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Treasure 98: Kissing postcards
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Treasure 98: Kissing postcards

Historic Documents
Léa Moreau
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Treasure 98: Kissing postcards
Historic Documents
Treasure 98: Kissing postcards
To celebrate Valentine's Day, we have chosen to display four historic postcards from our collections conveying messages of love and friendship.

The postcards are slightly smaller than those in circulation nowadays and they all have a different title, written in capital letters and in colour on the top of the cards. Up until the end of the 19th century, most postcards presented an undivided back; England was the first country to divide the back of the postcards in 1902, before France in 1904, Germany in 1905 and the United States in 1907. It allowed people to write both the message and the address of their recipient on the same side. The front side was then mainly used for the picture or artwork. Postcards can be a useful tool for learning more about society and people's interests and sense of humour.

The text on the postcard entitled 'The Science of Kissing' is from a publication called The People. It first appeared in British newspapers in 1866 and has been republished many times since. Amusingly, the author of the text gives some tips to improve a kissing performance and describes in detail what a proper kiss on the lips should feel like: "People will kiss, yet not one in a hudred [sic] knows how to extract bliss from lovely lips, any more than he knows how to make diamonds from charcoal. And yet it is easy, at least for us. First know whom you are going to kiss. Don't make a mistake, although a mistake may be good."

Want to find out more about the art of kissing in time for St. Val's Day? Check out our interactive exhibition on the touchscreen!
Aberdeen Local Studies
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