commercial nobility at the 1889 Exposition universelle in Paris when a drawn view of the Eiffel Tower was sold 300.000 times.
D. Piazza of Marseille seems to be the first postcard french entrepreneur (1891).

In 1898, draughtsmen, engravers and painters were to be solicited to produce new and original images. Many of them, among Art nouveau artists, were recruited by large publishers (In Vienna, the Philipp house & Kramer publishing house collaborated with artists such as Koloman Moser or Joseph Hoffmann).

More, for someones the postcard can be the vector of a new esthetics in rupture with the academism of the middle-class (it will be the "socialism of the beauty, illustrated by Mucha, Emil Hansen alias Nolde etc...)
With the 1900 Exposition universelle the postcard starts its real commercial life.

The editors will usually prefer the general and large sights than scenes of the everyday life more typified but quickly obsolete or old fashioned.

In the Thirties, The surrealist group, influenced by Eluard and his interest for popular cultural production ("This treasure of nothing all"), later described as "subculture") published, in a few printings, a postcard serie designed by Dali, Penrose, Breton, Meret Oppenheim, Eluard, Man Ray, Lee Miller etc. linked to their practice of the mail-art.
In the middle of the 70's, collectors started a new interest for the postcard.
In 1975, was published the first catalogue of the postcard which will become the reference in this domain.

With Internet and the development of patrimonial interest sites (museums and famous natural places) the virtual postcard became a frequently used way .

But henceforth the D-carte®, with its proposition with fixed or animated images, obviously seems to be the missing link between an only-printed product and a digitalized and virtual postcard.


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