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Pretty as a picture postcard.

WE have been writing "wish you were here" on picture postcards for more than a century, and now the Royal Mail is celebrating this great holiday tradition with a fascinating online gallery.

It features postcards sent from the First World War trenches, as well as the early saucy seaside favourites.

The first postcard is thought to have been sent as a joke against the postal service by Theodore Hook in 1840.

The idea took off 30 years later and between 1905 and 1915 more than 750 million postcards were sent every year.

Royal Mail's Stephen Agar, said: "It is fascinating that what started out as a practical joke is now a part of the fabric of summer holidays."

See the gallery at:


1920 Amy Sowerby designed a Peter Pan series of Postcard for the Little Ones

1915 First World War censors obliterated the place name on this card from trenches

1914 Sent from the front line, this shows a homesick soldier before battle

1913 Putting the boot into suffragettes, who had set mail boxes alight in fight for vote

1840 The first postcard was a hand-painted caricature of postal workers. Stamped with a Penny Black, it was sent to Theodore Hook in Fulham, South West London, possibly by Hook himself as a practical joke. In 2002, it sold at auction for PS32,000

1937 Colourful and cheeky postcards like this soon became a big part of the Great British seaside holiday tradition

1950s Two patriotic elephants promise a warm welcome to anyone willing to pack their trunk and head to the UK

1912 This picture showing area around Vocklamarkt in Austria is a photochrom which is based on a drawing

1940 "Bonzo" card designed by George Studdy

1930s Colourful comic images made postcards hugely popular after the First World War and by the early 1930s sales hit 16 million a year, making it a "golden age" of the genre

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 28, 2017
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