June 9, 2013

Finest Hour 141, Winter 2008-09

Page 60

Churchilliana – Churchill on Postcards

The most “carded” politician of his time?

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Picture postcards appeared in Britain in 1894 and quickly became as popular for communications as email is today. In the early days the cost of postage in Britain was a halfpenny (equal to about 0.1 of a current penny) and only the address could be written on the reverse. Messages were written above, below, or even on the picture; blank space was often provided for this. Picture postcards caught on, became a craze, then a cult. Collecting postcards became a significant hobby, rivalling and possibly even surpassing postage stamps, which had a fifty-year head-start. The pastime is known as Deltiology and has spread across the world. Most collectors specialise in a particular subject, and one of the most popular is Winston Churchill. These examples are from the collection of the editor and late Douglas Hall, former FH features editor, who first wrote about Churchill postcards in Finest Hour 86, Spring 1995.

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