How to Identify and Date Postcards

1894 is the year that most individuals were first allowed to send postcards in Ireland and Great Britain - and there fore that is our starting point. Some of the postcards in this collection have been sent in the post and are relatively easy to identify and date.

They contain the following:

  • Postage Stamp & Postage Rate
  • Town, Date and Time of stamping in the postmark

Only after 1901 can postcards contain a written message, as no messages were allowed on the back of the card, only details of the address to which they were being sent.

In January 1902 the back of the postcard was divided in two:

  • on the left side, a space for a message
  • on the right, space for the address.

The information provided on the card by the manufacturer is always prominent and with a little bit of research it should be possible to establish the period the manufacturer was in business. A postcard picture itself can be revealing. Buildings, streets layout contemporary detail etc. combined with local knowledge can help pinpoint the date of a postcard.

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