How to Estimate the Age of a Postcard

Dating photo postcards, the first picture postcards

The earliest cards date from the midth century and have a very well-documented history. When double toned with gold and platinum the print would remain neutral. Look at the modes of transportation. This was done throughout their history using very subtle to garish means.

Very interesting information, too. Photochrome Era to present. Postal cards will have the Grant or Jefferson head stamp.

On real photo post cards, codes in the stamp boxes can also be helpful in dating the card. This guide is meant to aid the collector in identifying and dating real photo postcards, and to act as a reminder that it is impossible to do so with great accuracy. Two major postcard publishers, Curt Teich and Detroit Publishing Company, used numbering schemes that can be helpful in dating a card. Even the toning of photographs were pushed beyond the natural for expressive purposes producing very deep blues or sepias.

Edmond Becquerel made the first color print in but there was no way to fix the image onto paper at that time. The back of a post card can give several clues about the age of a card. Large quantities could also be produced in consistant color because they did not require toning. Trade cards became popular with the enterprising merchants who distributed them from the s to the s. Do study the images, and read the description carefully, both for what is said and, more particularly, what is not said regarding condition.

The codes appear either on the scenic side or in the postage box. More often than not the card was just left blank. Very cool information - I can't say I have any of my own to add, divorce dating websites though!

PIONEER ERA (1893-1898)

The presence of a photographers name is not a definite indication of when a card was made or even who made it. Very interesting history on postcards. Awesome lens on deltiology, I use to collect Ellen Clapsaddle Halloween postcards. The White Border Era brought an end to the postcard craze era.

Post Card History - AZO stamp boxes

The smaller negatives required postcard sized prints to be enlarged often with the aid of an easel to hold the paper in place, and white borders became more common. Gold toning created a red to purple brown cast or a blue black. Many of the real photo post cards being done at the current time are reproductions of earlier historic photos. Publishers, such as Mike Roberts, Dexter Press, Curt Teich, and Plastichrome, began producing cards that had very beautiful chrome colors and were very appealing to collectors. Most post cards produced in the United States were printed during this period.

The Message on My Oldest Postcard - Dated 1877

It is really quite a fascinating subject, when you get into it, as is all postal history. The words Bromide Print often appear on these cards rather than a brand name, or they go unlabled. Other cards have restrictions for Japan, Greece, Turkey. Sometimes a photographer might expose a logo onto the image or hand stamp a name to the back of the card. Have the buildings been modified since the time of this view?

How to Estimate the Age of a Postcard

MetroPostcard Real Photo Postcard Guide

Tips for determining when a U.S. postcard was published

One easy way to approximate when a postcard was mailed if the cancellation date is unreadable is to know the changes in rates for mailing postcards. Some of these same cards were later reproduced in the series. Publishers developed the process so that the inks would dry more quickly. Numbering was an essential way of keeping tract of large inventory.

The number and letter before the dash in the code stand for the date. Variations on this process were developed over the years that followed. If you can identify who the person is, dating then you can estimate the age.

Tichenor Brothers in Cambridge, best username for dating Massachusetts also produced many cards in this era. Lucky you for having a pc from the s! Sometimes the postmark is clear enough for the year to be readable. It was not very light sensitive and was only used for contact printing with direct exposure to the sun.

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Blessed by a SquidAngel, and congrats on LotD! Even if there's no date written and no postmark, what the postcard sender writes about could help to pinpoint the approximate date, if they mention a historical event. Collodion however was highly flammable, which detracted from its popularity.

While some strange forms of color prints were made by Heliochromy or the Vidal process, they were crude and saw no commercial applications. Writing was still not permitted on the address side. Congratulations on LotD honors! None of these papers were made with postcard backs.

  1. Still, no message was permitted on the address side.
  2. The golden age ended as imports from Germany ceased and publishers in the U.
  3. As this paper was manufactured before the advent of real photo postcards, its first release was on thin paper stock.

The First Picture Postcards

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Collotypes, which provide the finest detail of all printing methods are sometimes confused with real photo postcards. These papers were sold in heavy weights with preprinted backs for specifically creating real photo postcards. They were manufactured with postcard backs.


But even collotypes will exhibit a discernible grain when magnified. Congratulations on your Lens of the Day! The photosensitive solution used in this process soaks into the paper, hookup dating so the original paper surface remains dominant in the final print.

Smithsonian Institution Archives
  • All cards during this era had undivided backs of privately printed cards.
  • Stamp boxes are the small rectangular boxes printed on the upper right hand side, where the stamp is to be affixed.
  • Publisher's numbering scheme Other clues.
  • However there was no demand for mass production until real photo postcards became popular.

Identifying the Age of Postcards

Bromide also started being added to American made silver chloride prints to increase speed but not on a consistent basis. There were seven eras for the postcard industry and each one has distinguishing points to help establish its respective identity. All albumen prints were made by contact printing and printed out.

How to Estimate the Age of a Postcard

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