In 1898, Congress passed an act allowing private printing companies to produce postcards with the statement "Private Mailing Card, Authorized by Act of Congress of May 19, 1898." The words "Private Mailing Card" separated privately printed cards from the US government printed cards. Writtten messages were not allowed on the address side as indicated by the words "This side for the Address," or slight variations of this phrase. However, if the front of the postcard did not contain an image, it could bear a larger message. If the front did have an image like this example, one could use the smaller white areas for a small message, as shown here. This government approved move into allowing more picturesque postcards lasted only a brief 3 years.