Collections Carousel: A Brief History of Easter Postcards

The history of sending Easter postcards began in the late 19th century. From 1901 to 1907, the postal service would only allow an address and stamp on the back of the card with the front of the card being reserved for symbols, scenery, buildings and perhaps a very short, message to the recipient.

However, according to the Smithsonian Institution Archives, “on June 13, 1907, the Postmaster-General issued Order No. 539, which allowed government-produced postcards to hold messages on the left half of the address side. These changes to the backs of postcards ushered in the Divided Back Period, which spans from 1907 until 1915.

Again, the front of the card was reserved for pictures, motifs and imagery, and in the case of Easter postcards, this imagery often included lambs, rabbits, eggs, and chicks.

Though postcards are still in use today, the postcard era was gradually ushered out with the coming of Hallmark in 1910 and their development of inexpensive cards with customized envelopes.

Looking for something to do on Good Friday? We’re open! Come in and see our small collection of Easter postcards and cards dating from 1907 to 1955.


Greetings from The Smithsonian: A Postcard History. Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Stamped Cards and Postcards. About USPS Home. United States Postal Service.

History of Postcards. World Postcard Day.

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