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Picture Postcard Tax of 1903-1908

Picture Postcard Tax of 1903-1908

In early 1900’s privately printed picture postcards made their way to Persia. Some of these imported postcards showed nude or semi-nude women. The French postcards showing nude North African and Arabic women were the ones that finally caused the uproar within the religious community. They demanded a total ban on...

Picture Postcard Tax of 1903-1908

In early 1900’s privately printed picture postcards made their way to Persia. Some of these imported postcards showed nude or semi-nude women. The French postcards showing nude North African and Arabic women were the ones that finally caused the uproar within the religious community. They demanded a total ban on all picture postcards but as a compromise the postal authority issued the following order dated November 1903: “Certain persons have imported and placed on sale in Persia, picture postcards of unveiled Persian women. This is contrary to our religion and all post offices are to confiscate any cards of this character that they may find. Moreover, in order to prevent abuse, all persons who are dealing picture postcards other than those placed on sale by the Central Postal Administration at Teheran must submit their cards to the Central Postal Administration at Teheran who will apply a control mark on those approved. Any card not bearing this mark will not be allowed through the post. A tax of 2 Chahis per card will be charged on application for the control. The control will be applied at the Central Post Office. The Minister of Customs and Posts, Y. Hans” The tax was in place until June 1908 at which time the postal authority removed the tax.

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