American Postcard Chronology: Undivided Back (1901-07)

Figure 1.--Postcards in the early-20th century hd undivided backs. This boy in a Buster Brown tunic suit hd his prtrait taken in 1907. Notice the large collar and bow and the double-bar sandals. Page boy bangs are associated with this outfit of course because of Buster Brown himself. Put your cursor on the image to see the undivided back.

The Government had a major impact on the postcard industry. The cards were normally mailed through the U.S. Post Office. Thus postal regulations had a major impact on the industry. The Post Office on December 24, 1901, gave permission for use of the wording "Post Card" to be imprinted on the backs of privately printed cards. All cards during this era had undivided backs of privately printed cards and only the address was to appear on the back. The message, therefore, had to be written on the front (picture side) of the card. For this reason, there is writing on the face of many cards. As a result, collectors often call PMCs and the type of post cards that came just after withoutthe PMC inscription as "undivided backs". There was no vertical dividing lines on the backs of these cards. The Post Office was very strict. So as not to cinfuse mail sorters, only the address the card was to be sent to was allowed. Postal regulations did not pemit the return address or message written on the back.


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Created: 1:31 AM 4/3/2008
Last updated: 1:31 AM 4/3/2008