Postcard Penpal programs have been established to help children in language arts.

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One of the most popular areas of collecting is "town views" – actual scenes from a particular town or region.

Most collectors of town views start by collecting views of the town where they reside or the town where they grew up.

With many small towns having hundreds of different cards available, it is an area that can keep a collector busy for years.

The hottest cards in the town view category are real photo postcards (RPPCs), postcards printed on actual photographic paper using the photographic process rather than printed cards created on a printing press.

The attraction of a RPPC is that the scene shown is an actual scene from the past whereas a printed card can often be an artist's conception of how the particular scene appeared.

RPPCs are usually much rarer than printed cards as printed cards were easier to produce in large numbers.Postcards are generally sent within a few years of their printing so the postmark helps date a postcard.If the card is original and not a reprint, a postcard's original printing date can be deduced from such things as the fashions worn by people in the card, the era in which the cars on the street were made, and other time-sensitive clues.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.The most reliable method of differentiating the two is with a magnifying glass.