Friday, October 19, 2012

The New Real Photo Post Cards?

Real Photo Postcards, or RPPC, are photos that were made into postcards. Around 1905 Kodak introduced a camera that could print out photos on a postcard back. This meant that people could send postcards of whatever they wanted.  RPPC's continued to be used into the 1950's. Some RPPCs can be very collectible because often the image was only taken or printed once. The period between 1903 and 1920 was a fertile time for postcard sending and there are many unique, surprising and sometimes mundane RPPC's out there from this time for people like me to collect.

A Real Photo Postcard from around 1910.

Nowadays people rarely send postcards. And even less of them keep them for years or lifetimes. Why would you when the image is a generic shot of a skyline? It isn't like it used to be when each postcard was a little piece of personal history with a stamp on the back.

However, now with the new technologies of smart phones we can send postcards right from our phone. You can send it right after the picture's taken or while your still away on vacation. There are probably a number of apps for this purpose, but I'm gonna just mention the one I've used, Postagram. The app is free and the cost to send a postcard is $1.99 (it may be 99 cents now according to the site). You buy credits for something like $10.00 and then you have them ready to send postcards whenever you want without having to enter payment information. Make sure you pre-load your address book. I gotta say it's pretty cool.

You choose your pic from your phone and then through the app you write your message. Postagram then prints and sends the postcard out. It takes about a week depending how far you are from their processing facility.

Last month when I was at the coast I got a chance to use this feature for the first time. The second night we were there while we all watched an old movie I sent postcards of some pictures I took while laying on the beach earlier that day. I sent them to a few people including myself.

When I received the postcard there was a a QT scan on it and it said "Scan me to send a Thank You". So, I did that, too. I chose another photo from the beach and had it sent to me, too. Mainly for the purposes of this blog post, but I'm glad I have these neat souvenirs of my trip.


The photos come laminated and the image itself can be punched out, so you can keep just the image (the message is on the back, too).

And then you can display it with all your other treasured items.

I love this idea and I hope it catches on. It's always fun to get something in the mail and it;s so easy to do once it's set up. Maybe a hundred years from now they'll be a lot of these phone postcards for people like me to collect.


  1. This is cool. I never knew they used to make a camera that printed photos on postcards like that. I can appreciate the new app given its retro context. :)

  2. What a great idea. I will have to try this.