Put unique and delicious recipes on high-quality postcards, and you’ve got potentially powerful promotional materials that can connect you with your audience in brand new ways. Here are five ideas for five different industries on how you can go about using this idea.
In 1861, the first copyright for a postcard in the US was issued to John P. Charlton of Philadelphia. Later in 1873, the US Government issued it's first postal card, but it was not until the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in 1893 when full color postcards were sold as souvenirs. A card from a series of 12 published by Charles W. Goldsmith is shown below. These cards were printed on printed stamped government postals, with one side reserved for the address only.
"An Act of Congress May 19, 1898" authorized private printers and publishers to produce their own postcards. The actual production date of July 1, 1898 marked the end of the Pioneer Era and beginning of the Private Mailing Card (PMC) Era. Most of the PMCs were souvenir cards, and early "greetings from" types. Shown below is a PMC published by the Mt. Tom Railroad in Holyoke, Mass. showing the railroad line going up the mountain to the resort there to view the Connecticut River Valley. Again, only the address was allowed on the stamp side, and space was left around the image for any message from the sender. The "Private Mailing Card" logo can be found in many varied styles.
The use of the word POST CARD/POSTCARD (as one or two words) was authorized by the government to private printers to replace the Private Mailing Card wording on December 24, 1901. Writing was still not permitted on the address side, so as seen in the card below, space was still left around the image for a message from the sender. The card below was published in 1905 by the Rotograph Co. and shows a Scene at Lake Kenosha, Danbury, Conn. Addressed to Cora B. Hall, the message reads simply, "Hello Cora."
Finally, on March 1, 1907, postcards with a divided back were permitted. The address, and the message were now on the same side, allowing for the image to take up the entire front. Most cards were printed in Germany, and the lithography processes there were so advanced that most cards from this period are spectacular. Postcard sending and collecting became a mania, and this collecting frenzy was only slowed by WWI which cut off the supply of the quality produced cards from Germany. Every home had its postcard albums, and communication by postcard was "the norm." One card in my collection was mailed in the AM to a distant friend saying, "I will arrive on the 4PM train, please meet me." Oh, yes, reliable mail delivery was more than once a day!!! The unused , divided back card below shows "The World Famed View from The Catskill Mountain House, NY.
New printing processes in this country allowed printing on postcards with a high rag content giving the card a textured feel and allowing the use of bright printing dyes. Inexpensive to produce, these cards were very popular with roadside establishments for advertising, and document the development of the American roadside. The linen card to the left is the quintessential linen view (in my opinion) showing the Trylon and Perisphere - the theme of the 1939 New York World's Fair, and the hope for the future.
What's Up For Grabs?
Free postcard printing! Specifically, full color offset printing of 4″ x 6″ postcards on premium, 14 pt. glossy card stock, on both sides. One grand prize winner will get 500 postcards, and three others will get 200 postcards each.
This giveaway is open to US residents only! You have to be 18 or above to enter.
What To Do To Win!
•Blog about this contest, and link back to this post! You can simply tell your readers the details of this contest, or better yet, add details on why you deserve to win. Post an image of the postcard photo or design you want to print, tell everyone about your last postcard printing experience with Digital Room, or go into a story about a unique experience with postcards in general. (If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, check out the resources we’ve listed!) The more interesting your post is, the better your chances of winning!
•Once your post is live, leave a comment on this post with a link back to your published post.
•Promote this contest with us, on Twitter (please include your tweet in the #giveaway trending topic), social bookmarks, blog networks and the like.
•Leave the links proving you’ve promoted this contest via comments on this post; you can link to them all in one comment or through several. It’s the number of times and/or ways that you’ve promoted the contest that we’ll be counting, not the number of times you’ve left us comments.
•Your cumulative score (blog post quality + promotion efforts) will be tallied by our blog team and compared to the other contest entrants’ entries. Once we decide on the grand prize winner and the three other lucky winners, we’ll publish another post announcing the results!
We’ll be running this contest until August 18, 2010, 11:59 pm PDT. There’s not that much time left, so hurry and start making your awesome postcard-inspired post – and remember to subscribe to the Digital Room Blog before you go!
Disclosure: I received no monetary compensation for this post. I have a chance to win like everyone else who posts.