The first mass produced picture postcards emerged from Europe around 1870 and the first advertising postcards, introduced in Britain, followed just a couple of years later. Just as postcards served as a cheap and easy method of communication, advertising postcards became a cost effective promotional tool for numerous companies.
They were particularly suitable for promoting travel and tourism, including events, destinations and transport, because colorful eye-catching imagery could be exploited to great effect. The air travel postcards shown below are scaled down versions of advertising posters. Almost certainly handed out to departing passengers at airports, these postcards would have been mailed home from locations that must have sounded glamorous in the 1950s and 1960s.
Imperial Airways, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), and British European Airways (BEA) all eventually merged to become British Airways. Today, these original advertising postcards can be picked up for less than $5 each unlike the original posters which are considerably more expensive.