Production of postcards blossomed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As an easy and quick way for individuals to communicate, they became extremely popular.
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A real photo postcard (RPPC) is a continuous-tone photographic image printed on postcard stock. The term recognizes a distinction between the real photo process and the lithographic or offset printing processes employed in the manufacture of most postcard images.
Real photo postcards may or may not have a white border, or a divided back, or other features of postcards, depending on the paper the photographer used.
The last and current postcard era, which began about 1939, is the “chrome” era, a shortened version of Photochrom. However these types of cards did not begin to dominate until about 1950 (partially due to war shortages during WWII). The images on these cards are generally based on colored photographs, and are readily identified by the glossy appearance given by the paper’s coating. These still photographs made the invisible visible, the unnoticed noticed, the complex simple and the simple complex. The power of the still photograph forms symbolic structures and make the image a reality.