Postcards have long been popular as an inexpensive way to communicate with loved ones, commemorate travel, or see world landmarks without leaving home.
The earliest known post card was printed in England in 1870; in the early years, most post cards were issued by government postal agencies. It wasn't until the United States Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act in 1898--allowing private publishers to print postcards, which would then have a stamp affixed for mailing--that postcards entered the mainstream as a popular means of communication. Initially, consumers were only permitted to write an address on the back of a postcard; it was not until 1907 that "divided back" postcards were authorized by the United States Post Office.
The period between 1898 and 1918 is considered the "Golden Age of Postcards." Most postcards were manufactured by high quality printers in Germany and Austria; World War I shifted the production of many cards to the United States, where quality diminished.
Deltiology is the collecting and study of postcards, and has been a popular past-time since their inception. Margaret "Peg" Ziperman collected postcards throughout her life, both to document her travels and postcards of places she had never been. She was a longtime resident and active community member in San Antonio. Mrs. Ziperman continued to add postcards to the library's collection until her death in 2017 at the age of 102.