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Appliqué - A term used to describe a postcard which has some form of cloth, metal or other embellishment attached to it.

Art Deco - Artistic style of the 1920s which is characterized by its symmetrical designs and straight lines.

Art Nouveau
- Artistic style of the turn of the century which is characterized by flowing lines and flowery symbols.

Bas Relief
- Postcards with a heavily raised surface, giving a papier-mâché appearance.

Chromes
Postcards of the “Photochrome Era” began in 1939 and continue to be produced to this day. The term Chrome originated with Kodak's Kodachrome film.  These are the postcards which we typically use today and are characterized by their photo-like appearance and glossy finish on the face of the card. They are made by a printing process composed of very small dots.  The Union Oils series of 1939 were the first chromes produced.


Continentals
– Modern sized postcards typically produced in the 1960s and later which measure approx. 4 inches by 6 inches or a little bigger.

Deltiology  - the study and collection of postcards. Compared to philately, the identification of a postcard's place and time of production can often be a difficult task because postcards, unlike stamps, are produced in a decentralised, unregulated manner. For this reason, some collectors may choose to limit their acquisitions to cards by specific artists and publishers, or by time and location.

Divided Back - Postcards with a back divided into two sections - one for the message and the other for the address.  U. S. cards were first divided in 1907.

Early
- A term loosely used to describe any card issued before the Divided Back were introduced in 1907.

Embossed
- Postcards with a raised surface.

Golden Age of Postcards - The "Golden Age" is a label placed on postcards produced between 1898 and 1915 - the time period when sending, receiving and collecting postcards became very fashionable.
The cost for mailing a postcard during this time was one cent. Prior to World War I, most of the highest quality postcards were printed in Germany, then regarded as having the best printing processes in the world. German companies had patents on the best inks and were the "master printers" of the world. With the advent of World War I in 1914, war-time conflict caused economic disruption and a breakdown in transportation. Many German chemical companies converted their plants to war-related products.  The market for the then "frivilous" picture postcards dried up, and it ended completely when the United States entered the war against Germany in 1917. In November 1917, the US postage rates on postcards increased temporarily to 2 cents. During these war years, the manufacture of most US postcards largely shifted to markets within the USA. Philadelphia was a major player in the postcard market for many years.

Hold-to-Light
- Postcards often of a night time scene with cut out areas to show the light. Also referred to as “HTL” postcards.

Kaleidoscopes
- Postcards with a rotating wheel that reveals a myriad of colors when turned.

Novelty
- Any postcard which deviates in any way from the norm.  These are typically cards which do something, have articles attached to them, or are printed in an unusual size or on strange materials. An example is cards made of leather.

Oilette
- A trade name used by Raphael Tuck to describe postcards reproduced from original paintings.

Oversized
- A general term used to describe large postcards which are larger than the typical 4" x 6".

Post Card
- A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope and at a lower rate than a letter. Stamp collectors distinguish between postcards (which require a stamp) and postal cards (which have the postage pre-printed on them). While a postcard is usually printed by a private company, individual or organization, a postal card is issued by the relevant postal authority. The United States Postal Service defines a postcard as: rectangular, at least 3-½ inches high x 5 inches long x .007 inch thick and no more than 4-¼ inches high x 6 inches long x .016 inches thick;  however, some postcards have deviated from this (for example, shaped postcards).

Real Photo– Term used to describe postcards produced by a photographic process using a camera and photographic paper.  Real photo post cards are highly desirable because many are one of a kind.  Commercially printed real photo post cards were also produced but are typically not as desirable due to the large supply available.  Abbreviated “RPPC”.

Standard Size
– Postcards which measure approx. 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches. 

Topographical
- A term used to describe postcards showing street scenes and general views.

Undivided Back
- Postcards made until 1907 without a dividing line on the back to separate the message from the address. Only the address was permitted on the back of the card.  Messages were to be written on the face of the card.  

Vignette
- Usually found on undivided back cards, consisting of a design which does not occupy the whole of the picture side. Vignettes may be anything from a small sketch in one corner of the card, to a design covering three quarters of the card. The purpose was to leave some space for the message to be written, as the entire reverse of the card could only be used for the address, prior to 1907.

WC4–  Also WCCCC.  Abbreviations for the Washington Crossing Card Collectors Club – one of the best postcard clubs around!

Write-Away - Used to describe a card with the opening line of a sentence, which the sender would then complete. Often found on early comic cards.