In 1894, British publishers were given permission by the Royal Mail to manufacture and distribute picture postcards, which could be sent through the post.
The first UK postcards were produced by printing firm Stewarts of Edinburgh and early postcards were pictures of famous landmarks, scenic views, photographs or drawings of celebrities and so on. With steam locomotives providing fast and affordable travel, the seaside became a popular tourist destination, and generated its own souvenir-industry: the picture postcard was, and is, an essential staple of this industry.
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