Postcard made of....

Postcards were printed on various qualities of card (board). With smooth surface, others rough, some stock heavier, photo paper etc. Then people began to experiment. Postcards on picture (or both) sides received a (printed) wood imitation look, or cotton, silk etc.

But why only printed imitation or thin coated some creative person thought? Suddenly postcards were “printed” on leather (guess mainly in the USA), on thin, lightweight or even quite solid piece of wood, metal, or card made by peat, plastic and so on. Some creations were not long around, or mailing without envelope was prohibited by postal authorities. A problem was often to transfer the image onto the material. Most designs are quite simple done because of technical limitations, sometimes hand painted.


This view with Ships on the Sea from Russia was printed on lightweight wood, very thin but quite flexible. The picture was somehow printed in deep black ink. The address side however, was imprinted by manually using a rubber stamp. This is the only sample I have seen for many, many years. Any more around?


This is another lightweight wood card, same make as above card. With ‘Postkarte’ rubberstamped. Not p/u.

> From Hungary comes this heavier wooden postcard with carefully hand painted flowers. The card is about 2 mm thick and weighs 13 g. Original size: 90 x 150 mm. The message is dated 1914. The word ‘Postcard’ in Hungarian language is found on the other side as well as an address, but no stamp; was mailed inside envelope. Likely a more individual, small number series.


Unusual material for postcards was nothing in old times only. Advertising and promotion campaigns led to some interesting ‘postcard-like’ items. The beer brewery Wolters from Braunschweig issued this Easter greeting card (signed HIM) in the 1960’s.

The card has a typical ppc address side layout. To be mailed under letter postage rate or as postcard. Theis card is more than 2 mm thick and made of beer mat material. What else?


There might be many more interesting cards done of different material around. But I fear most were produced in small number only. Finally three samples demonstrating clearly the problem of practical use. Irish firms tried to use peat paper/card for postcard production.  Postcards printed on aluminium were a novelty but surely not a best-seller.

This card demonstrates that the image, although monochrome only, does not come out well, but as the address side is of same look, the card not suitable for writing. Simply too dark. Other series are better done, with the (coloured) image being printed separately and then affixed on peat card.

O’Connels Monument, Sackville Street, Dublin.

Published by: The Irish Paper Agency, Dublin. Not. p/u


High Tide, Blackpool.

No publisher mentioned. B/w halftone printed on postcard size aluminium sheet. At top of address side it reads: ‘This card MUST be sent under cover only’. Think this card was produced before 1914.

The metallic look of this card cannot be reproduced correctly unfortunately.

The peat as well as the aluminium card come both from the collection of David Bailey. Thank you!


Sample number 3 is a postcard of French production and made of thick but flexible plastic material. Greeting type with some decorative elements and flower basket glued onto picture side. Something at bottom of the card was removed or fell off. Postally used in 1907. Address side imprint rather faint and blurred. But appears to had been mailed as postcard, not inside letter.

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