National Geographic : 2008 Jun
CULTURE Very old-style postcard: image and message on front. CQRRSPOND CF PjGA er L2 S9' r~ed~ -!~~hc~z } nAME aLNQO AflfR i I1ERp Postal Modern It's such a cliche: "I'll send you a postcard!" But a century ago the cards carried more than just vacation greetings. They were the almost-instant messages of their time. Back then, letter carriers made up to seven deliveries a day in big cities like New York. Correspondents asked about health, made dinner plans, and pursued sweethearts. "Why don't you write?" one young Colorado woman demanded of her beau (who ended up marrying another). On early cards, addresses were on one side, and the missives went on the picture. Then in 1907 the "divided back" debuted in the U.S .: Address and message shared the flip side so images weren't sullied with scrawl. This is the card folks use today, and use it they do. Last year Americans sent over two billion postcards. - Catherine L.Barker PHOTOS:MARTHACOOPERCOLLECTION New in 1907: printing a little line so notes could go on back.