Dating divided postcards
Some like Valentine of Dundee or GW Wilson of Aberdeen produced very large numbers of cards, covering scenes throughout Britain and elsewhere. The reverse bore a small picture leaving sufficient space to write a message.
The address was written on one side of the card and the message, often very brief, was written on the other side. Here is an example form 1890, in which one Edinburgh photographer is advising another of the date of a photographic society meeting: From 1895 onwards, a size of 4.75 ins x 3.5 ins was adopted for postcards. The address,, and nothing else, still had to be written on one side of the card. In many cases the picture covered most of the card, leaving little room for the message.
Postcards that are actual photographic replications were first produced around 1900.
They may or may not have a white border, or a divided back, or other features of postcards, depending on the paper the photographer used.
The message was required to be written on the front of the card, next to the image.
Many photographers and publishers have produced views of Edinburgh.Furthermore, strong competition in a narrowing market caused many publishers to go out of business.New printing processes allowed printing on post cards with high rag content that caused a linen-like finish.To save ink, publishers left a clear border around the view, thus these postcards are referred to as White Border cards.The relatively high cost of labor, along with inexperience and changes in public taste, resulted in the production of poor quality cards during this period.