How old is my postcard?

Not many postcards seem to have a date of publishing printed on them. However in some countries, the cost of mailing the card is printed in the stamp space. For the USA, here’s a helpful guide that can give you some idea of how old that tatty vintage card in your collection really is:

I’m sure a similar guide for the UK could be found online. What about your country? Can you always tell how old your cards are?


Of course, sometimes people are kind enough to help us out with the date, for example:

I love finding treasures like this from 106 years ago!

What old cards have you got in your collection?

Edit to add:
I only just noticed that this card actually has the date (1913) on the front. Like I said elsewhere, I really have no clue what’s going on!


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could be that the photo is for 1913 and the card printed (or bought?) 1914.
Things do take a while those days, as it takes quite a bit of resources to print out postcards.
And that’s why the postcards varieties are in definite numbers (like stamps).
Publisher XYZ, card no 1234 (example). And there’s probably just 2-3 publishers per area.

I agree the message seems to be that it was written on in 1914
I love the postcards that have the year they were printed on the back somewhere, or has the date written when sent.
Especially now with so many ways to print postcards most aren’t dated.

In my country we sometimes had the price of postcard in square for stamp. That is sometimes good for determining the age…

And that is mostly because we had planned economy for 5 years. So for example I got a pack of 100 postcards with price 1 Kčs(Czechoslovakian crown). That’s price in my mother childhood, so around 70’s! I wonder what’s their value now!? Her co-worker have whole box of those 100 postcard packs!

But finding the age postcards is lovely indeed!


I am thinking the postcard picture was painted or drawn in 1913…

But that’s a really cool postcard!!

A year printed on the front lower corner of the postcard from
over 100 years ago will be the copyright date. A store might
have had it on display for a while. (former eBay postcard dealer)

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Very helpful! Found a few from before 1928! I do love a vintage postcard.

There are LOTS of references around explaining the date/era of vintage cards. There are “divided back” and “undivided back” cards… before they divided the back for a place to write, you were not allowed to write on the backs! Address and postage ONLY!

Sometimes the postage rate is printed in the corner, which helps to date the card as well.

More info can be found HERE ------

… and also here ---------

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Here is an example of a card from the era where you were not allowed to write anything but the address on the “address” side


Thanks for those resources - any idea what the post office did with those who dared to write on the back? It doesn’t say on the website. It makes me laugh, not allowing that and then finally getting international agreement that it was okay on the left hand side. So ridiculous eh?

I just started collecting vintage cards about a week ago. I had found some cards from the 30’s and 40’s in a box of my late mother’s things, and became interested. Since my main passion is birding, I decided to focus on early 1900’s bird cards. Here are my first three cards. The bittern I bought online, the other two I found at the local flea market. I looked at the link you posted and my pelican card was posted in Feb 1919 so needed 2 cent stamp rather than the 1 cent later in the year.