Postcards were the original Tweets
Did you think Twittering is a new up-to-the-minute technological advancement? Well, then here's a piece of information: The Edwardians were doing it 100 years ago - using postcards instead of computers.Updated: Sep 05, 2009, 18:30 IST
A study by Lancaster and Manchester Metropolitan universities has revealed how the picture postcard, containing an image on one side and space for writing on the other, became an instant hit after it was introduced in 1902.
Researchers have calculated that almost six billion were posted in Britain over a nine-year period from 1901 and 1910, reveal study authors Drs Julia Gillen and Nigel Hall.
Since post was delivered up to 10 times a day in major cities, the medium allowed users to write and respond quickly and cheaply.
Just like Twitter, which restricts users to 140 characters per "tweet", postcard writers only have a limited amount of space to pen a message.
Some of the postcards were straightforward, such as: "A PC from you this mg. is it tomorrow or next Sat. the opening...."
But others were definitely rather saucy.
"What ho! She bum.ps. If she doesn't bump she bounces," said a postcard written in mirror writing in 1904. "If she doesn't bounce ye get yer money back."
Gillen told Sky News Online: "Postcards, were as speedy in their day as tweeting is today. And there was immediacy too - you didn't just send postcards on holiday, you received them."