In Britain postcards without images were issued by Post Office, and were printed with a stamp as part of the design, which was included in the price of purchase. The first known printed picture postcard, with an image on one side, was created in France in 1870 at Camp Conlie by Léon Besnardeau (1829–1914). Conlie was a training camp for soldiers in the Franco-Prussian war. They had a lithographed design printed on them containing emblematic images of piles of armaments on either side of a scroll topped by the arms of the Duchy of Brittany and the inscription "War of 1870.
Conlie. Souvenir of the National Defence. Army of Brittany".While these
are certainly the first known picture postcards, there was no space for stamps
and no evidence that they were ever posted without envelopes. In the following
year the first known picture postcard in which the image functioned as a
souvenir was sent from Vienna. The first advertising card appeared in 1872 in
Great Britain and the first German card appeared in 1874. Cards showing images
increased in number during the 1880s. Images of the newly built Eiffel Tower in
1889 and 1890 gave impetus to the postcard, leading to the so-called
"golden age" of the picture postcard in years following the
Postage rates for postcards.
Until 1918 – 1/2d (halfpenny) or today’s 1/4 pence.
3rd June 1918 - increased to 1d (a penny) or today’s 1/2 pence.
This new rate resulted in a decline in the number of postcards posted.
13th January 1921 - increased to 1 1/2d (three halfpence) or today’s 3/4 pence.
24th May 1922 - postage reduced back to 1d (a penny) following a number of public protests.