The scan at the top of this page is a real photo postcard; click on it to view a larger image.The easiest way to tell if a postcard is a real photo or not is to look at it with a magnifying glass.

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Real-photo postcards (sometimes called RPPCs) are the result of developing a negative onto photo paper with a pre-printed postcard backing.

Classic real-photo cards feature a variety of subjects, from mundane small- town street views to images of animals to photos that captured important political moments or terrifying natural disasters.

The camera, designed for postcard-size film, allowed the general public to take photographs and have them printed on postcard backs, usually in the same dimensions (3-1/2" x 5-1/2") as standard vintage postcards.

Many other cameras were used, some of which used glass photographic plates that produced images that had to be cropped in order to fit the postcard format.

If you can identify the paper manufacturer, you can approximate the age of the old postcard.

If the postcard has a stamp box, click on one of stamp box links below.

In 1907, Kodak introduced a service called "real photo postcards," which enabled customers to make a postcard from any picture they took.

This technology allowed photographers to travel from town to town and document life in the places they visited.

Real photo postcards are actual photographs that have been developed onto photographic paper.