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Alabama postcards

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-3715

Scope and Contents

The collection contains postcards showing a variety of places in Alabama, including Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Huntsville, Cheaha State Park, and Mobile.

Dates

  • 1918-1970s

Biographical / Historical

A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope. The first American postcard was developed in 1873 by the Morgan Envelope Factory of Springfield, Massachusetts. Later in 1873, Post Master John Creswell introduced the first pre-stamped "penny postcards". These first postcards depicted Interstate Industrial Exposition that took place in Chicago. The first postcard to be printed as a souvenir in the United States was created in 1893 to advertise the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Originally the Post Office was the only establishment allowed to print postcards, and it held its monopoly until May 19, 1898, when Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act, which allowed private publishers and printers to produce postcards. This prohibition was rescinded on December 24, 1901. At that time postcards were allowed to have a "divided back" where the back is divided into two sections, the left section being used for the message and the right for the address. Thus began the Golden Age of American postcards, which lasted until 1915, when World War I blocked the import of the fine German-printed cards.

Postcards became very popular as a result of the Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893, after postcards featuring buildings were distributed at the fair. In 1908, more than 677 million postcards were mailed.

Extent

0.05 Linear Feet (postcards)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Postcards showing a variety of places in Alabama, including Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery.

Provenance

gift of Jeremy Butler, 2012

General

To provide faster access to our materials, this finding aid was published without formal and final review. Email us at archives@ua.edu if you find mistakes or have suggestions to make this finding aid more useful for your research.

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2013

Source

Title
Guide to the Alabama postcards
Status
Coll Lvl Complete
Date
June 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266
205.348.0500