Monday 1 September 2008 by Theresa Cronk. No comments
Collection, Ephemera

awm.gov.au/collection/RC06035 Embroidered silk postcard from the First World War. RC06035

The above silk postcard could well be considered a forerunner of greeting cards now available for Father's Day. The simple greeting conveys appropriate sentiments for Father's Day today, although it was sent home from the trenches of France and Belgium during the First World War.

Embroidered silk postcards reached the peak of their popularity during the First World War. The first silk postcard appeared in 1901 and a cottage industry developed around these in 1915. Postcard companies also employed women to produce the embroidery with designs generally embroidered onto strips of silk mesh by hand and forwarded to factories for conversion into silk postcards. It is estimated that approximately 10 million silk postcards were produced during the years 1915 to 1919.

The Research Centre of the Australian War Memorial has a collection of silk postcards with a wide variety of designs, themes and sentiments. This collection has recently been digitised and images are now available for viewing online.

Further reading

Silk postcards finding aid

World War I in postcards

Stevengraphs bookmarks and postcards etc.: World War I Postcards