'On the Cards'


This is a small assemblage of miscellaneous material, originally written up (to the best of my recollection) for the Wessex Federation postal history competition, and then used as a demonstration for the GBPS displays section.

Great Britain Card Post - Surcharges and other unusual treatments of post cards


A special rate for "Post Cards" was first introduced in Britain on 1st October 1870, in response to the successful experiment in Austria-Hungary the year before. The advantage to the Post Office was that the cards were small, light, and easy to handle; the advantage to the public was that the postage charged was only d instead of 1d. They rapidly became very popular for sending short messages, acknowledgments, trade flyers, and so forth. When agreements were reached within the UPU for international postcards, the savings were even more marked - by the turn of the century the rate had settled down to 1d for a card as against 2d for a letter. The original cards were items of postal stationery; once the use of adhesive stamps on the public's own cards was allowed in 1894, they became ubiquitous. From around the turn of the century pictorial cards became a popular craze.

  1. Cash on Delivery - surcharges on unpaid and underpaid cards
  2. The Card and Nothing But The Card - surcharges on cards with "extras"
  3. Size Does Matter - treatment of oversized and undersized cards
  4. Things To Do With a Postcard - miscellaneous unusual treatments


Frame 1

  1. Introduction
  2. Surcharges on Unpaid Postcards
  3. Surcharges on Underpaid Postcards - Inland
  4. Surcharges on Underpaid Postcards - Overseas
  5. No Stamps Available
  6. Attachments to Post Cards
  7. How Thin is "Thin"?
  8. Glitter Cards
  9. Surcharges on Oversized Postcards
  10. Exceeds Limits of Size (by a long way)
  11. Novelty "Post Cards"
  12. Right Stamps, Wrong Country
  13. Stamped Front and Back
  14. Misdirected Postcards
  15. Making Sure of Delivery
  16. Official Generosity