The first postal card with a printed stamp was issued in Austria in 1869. The idea proved to be so profitable for the government that it was quickly copied by many other countries. The United States used its first government postcard in May 1873. (A card dated May 12 or 13, 1873, would be a very high-priced rarity.) These early cards had printed messages. Personal messages were charged first-class rates. It was not until May 19, 1898, that private postcards were charged at a lower rate. A postal card has a pre-printed stamp. A postcard has a space for an adhesive stamp.

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