During the Golden Age of postcards, which began around 1898 and lasted for two decades, postage was just one cent. Combined with an increase in mail delivery, postcards became the go-to way for Americans to send written communication, with nearly a billion cards sent each year.
Birthday greetings joined the legions of other thematic postcards made by major companies like Raphael Tuck & Sons and the Detroit Publishing Company. Birthday postcard designs commonly involved flowers, birds, and other symbols of good fortune. Some of the most desirable artist-signed birthday postcards were made by Ellen Clapsaddle, Frances Brundage, and Rose O’Neill (of kewpie-doll fame).