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Postcard Rates 1870-1968


d vermilion used on the first day for which the
postcard rate could be paid with adhesive stamps

The postcard -- an open card that could be used to send a short message, at a concessionary postal rate -- was first introduced in Austria-Hungary in 1869. The British Post Office adopted the idea the following year at the same time as the introduction of the halfpenny book post.

Initially the only permissible cards were the pre-stamped postal stationery sold by the Post Office, but stamped to order postal stationery cards were allowed from 1872, and ordinary cards franked with adhesives from 1st September 1894 provided that they were of similar dimensions to the official cards (the allowable dimensions are given below).

Postcards as a special class of inland mail were subsumed into the two-tier post system from 16th September 1968.

Date Rate Min size Max size Date Rate Min size Max size
1870
(1 Oct)
d 1899
(1 Nov)
d 3¼" x 2¼" 5½" x 3½"
1906
(1 Nov)
d 4" x 2¾" 5½" x 3½" 1918
(3 Jun)
1d 4" x 2¾" 5½" x 3½"
1921
(13 Jun)
1d 4" x 2¾" 5½" x 3½" 1922
(29 May)
1d 4" x 2¾" 5½" x 3½"
1925
(1 Oct)
1d 4" x 2¾" 57/8" x 41/8" 1940
(1 May)
2d 4" x 2¾" 57/8" x 41/8"
1957
(1 Oct)
2d 4" x 2¾" 57/8" x 41/8" 1965
(17 May)
3d 4" x 2¾" 57/8" x 41/8"