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2021-04-05 Other articles >

'We often praise the former, not knowing that we only praise the latter.'

Send a postcard to your beloved grandmother for the New Year or drop a few lines to a friend-today this is a common thing. Moreover, modern e-cards allow you to do all this in just one click.

Early copies of postcards, of course, were not so fast-growing, and were significantly inferior in beauty to today's ones. But it was equally pleasant to receive a message from relatives or friends from afar, both a century ago and in today's age of universal computerization.
It's amazing how far the postcard has come since its invention in 1869! The very first copies of the postcards looked like poor relatives compared to modern printing beauties. However, Cinderellas gradually transformed into fairy-tale princesses, as evidenced by the millions of copies of postcards stored in the collections of philocartists.
But it all started with a single idea to simplify written messages sent by mail. To do this, back in 1865, the general director of the post office of the North German Union, Heinrich von Stephan, voiced the idea that it would be good to minimize postage costs by sending the necessary messages in the form of simple and inexpensive postcards.

Even today, von Stephan's contribution to the development of postal communication has been appreciated, and grateful descendants around the world have issued many stamps to commemorate his memory
and postcards.
And then there was a massive commotion. Heinrich, even though he was an aristocrat von Stephan, received a lot of accusations of the obscenity of the proposal. Respectable German burghers will not carry out personal correspondence on an open sheet under any circumstances.
However, people liked the idea, and within three years it was picked up and creatively reinterpreted by simple Prussian booksellers Friedlein and Padrubitz. Being guys who are not blue bloods at all, they offered their own version of postcards in the form of cards with a place for the address and already printed standard blanks. The sender simply had to emphasize the necessary phrase in order for the message to be received by the addressee. For example, 'The sender has arrived safely' or 'Congratulations on a happy event'. However, their innovation did not receive proper support.

In the end, the palm in this matter went to practical Austria. It was the Austrian post Office that supported the idea of Emmanuel Hermann, Professor of Economics at the Higher Technical School of Vienna. He proposed to reduce the cost of postal items by being able to send a short message on a small open card. The number of words in this case should not exceed 20.
Of course, in order for someone to sit and count the number of characters on the card, you had to hire an army of officials. For an additional payment, of course, which would hit the pocket of the users themselves and would nullify the whole point of the cheapness of such cards. Therefore, the post office of Austria decided that on a piece of paper measuring 9×14 cm, you will not be particularly overclocked and you will not write too much, and took a bold idea to develop without limiting the amount of writing.

Already on October 1, 1869, the world's first correspondent card went on sale at the Vienna post office. It looked rather restrained: on a sheet of thick paper, the image of the national coat of arms of Austria-Hungary was applied, several lines were drawn to write the address. In the upper right corner was an image of a postage stamp with a value of 2 kreutzer.
Despite the unsightly appearance, the idea of simplifying, and, most importantly, reducing the cost of postal items fell to the heart of the Austrians. And in the first couple of months, more than 3 million such open emails were sold!

To decorate the boring look of a postcard, some craftsmen provided a written message with a drawing (in the subject or just like that). It is said that the soldiers were the first to implement this idea during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. Whether this is true or not is not known for certain. However, this idea appealed to the merchants, and they got down to business.
The further evolution of the appearance turned the standard postcard into a real work of art. Initially, manufacturers began to decorate the post card with views of cities, memorable or resort places.
Soon they appeared reproductions of paintings, photographs, portraits, posters, and even advertising. Thus, commerce made full use of the rich potential provided by the popular and inexpensive types of mail available to the general public-postcards.
The rare, original types of postcards include wonderful illustrations by famous artists. What are only fabulous and, at the same time, cute and realistic postcards Elizabeth Boehm or the charming, recognizable faces of the heroes Vladimir Zarubin!
To date, the process of improving postcards has reached its apogee, resulting in their digital counterparts. You can, as before, send a postcard to the post office, but you need to download it and specify the e-mail. Perhaps in the near future, this procedure will already seem hopelessly outdated, and you can send greetings in a completely different way. They will be replaced, for example, by holograms or teleportation, and then the philocartists will have more work to do!
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