Before and After: Ipswich then and Ipswich now.
Postcards became quite popular in the late 1880s. They were cheaper than letters to send and, as many areas around Australia had multiple mail deliveries each day, were a quick and effective means of communication.

These days email or social media are our main means of personal communication. For the folks in the late 1800s it was postcards.

Like spam and trolls of today, some of the same issues were encountered over a hundred years ago.

In 1876 a newspaper article, titled “Post Card Persecution”, speaks of post cards being misused in NSW as a means of harassment or to spread misinformation.

The Ipswich Historical Society were donated a series that date from the late 1890s to the start of WWI.

These were published long before the invention of colour film, so they were produced using a process called Photocrom.

The black and white photographic negatives would be transferred onto lithographic printing plates.

These scenes captured of Ipswich then provide us with an important record of times gone by now.

What is interesting is that these scenes are still recognisable today and a lot of the buildings, parks and bridges captured in the series still exist .

If you are lucky enough to live in Ipswich, you don’t have to visit a museum or trawl though long internet searches to put our local history in context.

Looking at these postcards gives a glimpse into our past and how people lived right here over the past 191 years. The photo sliders show you the similar vantage point as it is today.

Like now, the families back then reared children, worked hard to make a living and built a city that we can all be proud of.

The Queensland Government first issued official post cards in 1880. These early cards were quite plain, with the message on one side and address on the other. Privately printed post cards were permitted from around 1895.

By 1905 the format we know today was adopted, with a picture on one side and a divided area on the other for the message and address. A post card collecting craze began soon after. From 1907 the

Queenslander newspaper ran a regular column that allowed collectors to advertise for postcard trades.

You can view the full series here or more postcards from the era on Picture Ipswich.

Ipswich First