Rhode Island Picture Post Cards
Private Mailing Card (1898 to 1901)
Mailed to Mrs. Charles Warren - Providence, RI

(Scroll Down for Message Text & the History of Privately Produced Post Cards)

With Providence, RI Receiving Cancel over top of Jacksonville, FL Cancel

I normally would not purchase, nor do I collect "Black Americana" postcards as I find most of them to be degrading, condescending, and very stereotypical. (At least this one doesn't depict a little boy sitting on a watermelon and I have seen several of those.) I purchased this card because it is the first "Private Mailing Card" I have seen addressed to Providence, RI. 

A short history of "Privately Produced Postcards" and the text of the message follows.


On May 19, 1898, the United States Congress enacted a law giving private printers permission to print and sell postcards. These cards were all issued with the inscription "Private Mailing Card" and are referred to by collectors as PMC's. On December 24, 1901 permission was given to use the word Postcard on the back of the cards These undivided back, (only the address was to appear on the back) postcards were issued until 1907. (See: Snuff Mill Post Card - 1906)

On March 1, 1907; the first "Divided Back Postcards" were issued, which made it possible to place both the address and a short message on the back of the card. Most of these cards were produced in Germany and were of very good quality. (See: New Harbor - Block Island Postcard - 1912)

In 1915 as a result of World War I, it was no longer possible to get this high quality cards and United States printers began producing their own postcards. This began the era of the "White Bordered Postcards," which lasted from 1915. to 1930. (See: Greens Landing Postcard - 1920s)

Beginning around 1930, American printers began producing postcards on paper with a high rag content. These cards are known as "Linen Postcards" and are quite popular with collectors. (See: Narrow River Bridge Postcard)

The modern postcard era began in 1939 with the introduction of the "Photo-Chrome Postcard," which combined vivid colors with crisp and clear graphics. (See: Automated Post Office Postcard - 1961)

This card was sent to Mrs. Charles Warren in Providence, Rhode Island by C. Warren from Jacksonville, Florida. I assume that C. Warren is the Charles who is married to Mrs. Warren. He seems quite surprised at such pleasant weather in the month of January. It appears that Jacksonville is a short stopover on a continuing trip to the island of Jamaica. I can not tell from the short message if the trip is for business or pleasure.

The card was sent in 1903 although by this time regular undivided back postcards were available. Perhaps this card was an old holdover bought in a small country store.


Jacksonville, Fla. Jan. 14 - 1903 -
We are beginning now to get a little better idea of Fla. Today has been quite warm just like spring weather and we have been out seeing more of the city. I have not room here to tell you what we saw. I hope will come later in a letter - but you will be glad to know that we think we have found a way of getting to Jamaica after all. We leave here tomorrow and reach Miami Friday night.

C. Warren

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