Bamforth Postcards
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Original postcards were 5 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches (139.7 x 88.9 mm) and first appeared in the USA where its official recognition by the U.S. post office was enshrined in a statue on the 27th February 1861; the postcards at that time had the address on one side and a printed message or advertisement on the other; the postcards were not designed for the sender to be able to add a personal message; the use of postcards spread to Europe and elsewhere.

From about 1870 it became the general practise to use postcards that bore a picture, sometimes with a margin added for the sender to write something on; on the 1st September 1894 the GPO authorised the postage of postcards in Britain, at a rate of less than the normal letter post; a later revision of the GPO Regulations in 1902 permitted the reverse side to be divided into a space for a message and the address; the scale of the postcard business at the time was substantial, with the GPO handling over 400 million postcards a year by 1900.

Today a postcard must be rectangular, between (90 by 140) mm and (105 by 148) mm in size, with the larger side at least 1.414 times the shorter side; the corners may be either square or rounded to a maximum radius of 10mm; the standard thickness being between 230 to 250 micrometers; the material must be of ordinary cardboard or paper, but can be embellished with cloth, embroidery, spangles or similar materials; the right hand half of one side to be reserved for the name and address of the recipient and the heading POSTCARD must be shown.

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