Before the First World War, postcards served as very important memorabilia. They were used to share personal news, arrange appointments, or pass on messages of love—though thankfully, there was very little of the trolling we all have to endure today.
The production of photographic erotic postcards boomed during the War years, and this was one of the government’s ways to keep their men ‘happy’ or give them reasons for fighting — some sexy young French women posed together with the Hun, or whatever. Most of them were produced in France, and once there was a moniker “French postcards” which applied to all erotic postcards, whether they were made in France or not.
After the War, these naughty French postcard were still popular. This popularity offered some young women some independence and an easy way to make a quick franc or three. There is a genuine innocence about these photographs of young women flashing a white thigh above stocking top, or posing nude like a Greek goddesses, or playacting as a saucy French maid, which make them far more erotic than the bare-all, gynecological pictures of today’s cynical world of porn.