Many people think that a postcard is a simple rectangular piece of paper which is used to send messages. The difference between a standard letter and a postcard is that the latter can be sent without envelops. The actual history of postcards is not that long, in fact. The very first postcard was made in the
A little later (1901), a card with the actual word "Postcard" appeared for the first time. Still, messages were only allowed on the front side of the card, while the back side was used for the address. That is why this period in postcards history is called "undivided back".
The "divided back" period in history of postcards started in 1907. At that time, cards that allowed special space for messages on the back side came into use in the
In 1916, the so-called "white border" era of postcards started (the name came from the look of the cards, because they had a white border around the picture) with the "linen card" era coming after it in 1930. The use of linen cards allowed emphasizing brighter colors. Around 1940, the last era in the postcards history began. This period lasted till modern days and is called the "photochrome" (or simply "chrome") era. That technology allowed to print photos on greeting cards, so, different sorts of sights greeting cards came into wide use.
Today the technology allows making almost any imaginable postcard, so, there is a huge variety of different souvenir postcards. That is why the souvenir greeting cards became part of a new hobby, so, many people started to collect them. The number of available souvenir greeting cards is enormous and it's getting bigger each day. That makes collecting souvenir greeting cards a very fascinating hobby.
One can find many web sites dedicated to souvenir greeting cards in the Internet. There are personal web pages of souvenir greeting cards collectors. There you can check out different souvenir greeting cards collections and talk to other collectors. One can also exchange or sell rare postcards on special postcards forums. Information presented on these web sites can also help you navigate in a huge diversity of presently available souvenir greeting cards.
Collecting postcards is an interesting hobby that can bring a lot of fun. But that is also a great investment. There are rare old postcards that cost a lot of money. Indeed a well composed collection can be very expensive. But you do not necessarily have to collect antique postcards - start with the modern greeting cards. You can find many of them elsewhere - in bookstores, gift shops, museums, etc. Also, you may ask your friends to bring postcards from countries they are traveling to.
Thus, the only thing you need is to get started with. This hobby will easily take all your spare time. Try it and you will definitely love it.