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 ID was the card's actual ID number, which was always preceded by the letter H if the card was linen.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Carthalia

Carthalia

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    

Linen And Prelinen Postcards - Lot Of 1000Huge Lot 350 Antique Postcards Prelinen Linen Holiday Birthday Greeting ResaleLinen Postcards - Lot Of 1000Linen Postcards - Lot Of 1000, Box #2Rare Linen Simpson's Diner Dining Car Main St. Houston, Texas C 1940sDr Jim Stamps Us Army Series Air Corps Linen Colortone PostcardHerrin, Il Illinois Boy Scout Cabin C1940s Curteich Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Shirley Temple's Home Linen Colortone Postcard Los AngelesDr Jim Stamps Us New York Worlds Fair Corona Gate Linen Postcard 1939Dr Jim Stamps Us Rockefeller Center New York Linen Postcard 1943Dr Jim Stamps Us Great Ship See & Bee Linen Tichnor PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Union Station Waiting Room Los Angeles Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Hopi Indian Dance Linen Fred Harvey Postcard Jerome ArizonaDr Jim Stamps Us Exaggerated Apple Shenandoah Valley, Va Linen Tichnor PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Confederate Monument Montgomery Alabama Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Port Authority Bus Terminal New York City Linen Postcard 1966Dr Jim Stamps Us Flying Fortress B-17 Fighter Plane Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Sarasota Florida Linen PostcardComic Linen Postcard/ Little Black Boy Sitting On Chamber Pot/"big Blow Out"/munCurt Teich Linen Postcard Gulf Mobile & Ohio Streamliner Rebel Train3 Fred Harvey Linen Postcard 1937-santa Fe Train-crozier, Diablo Canyon ArizonaDr Jim Stamps Us Snoqualmie Falls Washington Linen Kropp PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Mormon Meteor Racecar Bonneville Salt Flats Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Fishing Cats In Boat Linen Alfred Mainzer PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Army Troops At Rifle Range Wwii Camp Pendleton Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us The Champion Streamliner Train Linen Tichnor Postcard 1951Dr Jim Stamps Us Sponge Exchange Tarpon Springs Florida Linen Postcard1951 Rare! Art Deco Florida Burlesque Paddock Club Bar Miami Beach, Fla - LinenLinen Postcard; Death Valley Nat'l Monument Ca Twenty Mule Canyon Willard255 Early Postcards U.s. Hotels Including Linen And White Border G932Dr Jim Stamps Us American Falls In Winter Niagara Falls, Ny Linen PostcardAmarillo Army Air Base Texas Greetings Large Letter Linen Antique Pc J46317Lot Of 3 Santa Fe Streamliner Fred Harvey Linen Postcard-california CaLinen Postcard - Briggs Stadium - Detroit Tigers - 35-65054 Chafee.(one Flag).Vintage Postcard Illinois Il Elgin National Watch Co Linen TeichDr Jim Stamps Us Grand Canyon Yellowstone Natl Park Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Bridal Veil Falls Heber Springs Arkansas Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Army Gas Attack Drill Wwi Postcard Camp Pendleton LinenDr Jim Stamps Us Army Guns At Fort Monroe, Va Postcard Linen TichnorDr Jim Stamps Us Bird Cage Jail St Augustine Florida Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Ymca Hotel Guest Rooms Chicago Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Sault St Marie Big Letters Linen Colortone Postcard MichiganDr Jim Stamps Us Army Landing Party Camp Pendleton Wwii Postcard LinenDr Jim Stamps Us Desert Cacti Linen Colortone PostcardLinen, Aerial View Of The Eastern End Of San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1940sDr Jim Stamps Us Oswego New York Big Letters Linen Postcard 1943Dr Jim Stamps Us Fast Worker Military Comic Linen Tichnor Free Frank PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Alcatraz Island San Francisco California Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Black Hills South Dakota Big Letters Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Albany, Ny Big Letters Linen Colortone Postcard 1945Dr Jim Stamps Us Ten Of A Kind Fish Catch Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Ferry Loading Galveston Texas Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Seven Falls Linen Colortone Postcard Colorado SpringsDr Jim Stamps Us Grand Canyon Of Yellowstone Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Hall Of Waters Dispensary Excelsior Springs, Mo Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Naval Armory Detroit Michigan Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Union Station At Night Linen Colortone Postcard Los AngelesDr Jim Stamps Us Shiloh Natl Military Park Linen Colortone Postcard TennesseeDr Jim Stamps Us Steamship Florida Postcard Linen Tichnor 1961Dr Jim Stamps Us Baha'i Temple At Night Wilmette, Ill Postcard Linen Colortone