The Austrian Postal Administration authorized the world’s first Correspondz Karte on October 1st, 1869. These Triumphs of democracy were popular enough to generate three million sales in three months time. Correspondence cards had been a suggestion of Dr. Emanuel Hermann who sought a cheep way for soldiers to write home. When the Franco Prussian War broke out a year later, the Prussians issued their own Fieldpost cards with much success. That same year Switzerland, Luxembourg, Baden, Bavaria, and Great Britain joined in. Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Canada issued cards in 1871, followed by Russia, Chile, France, and Algeria in 1872. France, Serbia, Romania, Spain, and Japan issued cards in 1873 along with the United States. By 1874 Serbia, Romania, and Italy also began to issue postals. Many of these early cards included small images printed on the same side with the postage.
Debated for years, President Grant finally authorized postals in 1872, and on May 12th, 1873, the United States Government released our first official postcard. The words Postal Card were printed on its back along with a one-cent denomination. Only government issued cards were allowed to use in the words Postal Card by law. The side with postage was designated exclusively for the address, the other side for the message. Beginning in 1875 these blank cards were available for purchase in large uncut sheets, and they were aquired by many private firms who printed across their fronts. Postals proved to be successful for they were soon selling at the rate of a million per day. Prior to 1893 these cards were almost always used for advertising with a rare few used as greeting cards. Although postage rates have since increased substantially these cards with pre-printed postage are still in use. Their printed postage, once confined to presidential portraits, eventually became more varied in design to attract stamp collectors.
Use the link below for a more compleate history of this period.