Postcard 'Eras' in the UK? Dating cards

Welcome to the board, for discussion on all aspects of the hobby. You'll need to register to post but this only takes a few seconds and gives you access to more of the features and options available. Please read the the HOW to REGISTER article first. thanks

Moderator: MichaelDay

Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:47 pm

Postcard 'Eras' in the UK? Dating cards

Post by BobG »

Hi, I'm new to the world of postcard collecting. I’m setting up a software database for cataloguing the 2500 Welsh/Wales postcards that I have. The area that I'm struggling with, and I'm sure it's the same with everyone when starting out, if accurate dating of the postcards. I'm getting there, I think!

I've just discovered on two separate USA postcard collecting websites a means of dating using 'Eras' (see below). This makes huge sense to me, and it seems to have solved my problem. However, I've not come across this means of date-classifying on any UK/GB postcard collecting website. Obviously, the dates of the eras wouldn’t match exactly with those in the UK/GB, but presumably it’s close.

I’d be interested in hearing member’s views on this.

Bob, Swansea, UK

Pioneer Era (1873 - 1898)
Private Mailing Card Era (1898 - 1901)
Undivided Back Era (1901 - 1907)
Divided Back Era (1907 - 1914)
White Border Era (1915 - 1930)
Linen Era (1930 - 1944)
Photochrome Era (1945 - Present)

User avatar
Posts: 555
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:10 pm

Re: Postcard 'Eras' in the UK? Dating cards

Post by eastlondonpostcard »

In the UK the postcard scene emerged in a slightly different way ... a potted history can be found here:

Early, Court and Undivided-back postcards were produced up to 1902. After that date regulations allowed a 'divided' back postcard to be sent in the post, and from 1902 to 1918 it was considered the 'Golden Age' for postcards in the UK. After 1918 the postage rate was doubled which virtually killed the enthusiasm and production of postcards, causing many publishers to disappear.

Postcards collecting continued however up to the 2nd World War, when a lot of the early records were destroyed. It was never the same as the 'Golden Age though. A revival during the 1960s/70s sparked a new 'modern' age for the postcard as we know it today.

Here is a useful link to the postcard postage rates in the UK up to 1968 when the separate postcard rate ceased to be used ... ... tcards.php

Dating postcards knowing the postage rates is one way, but the real clues are by knowing the publisher/their style and when they were in operation. This is harder to achieve without great research and there are many groups out there doing just that.

Knowing printing styles and when they were in use can also contribute to dating a particular postcard.

Like all things knowledge is the key, there is no easy answer!

Best luck!
~ send it on a Postcard please ~

Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:47 pm

Re: Postcard 'Eras' in the UK? Dating cards

Post by BobG »

Many thanks for the kind reply. I am working hard on this! Thank you, Bob

Post Reply