Linen postcards were printed in the United States from the 1930s until the 1950s. Contrary to their descriptive name, linen postcards were not made out of linen, which is derived from flax, but they did have a high rag content, which means the paper contained a certain amount of cotton fiber. Instead, linen actually refers to the surface texture of the postcard—prior to the early 1930s, it was not economically feasible to print anything of quality on embossed papers.

Two of the key traits of linen postcards are their saturated colors, recalling the Phostints produced by the Detroit Photographic Company in the early part of the century, and their soft focus, the result of the cards’ uneven surfaces. Many linen postcards also had white borders, a stylistic holdover from the postcards published after World War I and throughout the 1920s. And while many of the artists who were popular during the heyday of the artist-signed-postcards era at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries are not well represented in linen, most of the major postcard categories are, from comic postcards to scenics (also called “views”) to travel and lodging cards, including the popular large-letter postcards.

The foremost linen-postcard publisher was Curt Teich Co. of Chicago, which pioneered linen postcards and whose products have always been popular with collectors due to their meticulous numbering system. For example, beginning in 1929, Teich cards were numbered sequentially as D1, D2, D3, etc., and starting in 1930, these numbers were preceded by a number for the last digit of the year and a letter for the decade—in other words, 3A meant 1933, 5B meant 1945, and 1C meant 1951. Following the date was the card's ID number, which was always preceded by the letter H if the card was linen.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)



Andreas Praefcke's postcard collection of theatres and concert halls worldwide. Showcases 3700 images of over 1810 … [read review or visit site]

Tall Tale Postcards

Tall Tale Postcards

Don't let this one get away from you. This 'unbelievable' collection, from the Wisconsin Historical Society, featur… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

2500+ Vintage Postcards Lot Ww2 Countries States Usa Linen Embossed 1920 - 1970Lot 94 Linen & Prelinen Vintage Postcard FoldersLinen Postcard-central Plaza-mccrory's Dept Store St Petersburg Fl In 1958-cars!Linen Era Davis Coal Co. Ad Postcard,truck, Dayton OhSnak Shak Cafe / Nephi, Utah / Linen Restaurant Advertising Postcard / Very CoolDr Jim Stamps Us Army Fighter Plane Curtiss Hawk P-40 Linen Tichnor PostcardLinen, Usa-40 Boeing B-17 "flying Fortress", 287 Mph, 74 Ft Long, 104' WingspanDr Jim Stamps Us Black Americana Comic Linen Tichnor PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Municipal Pier & Boats San Diego, Calif Linen Tichnor PostcardLinen, "black And White Symphony", Young Black Child Sitting In Basket Of CottonLinen, "bales Of Cotton Ready For Shipment", Being Moved By Black Americans...Dr Jim Stamps Us California Missions Map Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Maid Of The Mist Niagara Falls Linen Metrocraft PostcardB1743 Old Glory 48-star American Flag - 1941 Teich Linen Postcard No. 1b-h17B4350 Radio City Hollywood New Cbs & Nbc Studios Linen Pc Longshaw Card Co. #750Dwyer Cafe - Restaurant / St Petersburg Fl / Curteich Linen Advertising PostcardImperial Hotel 144 S Maryland Ave Atlantic City Jewish Interest Rare, LinenVintage Cincinnati Reds Baseball Stadium Crosley Field Linen Sports PostcardUnused Linen Postcard Sankaty Head Light, Siasconset, Nantucket, MassachusettsGreetings From Kirtland Field, Albuuerque, Nm, Large Letter Linen PostcardLinen, Keep 'em Flying, "scout Bomber", Single Engine, 2/3 Seats, Navy AircraftVintage Louisiana Linen Postcard New Orleans Gold Courses Country Club AudubonLinen, "aunt Venus Hunting", Older Black Lady Going Thru A Child's Hair For BugsDr Jim Stamps Us Post Office & Fed Bldg Chicago Postcard Linen ColortoneDr Jim Stamps Us Store Quaker Run Linen Colortone Postcard Allegany State ParkDr Jim Stamps Us Ships Crushing Ice Soo Locks Michigan Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us View Of Bridge & City Toledo Ohio Linen PostcardB4133 A/s Lon Megargee "jenney And Little Jack" '44 Teich Linen Postcard 4b-h871B3613 Opening Of Navigation Freighters Crush Thru Ice Soo Locks 1939 Teich LinenB2953 Columbia Sc Main Street Night View - Linen Postcard Asheville Post Card CoB4677 Tourists On Trail S End Of Olympic Nat'l Park Wa - Linen Pc Tichnor #74027Vintage Linen Post Card Lot U.s.a. 1930 - 1950(100+ Nice)unused & UsedThe Irish Pub's Home Elwood Hotel 164 St James Pl Atlantic City Nj Linen!Jackson Michigan Regent Cafe Vintage 1940s Linen PcDr Jim Stamps Us Elk In Snow Yellowstone Natl Park Linen Colortone PostcardWilliam Beaumont Hospital, Fort Bliss Tx Texas, Large Letter Linen PostcardBlack Americana; Trying Shake Hangover Dts Vintage Linen Good PcDr Jim Stamps Us Great Northern Railroad Empire Builder Train Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Great Silver Fleet Airliner Over Mt Vernon Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us California Missions Map Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Loyola Univ New Orleans, La Linen Colortone Postcard 1954Greetings From Infantry School, Ft. Benning, Ga Large Letter Linen PostcardLot Of 3 -greetings From United Nations New York Ny Large Letter Linen PostcardsLot Of 3 - Az Arizona Linen Mining Town Postcards - Globe (broad St) - JeromeDiesel Loco. Pulling Santa Fe Freight Train/ California/ Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Hall Of Waters Excelsior Springs, Mo Indoor Pool Postcard LinenDr Jim Stamps Us The Washingotn Monument Washington Dc Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Feeding Pelicans On The Pier In St Petersburg Linen PostcardB3680 Glacier Park Hotel East Entrance Glacier Nat'l Park Mt 1938 Teich Linen PcB4717 Spokane Wa Showing 7 Bridges 5 Waterfalls 1948 Teich Linen Pc No. 8b-h1923Dr Jim Stamps Us Bachman Twin Tunnels Old Autos Linen Postcard ChattanoogaDr Jim Stamps Us High Level Bridge & Terminal Tower Cleveland Oh Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Dress Of Martha Washington Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Dress Of Mary Todd Lincoln Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Dress Of Sarah Childress Polk Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Calhoun Towers Greenville South Carolina Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Lake Michigan Beach State Park Holland Linen PostcardB4718 Civic Center City Club Masonic Temple Elks Spokane Wa 1948 Teich Linen PcB3676 Greetings From Springfield Mo Multiview Kropp Linen Postcard No. 28755-48B3612 Consolidated Paper Co. Monroe Mi Factory Rr Multiview Kropp Linen Postcard