Collecting postcards (deltiology) is a very popular hobby.  In 1871 the first known postcard, with a picture, was sent in Vienna, as a souvenir.  In 1872 Great Britain sent the first advertising card.  These images increased during the 1880's.

In the beginning the U.S. government would not allow private companies to call their cards "postcards", so they were known as "souvenir cards".  They had to be labeled "private mailing cards".  This was changed in 1901, private companies could use the word "postcard".  The cards did not have a divided back and you could only write on the front.  In 1907 you became able to write on the back and the divided back was allowed.

Postcards became very popular after the Columbian Exposition, in Chicago 1893.   Cards featuring buildings were given out at the fair.  In 1908 over 677 million were mailed.

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