Over the next six months, Newberry Library, Chicago, will take possession of 2.5 million postcards from the Curt Teich Postcards Archives Collection, previously housed at the Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda. The collection's centerpiece is the 360,000-card archives of Curt Teich, a company that operated in Chicago from 1898 to 1978 and was the world's biggest printer of advertising and view postcards. Teich photographers took pictures in more than 10,000 towns and cities in the U.S., Canada and 115 other countries.
The collection also includes the Leonard A. Lauder Raphael Tuck
Collection of more than 35,000 postcards known as oilettes; the John I.
Monroe Collection of postcards printed by Paul Finkenrath of Berlin; and
the James R. Powell Route 66 Collection
These postcards of the capital (then known as Constantinople) of the Ottoman Empire at the close of the 19th century were produced using the Photochrom process. The technique applies layers of artificial color to a black and white image with surprisingly realistic results.
These vibrant snapshots of daily life in America in the 1900s were popular Photochrome postcards – created by blending photography and early colour printing techniques. From the Lucky Strike billboards to the Chicago railway track that opened up travel to all, these tourist souvenirs were printed in their millions each year and offer a detailed journey into the past. They were taken in a decade when the United States was on the cusp of its Industrial Revolution bouncing back from the depression of the 1890s. Immigration was beginning to boom and while the country was still largely rural, pioneers such as JP Morgan and Andrew Carnegie were starting to shape history.
These postcards of Belle Époque Venice were printed by the Detroit Publishing Company using the Photochrom process, a time-consuming and exacting technique by which convincing layers of artificial color are applied to black and white photos and reproduced.
This widely circulated collection was created in the 1960s and 1970s by the talented photographer John Hinde. His vibrant images depict sun-drenched days in London, rural Ireland and some of Britain’s best-loved beaches. His studio became one of the world's most successful postcard companies selling over 50 million annual postcards.
Shakespeare & the Players is an online exhibition of nearly
1,000 postcards featuring many famous English and American actors who
performed Shakespeare’s plays for late Victorian and Edwardian
audiences. The postcards date from around 1880 to 1914, encapsulating an important era in not just postcard history, but Shakespeare history and world history
as well. The site showcases postcards featuring the dominating actors
of the time in roles from some of the more popular and oft-performed
The evolution of sex appeal: 100-year-old postcard images of 'sexy' women from around the world show how the idea of a perfect pin-up has gone from dainty and demure to raunchy and risque. These days, if you send a postcard home from your travels (and not just an email), it's likely to feature an image of a famous landmark like the Eiffel Tower, the Trevi Fountain, the Empire State Building, or perhaps - depending on your pen pal - a picture of a stunning woman posing provocatively on a beach while wearing a barely-there bikini. But while these stereotypical 'wish you were HER' style postcards are today deemed to be somewhat tacky, a century ago, postcards featuring photos of women were much more commonplace - specifically, photos of pretty women who represented the beauty ideals and fashion trends of the day in any particular place in the world.