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Our Postcard History page provides information about these general trends.For example, a card printed on linen was most likely produced between 19.
These cards were all issued with the inscription "Private Mailing Card," and today they are referred to as PMC's.
In printed images the grey areas are usually made up of black marks that are spaced to create the optical illusion of greys.
Though most of us today are familiar with the concept of photo grain, this is mostly because we have experienced very large prints made from small 35mm negatives.
Cards previous to that had to have the Private Mailing Card Statement. There was often a statement that said "this side for address only." The postal service started allowing the use of divided back postcards in March of 1907.
So, if your card is marked "Private Mailing Card," is dates from 1893 - 1901. A divided back postcard (example 3) has a line down the middle, or some other indication that one half of the back is for the address and the other half is for a message. If your postcard has an undivided back, it is from 1907 or earlier. during World War I in order to save ink and estimated to have saved 20% more ink.