* 1905 was an important year for Australian postcard writers – it was the year when the divided back was introduced and message s could be written on the verso.
Rentoul Outhwaite’s contribution is well summarised in an entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.
Once again we look at an extract from the exhibition, Cabinets of Wonder. EP’s display was chiefly of postcards published up until WW1.
EP : I had always kept postcards that were sent to me. When I met my husband Ken, I spent
time with him visiting antique markets because he was a toy soldier collector. Ken also
looked at postcards for pictures of uniforms. I started to collect some postcards while Ken
was looking through them. When I think about it my appetite had been whetted when I was
young as the local library in Malden, Surrey where I lived, had a wonderful exhibition of
early postcards of the area.
The postcard developed from a non-personal card (on one side the address, on the other the
message). The idea although reluctantly accepted by postal authorities took off and raised
unexpectedly high revenue. The postcards were popular for their novelty value; cards were kept; soon albums were sold and a hobby developed.
When governments began to legislate so that messages could be written on the divided back
of the card, the usefulness of the postcard increased.
The Oilette series, first issued in 1903 depicted painted views and also came in sets. These were Tuck’s most popular cards. In 1905 they began producing many scenes from all over the many colonies of the British Empire in the Wide Wide World series, a name taken from a popular book set. These cards were printed through the tricolor process in England. (From the Metropolitan Postcard Club’s website.)
To read more about Tuck, whose first postcards were published in 1899. There is an interesting and short history of Tuck founder and company achievement. The artist is acknowledged and it appears to be A.H. Fulwood but no information can be located about the artist in a very quick search.
German printers led the way with quality images. In Australia, German printers were kept
out of the market during WW1. The same war saw a marked increase in the use of the
postcard to send home portrait postcards and other novelty cards from Europe.
Source: Rickards, Maurice The Encyclopedia of Ephemera 2000.
Further reading: Cook, David Picture Postcards in Australia 1898-1920 (Lilydale, Vic.
Pioneer Design Studio) 198
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