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New York City is the most common subject matter for souvenir cards of this period, no doubt due to its high concentration of printers.
Firsts in postcard history have changed hands a few times during the study of this period as new cards come to light.
By the time postcards were introduced this tradition of privately exchanging holiday cards by hand was so ingrained that few ever even thought of mailing them.
Visiting family and friends during important holidays was also part of expected social obligations until the early 20th century, so spending money for postage often seemed a waste.
These cards often used the phrase Expect Me or Will Call on them.
Most surviving examples were used for advertising that qualified for a special one-cent rate.
The entire backsides of many early cards are completely covered with advertising.
The expanding use of postcards for advertising was in large part due to the rural nature of our large country.
While some feel this era begins with the popularization of exposition cards issued at Chicago’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, a more appropriate date would be at issuance of the U. There was no system of national distribution during these years.
Whether it was for advertising or souvenirs, cards were printed for a local audience and for the most part by local printers.
The attractiveness of chromolithography in a largely black & white world cannot be underestimated in enhancing the demand for collectibles.