In our commentary on the last month, Love on Delivery, Christopher Rossbach is inspired by an Edwardian love story told through post cards and what it can tell us about social media a hundred years later.
A hundred years ago Postcards were the WhatsApp of their Age
The principal office is at the General Post Office, St. Martin’s-le-Grand. There are, besides, upwards of 400 receiving houses for letters, both in town and country. There are seven collections and deliveries of letters in town daily, and five deliveries daily at all places in the environs of London, situated within a circle of three miles’ distance from the head establishment in St. Martin’s le Grand, that having been determined as the limits of the Post Office. The country delivery, as it is called, extends to a distance of twelve miles from the metropolis, and most places within that limit have four despatches and four deliveries daily (Sundays excepted).
Regulations of the London Twopenny Post Office, 1900s
Up to seven deliveries a day— a service offered not by Amazon in the not too distant future but by the London post office more than a hundred years ago. Postcards were the Whatsapp or SnapChat of their age. In London you could exchange postcards several times a day. Instead of dashing off a message on our smart phones they would send postcards, often dozens in a day. The joy of communication with family and friends is one of our most treasured gifts and technology has just enabled us to do it faster, simpler and cheaper.