As Digital Photo Frame Sales Soar, Is This The Beginning Of The End For The Saucy Seaside Postcard?

The traditional postcard, the favoured means of communicating with relatives and friends while away on holiday, may be at risk as a result of the growth in sales of digital photo frames.

- Sales of digital photo frames up a colossal 900% year on year

- Digital photo frames now selling at the rate of 10 a minute at PC World and volumes are doubling weekly

The traditional postcard, the favoured means of communicating with relatives and friends while away on holiday, may be at risk as a result of the growth in sales of digital photo frames. The new frames, that contain wireless technology, enable relatives or friends to send holiday images postcard -style direct to the mantelpiece of the owner.

Internet and digital camera technology now make it possible for a camera owner to email a picture direct to the mantelpiece of a friend or loved one while on holiday, effectively providing a running travelogue on the holiday.

PC World is currently experiencing a surge in the sale of digital photo frames, with sales up 9 -fold year on year.

Niall O'Keeffe from PC World said: "If you're on holiday or for that matter at a party - wherever you are really - you can send digital pictures direct to the frame via an internet connection. We suspect that this will lead to a decline in the postcard as this digital alternative emerges, though whether or not we'll see a similar level of sauciness in the pictures is anyone's guess!"

Many of the frames are now wireless and slimline, meaning that they look like any other picture frame. They can be set to scroll through a number of images or stay on one image.

In 1894, the Royal Mail gave British publishers permission to manufacture and distribute picture postcards, which could be sent through the post. Early postcards were of famous landmarks, scenic views, photographs or drawings of celebrities. With locomotives providing fast and affordable travel, the seaside became a popular tourist destination, and generated its own souvenir -industry: the picture postcard was an essential staple of this industry.

In the early 1930s, cartoon -style saucy postcards became widespread, and at the peak of their popularity the sale of saucy postcards reached a massive 16 million a year. They were often bawdy in nature, making use of innuendo and double entendres and traditionally featured stereotypical characters such as vicars, large ladies and put -upon husbands, in the same vein as the Carry On films.

In the early 1950s, the newly elected Conservative government were concerned at the apparent deterioration of morals in Britain and decided on a crackdown on these postcards. In the more liberal 1960s, the saucy postcard was revived and became to be considered, by some, as an art form. This helped its popularity and once again they became an institution. However, during the 1970s and 1980s, the quality of the artwork and humour started to deteriorate and, with changing attitudes towards the cards' content, the decline of the saucy postcard began. Original postcards are now highly sought after, and rare examples can command high prices at auction.

Sold by newsagents and street vendors, as well as by specialist souvenir shops, modern seaside postcards often feature multiple depictions of the resort in unusually favourable weather conditions.

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