The first postcard

The earliest known picture postcard was a hand-painted design on card, posted in Fulham in London to the writer Theodore Hook in the mid-19th century. It bore a Penny Black stamp. It has been suggested that Theodore created and posted the card to himself as a practical joke on the postal service, as the image was a caricature of workers in the post office. In 2002, the postcard sold for a record £31,750.

Postcards were more widely used when a special rate of 1/2 penny was introduced in 1870. Over 75 million were posted in the first full year and 575,000 went through the London Chief Office on the first day, 1 October 1870.

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