BookCrossing is defined as "the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who do likewise." The term is derived from bookcrossing.com, a free online book club, founded to encourage the practice, aiming to "make the whole world a library." The "crossing" or exchanging of books may take any of a number of forms, including wild-releasing books in public, direct swaps with other members of the websites, or "book rings" in which books travel in a set order to participants who want to read a certain book. The community aspect of BookCrossing.com has grown and expanded in ways that were not expected at the outset, in the form of blog or forum discussions, mailing lists and annual conventions throughout the world. Leaving reading materials in public places when no longer needed has long been a silent means of communication and sociability amongst bibliophiles. Ron Hornbaker conceived the idea for what is now known as BookCrossing in March 2001 and enlisted business partners and co-founders Bruce and Heather Pedersen to launch BookCrossing.com on April 21, 2001.
After two years the website had over 113,000 members and by 2004 it was prominent enough to be referenced in an episode of the Australian soap opera Neighbours. The same year it appeared as a new word in the Concise Oxford Dictionary, although as of 2017 only Collins of the major online dictionaries retained it as a word. Membership surpassed 1,000,000 by March 2012 and the registered book count exceeded 8,500,000. By 2017, there were over 1.7 million members and over 11.7 million books travelling through 132 countries. In July 2007 Singapore became the first country to give the practice official status, designating 2,000 locations in the country as'hotspots', similar to Official BookCrossing Zones, in an initiative launched with the National Library of Singapore; the world's first official International BookCrossing Day took place on 21 April 2014. In May 2005 BookCrossing.com won two People's Voice awards in the Webby Awards for best community website and best social/networking website. BookCrossing was featured in a BBC Radio project broadcast as 84 Book Crossing Road, which involved releasing 84 copies of Helene Hanff's book 84 Charing Cross Road around the world.
The programme was nominated for a Sony Radio Academy Award in 2006. Anyone who wishes to participate in "releasing" books, whether leaving it in a public place or passing it on to a friend, may register on the BookCrossing.com website, although there is the option to remain anonymous when "catching" or recording the find of a book. BookCrossing.com users can'go hunting', where a member will go to the website to view a list of books that have been "released" go to the location it was left to "catch" it. Books may be left at "Official BookCrossing Zones", which are located in certain coffee shops, cafes and other public places; the purpose of these locations is to get current members in the area to leave books to share with the public. This advertises BookCrossing and creates more members. There is a BookCrossing anniversary convention every April, where BookCrossers go to enjoy organized literary-related events and release books together; the location of the convention changes each year: Here is a list of past and forthcoming conventions: Many unofficial conventions or "unconventions" take place at other locations and times throughout the year, making it easier for BookCrossers who cannot travel internationally for the convention to gather and share their love of books.
In 2003, BookCrossing was criticized by the astrologer and novelist Jessica Adams, who claimed that books were being "devalued" by the website as BookCrossing could lead to lower sales of books and, the reduction in royalties being paid to authors. Most BookCrossers dispute this argument, however, they claim that the website introduces readers to authors and genres that they have not read before, that the website encourages more people to take up or reclaim reading as a hobby, that some members, having read a book that they have enjoyed, will buy extra copies to distribute through BookCrossing. In March 2005, Caroline Martin, managing director of the publisher Harper Press, said in a speech that "book publishing as a whole has its own potential Napster crisis in the growing practice of bookcrossing". BookCrossers rebutted the link to Napster, saying that while music filesharing involves duplicating audio files countless times, BookCrossing doesn't involve duplicating books; the founder of BookCrossing, Ron Hornbaker wondered if people would make this comparison when BookCrossing was first launched.
Richard Bach R J Ellory Jim Hawkins Book swapping: contains a list of other book-swapping websites Book sales club Give-away shop Library Gift economy Postcrossing Public bookcase Reuse Sharing BookCrossing.com
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic; the dominant religions in the country are Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2, making it the largest country within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world; the territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kievan Rus' forming the basis of Ukrainian identity. Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, the territory was contested and divided by a variety of powers, including Lithuania, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was split between Poland and the Russian Empire, merged into the Russian-dominated Soviet Union in the late 1940s as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1991 Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its dissolution at the end of the Cold War. Before its independence, Ukraine was referred to in English as "The Ukraine", but most sources have since moved to drop "the" from the name of Ukraine in all uses. Following its independence, Ukraine declared itself a neutral state. In 2013, after the government of President Viktor Yanukovych had decided to suspend the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and seek closer economic ties with Russia, a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan began, which escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that led to the overthrow of Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government; these events formed the background for the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014, the War in Donbass in April 2014. On 1 January 2016, Ukraine applied the economic component of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union.
Ukraine is ranks 88th on the Human Development Index. As of 2018, Ukraine has the second lowest GDP per capita in Europe. At US$40, it has the lowest median wealth per adult in the world, it suffers from a high poverty rate and severe corruption. However, because of its extensive fertile farmlands, Ukraine is one of the world's largest grain exporters. Ukraine maintains the second-largest military in Europe after that of Russia; the country is home to a multi-ethnic population, 77.8 percent of whom are Ukrainians, followed by a large Russian minority, as well as Georgians, Belarusians, Crimean Tatars, Jews and Hungarians. Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system with separate powers: legislative and judicial branches; the country is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the GUAM organization, one of the founding states of the Commonwealth of Independent States. There are different hypotheses as to the etymology of the name Ukraine. According to the older widespread hypothesis, it means "borderland", while some more recent linguistic studies claim a different meaning: "homeland" or "region, country"."The Ukraine" used to be the usual form in English, but since the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, "the Ukraine" has become less common in the English-speaking world, style-guides recommend not using the definite article.
"The Ukraine" now implies disregard for the country's sovereignty, according to U. S. ambassador William Taylor. The Ukrainian position is that the usage of "'The Ukraine' is incorrect both grammatically and politically." Neanderthal settlement in Ukraine is seen in the Molodova archaeological sites which include a mammoth bone dwelling. The territory is considered to be the location for the human domestication of the horse. Modern human settlement in Ukraine and its vicinity dates back to 32,000 BC, with evidence of the Gravettian culture in the Crimean Mountains. By 4,500 BC, the Neolithic Cucuteni–Trypillia culture flourished in wide areas of modern Ukraine including Trypillia and the entire Dnieper-Dniester region. During the Iron Age, the land was inhabited by Cimmerians and Sarmatians. Between 700 BC and 200 BC it was Scythia. Beginning in the sixth century BC, colonies of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, such as Tyras and Chersonesus, were founded on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea.
These colonies thrived well into the 6th century AD. The Goths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s AD. In the 7th century AD, the territory of eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria. At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, the Khazars took over much of the land. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Antes were located in the territory of; the Antes were the ancestors of Ukrainians: White Croats, Polans, Dulebes and Tiverians. Migrations from Ukraine throughout the Balkans established many Southern Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching to the Ilmen l
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, Moldova to the east, it has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres, Romania is the 12th largest country and the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having 20 million inhabitants, its capital and largest city is Bucharest, other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Brașov. The River Danube, Europe's second-longest river, rises in Germany's Black Forest and flows in a general southeast direction for 2,857 km, coursing through ten countries before emptying into Romania's Danube Delta; the Carpathian Mountains, which cross Romania from the north to the southwest, include Moldoveanu Peak, at an altitude of 2,544 m. Modern Romania was formed in 1859 through a personal union of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia.
The new state named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877. Following World War I, when Romania fought on the side of the Allied powers, Bessarabia, Transylvania as well as parts of Banat, Crișana, Maramureș became part of the sovereign Kingdom of Romania. In June–August 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and Second Vienna Award, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, Northern Transylvania to Hungary. In November 1940, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact and in June 1941 entered World War II on the Axis side, fighting against the Soviet Union until August 1944, when it joined the Allies and recovered Northern Transylvania. Following the war, under the occupation of the Red Army's forces, Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition back towards a market economy; the sovereign state of Romania is a developing country and ranks 52nd in the Human Development Index.
It has the world's 47th largest economy by nominal GDP and an annual economic growth rate of 7%, the highest in the EU at the time. Following rapid economic growth in the early 2000s, Romania has an economy predominantly based on services, is a producer and net exporter of machines and electric energy, featuring companies like Automobile Dacia and OMV Petrom, it has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, part of NATO since 2004, part of the European Union since 2007. An overwhelming majority of the population identifies themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians and are native speakers of Romanian, a Romance language. Romania derives from the Latin romanus, meaning "citizen of Rome"; the first known use of the appellation was attested to in the 16th century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania and Wallachia. The oldest known surviving document written in Romanian, a 1521 letter known as the "Letter of Neacșu from Câmpulung", is notable for including the first documented occurrence of the country's name: Wallachia is mentioned as Țeara Rumânească.
Two spelling forms: român and rumân were used interchangeably until sociolinguistic developments in the late 17th century led to semantic differentiation of the two forms: rumân came to mean "bondsman", while român retained the original ethnolinguistic meaning. After the abolition of serfdom in 1746, the word rumân fell out of use and the spelling stabilised to the form român. Tudor Vladimirescu, a revolutionary leader of the early 19th century, used the term Rumânia to refer to the principality of Wallachia."The use of the name Romania to refer to the common homeland of all Romanians—its modern-day meaning—was first documented in the early 19th century. The name has been in use since 11 December 1861. In English, the name of the country was spelt Rumania or Roumania. Romania became the predominant spelling around 1975. Romania is the official English-language spelling used by the Romanian government. A handful of other languages have switched to "o" like English, but most languages continue to prefer forms with u, e.g. French Roumanie and Swedish Rumänien, Spanish Rumania, Polish Rumunia, Russian Румыния, Japanese ルーマニア.
1859–1862: United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia 1862–1866: Romanian United Principalities or Romania 1866–1881: Romania or Principality of Romania 1881–1947: Kingdom of Romania or Romania 1947–1965: Romanian People's Republic or Romania 1965–December, 1989: Socialist Republic of Romania or Romania December, 1989–present: Romania Human remains found in Peștera cu Oase, radiocarbon dated as being from circa 40,000 years ago, represent the oldest known Homo sapiens in Europe. Neolithic techniques and agriculture spread after the arrival of a mixed group of people from Thessaly in the 6th millenium BC. Excavations near a salt spring at Lunca yielded the earliest evidence for salt exploitation in Europe; the first permanent settlements appeared in the Neolithic. Some of them developed into "proto-cities"; the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture—the best known archaeological culture of Old Europe—flourished in Muntenia, southeastern Transylvania and northeastern Moldavia in the 3rd m
The Czech Republic known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres with a temperate continental climate and oceanic climate, it is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen; the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe. It is a developed country with an advanced, high income export-oriented social market economy based in services and innovation; the UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development. The Czech Republic is a welfare state with a "continental" European social model, a universal health care system, tuition-free university education and is ranked 14th in the Human Capital Index, it ranks as the 6th safest or most peaceful country and is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance.
The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire along with the Kingdom of Germany, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Beside Bohemia itself, the King of Bohemia ruled the lands of the Bohemian Crown, holding a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor. In the Hussite Wars of the 15th century driven by the Protestant Bohemian Reformation, the kingdom faced economic embargoes and defeated five consecutive crusades proclaimed by the leaders of the Catholic Church. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary.
The Protestant Bohemian Revolt against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, eradicated Protestantism and reimposed Catholicism, adopted a policy of gradual Germanization; this contributed to the anti-Habsburg sentiment. A long history of resentment of the Catholic Church followed and still continues. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became part of the German Confederation 1815-1866 as part of Austrian Empire and the Czech language experienced a revival as a consequence of widespread romantic nationalism. In the 19th century, the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and were subsequently the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, formed in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in this part of Europe in the interwar period. However, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, while the Slovak region became the Slovak Republic.
Most of the three millions of the German-speaking minority were expelled following the war. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections and after the 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence. In 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed and market economy was reintroduced. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia; the Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004. The traditional English name "Bohemia" derives from Latin "Boiohaemum", which means "home of the Boii"; the current English name comes from the Polish ethnonym associated with the area, which comes from the Czech word Čech. The name comes from the Slavic tribe and, according to legend, their leader Čech, who brought them to Bohemia, to settle on Říp Mountain.
The etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning "member of the people. The country has been traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the east, Czech Silesia in the northeast. Known as the lands of the Bohemian Crown since the 14th century, a number of other names for the country have been used, including Czech/Bohemian lands, Bohemian Crown and the lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas; when the country regained its independence after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, the new name of Czechoslovakia was coined to reflect the union of the Czech and Slovak nations within the one country. After Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992, the Czech part lac
A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope. Shapes other than rectangular may be used. There are novelty exceptions, such as wood postcards, made of thin wood, copper postcards sold in the Copper Country of the U. S. state of Michigan, coconut "postcards" from tropical islands. In some places, one can send a postcard for a lower fee than for a letter. Stamp collectors distinguish between postal cards. While a postcard is printed by a private company, individual or organization, a postal card is issued by the relevant postal authority; the world's oldest postcard was sent in 1840 to the writer Theodore Hook from Fulham in London, England. The study and collecting of postcards is termed deltiology. Cards with messages had been sporadically created and posted by individuals since the beginning of postal services; the earliest known picture postcard was a hand-painted design on card, posted in Fulham in London by the writer Theodore Hook to himself in 1840, bearing a penny black stamp.
He created and posted the card to himself as a practical joke on the postal service, since the image is a caricature of workers in the post office. In 2002 the postcard sold for a record £31,750. In the United States, the custom of sending through the mail, at letter rate, a picture or blank card stock that held a message, began with a card postmarked in December 1848 containing printed advertising; the first commercially produced card was created in 1861 by John P. Charlton of Philadelphia, who patented a postal card, sold the rights to Hymen Lipman, whose postcards, complete with a decorated border, were labeled "Lipman's postal card"; these cards had no images. In Britain, postcards without images were issued by the Post Office in 1870, were printed with a stamp as part of the design, included in the price of purchase; these cards came in two sizes. The larger size was found to be too large for ease of handling, was soon withdrawn in favour of cards 13mm shorter; the first known printed picture postcard, with an image on one side, was created in France in 1870 at Camp Conlie by Léon Besnardeau.
Conlie was a training camp for soldiers in the Franco-Prussian war. The cards had a lithographed design printed on them containing emblematic images of piles of armaments on either side of a scroll topped by the arms of the Duchy of Brittany and the inscription "War of 1870. Camp Conlie. Souvenir of the National Defence. Army of Brittany". While these are the first known picture postcards, there was no space for stamps and no evidence that they were posted without envelopes. In the following year the first known picture postcard in which the image functioned as a souvenir was sent from Vienna; the first advertising card appeared in 1872 in Great Britain and the first German card appeared in 1874. Cards showing images increased in number during the 1880s. Images of the newly built Eiffel Tower in 1889 and 1890 gave impetus to the postcard, leading to the so-called "golden age" of the picture postcard in years following the mid-1890s. Early postcards showcased photography of nude women; these were known as French postcards, due to the large number of them produced in France.
The first American postcard was developed in 1873 by the Morgan Envelope Factory of Springfield, Massachusetts. These first postcards depicted the Interstate Industrial Exposition. In 1873, Post Master John Creswell introduced the first pre-stamped "Postal Cards" called "penny postcards". Postcards were made; 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, 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; 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, from 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. From 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 is 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, ended by 1915, when World War I disrupted the printing and import of the fine German-printed cards. The postcard craze between 1907 and 1910 was popular among rural and small-town women in Northern U. S. states. Postcards, in the form of government postal cards and printed souvenir cards, became popular as a result of the Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893, after postcards featuring buildings were distributed at the fair. In 1908, more than 677 million postcards were mailed; the "white border" era, named for borders around the picture area, lasted from about 1916 to 1930.
Mid-century linen postcards were produced in great quantity from 1931 to 1959. Despite the name, linen postcards were not produced on a linen fabric, but used