Cards with messages have been mailed since the creation of the postal service. Many of us have sent postcards to our loved ones from vacations or just a quick note to say hello.
A postcard is traditionally a rectangular piece of thick paper or cardboard intended for mailing without an envelope.
The earliest known picture postcard comes from the 19th century, hand-painted by writer Theodore Hook in 1840. In the US, John P. Carlton patented the postal card and produced the first commercial cards in 1861.
Over the course of the 19th century, postcards gained additional popularity among all social classes. They were a convenient, inexpensive and attractive means of correspondence.