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    

Lot Of 600 Us State View Postcards Linen & Earlier 1900s-1950s700+ Vintage Antique Postcards Lot Prelinen/linen/rppc Few Early Chromes Huge Bulk Lot Of Approx. 900 Linen Postcards 7 Lbs. 3 Oz. - Assorted Topics700+ Vintage Antique Postcards Large Lot Prelinen/linen/early Chromes Lot 2Oh Ohio Fairborn Sinclair Gas Service Station Adv Linen Green County PostcardWilmington Nc Postcard Mac Millan & Cameron Amoco Gas Station Linen +memorabiliaLinen Postcard Michaelson Grove Bradenton Florida Citrus Fruit Price List OrangeLinen Postcard Coast Guard Station, Fort Hancock, New JerseyVintage Postcard Linen Breakers Hotel Mantoloking New Jersey Nj UnusedNm New Mexico Raton, Highway & Pass Lot Of 24 White Border And Linen Cards City View Motel Marion Virginia U.s. No. 11 Vintage Unused Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Old Mill Lakewood Little Rock Arkansas Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Old French Habitant Quebec Canada Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us View Of Hot Springs Natl Park Arkansas Linen PostcardB1912 The Village Lake Arrowhead California Ca '50 Linen Postcard Teich 0c-h619 B1753 "a Constant Denial" No Letters. Unsgd Ray Walters 1935teich Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Hold Up Bear Yellowstone Natl Park Linen Postcard 1937Advertising Postcard Airmaid Hosiery Woman On Phone Curteich Linen 1940 CancelLinen Post Card Advertising "fine Foods" Restaurant Oklahoma City OkBeach Haven New Jersey~engleside Hotel~vintage Cars~1930s Linen PostcardMiami Florida Greetings Large Letter Linen Antique Postcard J52265Easley South Carolina Post Office Linen Antique Postcard J52385Nm New Mexico Hot Springs Las Cruces Lot Of 18 Unused Linen & Chrome Cards Dr Jim Stamps Us Hangars For Clipper Ships Miami Florida Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Greetings From Wyoming Linen Postcard1940’s Linen Vintage San Francisco PostcardsSanlando Springs, Florida Boys Girls Bathing Suits Vintage Linen Near OrlandoDr Jim Stamps Us Old Faithful Inn & Geyser Yellowstone Natl Park Linen PostcardManchester Tn Tennessee, 1950's Linen Postcard, Park Motel, Us Hwy. 41, CarsDr Jim Stamps Us Painted Desert From Desert View Arizona Linen Postcard 1939Dr Jim Stamps Us Main Street At Night Waynesville, Nc Linen Colortone PostcardCleveland, Oh Euclid Ave. East From Public Square/ Stores/signs/ Non-linen PcDr Jim Stamps Us Chester Municipal Bridge Illinois Postcard Linen ColortoneB2878 S.a.l. Railway Station & Train Boca Grande Fl Teich 1939 Linen Pc 9a-h2061Dr Jim Stamps Us Kanuga Lake & Pinnacle Mtn Hendersonville, Nc Postcard LinenDr Jim Stamps Us Chicago Big Letters At Night Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Lake Hamilton Hot Springs Natl Park Arkansas Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us The Chipmunk Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Baha'i Temple At Night Wilmette, Ill Postcard Linen ColortoneB4089 Will Rogers Ranch House Santa Monica Ca '33 Teich Linen Postcard #3a-h1402Black Hills, South Dakota, Sd, Needles Highway,1941 Linen Vintage Postcard A2005Rapid City, South Dakota, Sd, Alex Johnson Hotel, Linen Vintage Postcard A2001Rare 30s Onset Ma Programmatic Roadside Linen Adv Ocean Spray Cranberry CocktailLinen Roadside Postcard Silver Castle Diner Restaurant, West Tulsa, OklahomaLinen Postcard Fort Myers Flexible Gunnery School Florida Fl Ft Large LetterAmarillo, Tx, Pueblo Court Gas Station & Motel, Rte 66, Linen Adv Pc Dated 1949 Linen Roadside Postcard Smith's Tourist Camp Gas Station, Sand Springs, OklahomaWatkins Glen, N.y. "25 Views~colourpicture Linen Postcards" Grand Prix Road RaceLinen Post Card Advertising Hardy's Steaks Restaurant Oklahoma City OkIsland Heights New Jersey Yacht Club On Toms River Linen Antique Postcard J52096Seaside Park New Jersey Motor Boating Linen Antique Postcard J52024Nm New Mexico Las Vegas And Santa Fe Trail Lot Of 24 Wb, Linen & Chrome Cards Linen Postcard Indian Point House, Stony Creek, ConnecticutOrrville, Oh/ Winkler Horse Barn/ Bldg/ Teams Of Horses/ Dirt Road/non-linen PcC.1950 Linen Advertising Postcard, Eau Claire Café, Wisconsin - CreasesVintage Postcard Theatre Row At Night Dallas, Tx Elm St. Looking East Linen EraLot Of 2 Linen Postcards New York City Nyc Rockefeller Center Night 6th Ave.Ca, Near Palm Springs, Joshua Trees Of The Ca Desert, Linen PcSea Island Ga The Cloister Hotel Linen Postcard - GeorgiaDr Jim Stamps Us Montreat, Nc Big Letters Linen Colortone Postcard