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The first American postcard was developed in 1873 by the Morgan Envelope Factory of Springfield, Massachusetts. These first postcards depicted the Interstate Industrial Exposition that took place in Chicago. Later in 1873, Post Master John Creswell introduced the first pre-stamped "Postal Cards," often called "penny postcards". Postcards were made because people were looking for an easier way to send quick notes. The first postcard to be printed as a souvenir in the United States was created in 1893 to advertise the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

The Post Office was the only establishment allowed to print postcards, and it held its monopoly until May 19, 1898, when Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act, which allowed private publishers and printers to produce postcards. Initially, the United States government prohibited private companies from calling their cards "postcards", so they were known as "souvenir cards". These cards had to be labeled "Private Mailing Cards". This prohibition was rescinded on December 24, 1901, when private companies could use the word "postcard". Postcards were not allowed to have a divided back and correspondents could only write on the front of the postcard. This was known as the "undivided back" era of postcards. On March 1, 1907 the Post Office allowed private citizens to write on the address side of a postcard. It was on this date that postcards were allowed to have a "divided back".

On these cards the back is divided into two sections, the left section being used for the message and the right for the address. Thus began the Golden Age of American postcards, which peaked in 1910 with the introduction of tariffs on German-printed postcards, and ended by 1915, when World War I ultimately disrupted the printing and import of the fine German-printed cards. The postcard craze between 1907 and 1910 was particularly popular among rural and small-town women in Northern U.S. states.

Photographs, Postcards, and Document Images

Photo of Arbuckle Public School

Arbuckle Public School Building
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Catholic Convent Colusa, California ~ Postmarked 1906

Catholic Convent Colusa, California ~ Postmarked 1906

Photo of Colusa County Courthouse

Colusa County Courthouse at Colusa
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Colusa County Courhouse

Colusa County Courthouse, Colusa, California

Photo of Hall of Records

Colusa County Hall of Records at Colusa
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of Colusa County Jail

Colusa County Jail at Colusa
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Postcard of Courthouse and Jail

Colusa Courthouse and Jail

Photo of Colusa Grammar School

Colusa Grammar School
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of Colusa Guard

Colusa Guard, Company B, 8th Infantry Battalion
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of Colusa High School

Colusa High School
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Colusa House, est. 1851 Present site of The Hotel Riverside. Colusa California

Colusa House, est. 1851 Present site of The Hotel Riverside, Colusa, California

Colusa Park, Colusa County California

Colusa Park, Colusa County California

County Treasurer of Colusa 1876 payment for school books.

County Treasurer of Colusa 1876 payment for school books. Signed by County Superintendent of Common Schools, Samuel Houchins

Photo of Eagle Stables

Eagle Stables at Colusa
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Postcard of Harvesting Rice

Harvesting Rice at Colusa, 1917

Colusa County Courthouse

Historic Colusa County Courthouse

Photo of Interior of Willows Bank

Interior View, Bank of Willows
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Postcard of O'Rourke Department Store

J. J. O'Rourke - Big Department Store at Colusa

Photo of James Keith

James Crawford Keith, President of Pierce Christian College at College City
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of Josiah Taylor

   Josiah Smoot Taylor

Photo of Leander Taylor

   Leander Ward Taylor

Brothers - Publishers of the weekly journal Arbuckle Autocrat
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of Maxwell Public School

Maxwell Public School Building
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Municipal Swimming Baths, Colusa, California

Municipal Swimming Baths, Colusa, CCalifornia

Photo of Orland Public School

Orland Public School Building
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of Pierce Christian College
Photo of Music Hall at Pierce Christian College

Pierce Christian College at College City and Music Hall at Pierce Christian College at College City
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of William Ash's residence

Residence of Capt. William Ash
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of George Hagar Residence

Residence of Col. George Hagar
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of Levi Moulton Residence
Photo of Interior of Moulton House

Residence of Levi Moulton - exterior and interior
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of Michael Billiou's Residence

Residence of Michael Billiou, near Orland
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Sacramento River View from Colusa

Sacramento River View from Colusa

Southern Pacific Train Depot, Colusa, California

Southern Pacific Train Depot, Colusa, California

Photo of Steam Canal Excavator Steam Canal Excavator Work on the Central Canal - Designed, built and operated by the SF Bridge Co.
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Street Scene, Colusa, California

Street Scene, Colusa, California

Photo of Crutcher-Manor Building

The Crutcher-Manor Building and Block in Williams
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of Williams Public School

Williams Public School Building
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

Photo of Willows Public School

Willows First Public School Building
Source: Justus H. Rogers, Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.