Wednesday, March 7, 2007

How old is my postcard? Part 4 The Private Mailing Card Era

Welcome to Moody's Postcards, your source for vintage, collectible postcards! My name is Richard Moody and I started the company in 1986 and we have been accumulating "old" (otherwise known as "vintage collectible") postcards for twenty years. We specialize in United States view postcards but we also have thousands of antique foreign views, topical postcards and trade cards. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and provide a superior selection of the collectible postcard you are searching for.

The second era in the evolution of postcards is the "Private Mailing Card" era which ran from 19 May 1898 to 24 Dec 1901. The start of this era, as mentioned in my last post, was the passage by Congress of a law allowing private printers permission to print and sell postcards which resulted in the use of "Private Mailing Card" as the title on the address side of the postcard. You will often see this term abbreviated as PMC today. The postal regulations required the size of 5 1/2" x 3 1/4", which is slightly small than today's size of 5 1/2" x 3 1/2", and also required the wording "Private Mailing Card - Authorized by Act of Congress on May 19, 1898" on the address side. Also, it changed the postal rate to one cent as long as only the address was on the back. If any other information appeared there, then the letter rate of two cents applied. Many publishers from the Pioneer era just reprinted their earlier cards with the new reverse. An example of a typical front and back are shown below. We have a nice selection of PMC's at Moody's Postcards.

The next post will discuss the undivided back era and it's characteristics.