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, A3 meant 1933, B5 meant 1945, and C1 meant 1951. Preceded these numbers and letters was the letter H, which always identified the card as 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    

Huge Antique Vintage Postcard Lot 500 + Rppc, Und Bk, Pre Linen, Linen No Chrome700 Postcards Huge Vintage Lot Pre-linen & Linen 1/2 U.s. & 1/2 Greeting,holidayLot Of 60 Antique Undivided Back - Pre Linen Postcards * Imperfect *Washington D. C.- Great Linen Post Card Of The Mayflower Diner At 5th & RiRock Island Railroad Route Of The Rockies Streamliner Ca1940's LinenMen Weighing "up The Catch"/ Fish/ Lobsters (?)/ Clams (?)/ Non-linen PostcardLarge Lot Of 1400+ Linen And Pre-linen U.s. View PostcardsBox W/1000 Never Used Linen Postcard Views4 Military Postcards~linen~curt Teich Us Army Series~1940s Ww2 Artillery1000 Linen Post Card Lot, Buildings, Post Offices, Scenics, Comics Free ShippingDr Jim Stamps Us 5th Ave New York City Linen Tichnor PostcardFrostburg, Md/ Main St./nat'l Hway 40/ Stores/old Cars/linen PostcardLot Of 920 Undivided Back- Pre Linen - Linen Postcards United StatesHuge Lot Of 120+ Vintage Pre Linen Postcards ~ Real Photo ~ States ~ HolidaysJacksonville Fl Postcard "florida Grill" Seafood Restaurant Roadside 1940s LinenCadiz, Ohio Oh World's Largest Shovel M.a. Hanna Coal Co 1940s Linen PostcardLinen, The Delano Hotel & Cabana Club, On The Ocean, Miami Beach, Fl, 1953 Military Postcards~linen~curt Teich Us Army Series~1940s Ww2Cuyahoga Falls, Oh/ View On Cuyahoga River From Broad St. Bridge/ Non-linen PcCuyahoga Falls, Oh/ Water Falls/ Bldgs/ Non-linen PostcardLinen Postcard -- Ohio State Fairgrounds Coliseum -- Columbus, OhioDr Jim Stamps Us Lower Manhattan Skyline Linen Colouricture Postcard NycSheep Herding In The West/ Man On Horse/ Dogs Watching Sheep/non-linen PostcardCuyahoga Falls, Oh/upper Bridge/ The Gorge/ Non-linen PostcardEast Liverpool, Oh/ Washington Street Looking North/ Non-linen Postcard1941 Geo-political Map Of Poland Vtg Curteich Linen PostcardChapel Hill North Carolina Greetings Large Letter Linen Vintage Postcard (k2539)1937 Linen Advertising Postcard, Happy's Club Catalina Bar, Avalon, CaliforniaChicago, Il, Illinois, Cook County Hospital, 1940 Linen Vintage Postcard A5710Dr Jim Stamps Us Empire State Bldg Linen Postcard New York CityNewark, Oh/ B & O Railway/ Shops/ Tracks/ Trains/ Non-linen PostcardNatural Bridge, Va/ Green Top Court/ Old Cars Out Front; Non-linen PostcardNew York City / Times Square & Paramount Bldg Linen Postcard 1949 1 StampDr Jim Stamps Us Pennsylvania Rr Station New York City Linen Postcard 1940Dr Jim Stamps Us Rock Of Ages & Cave Of Winds Niagara Linen Postcard New YorkWinchester Ky Thoroughbred Motor Court Motel Vintage Linen PostcardLinen Postcard -- Du-par's Restaurants -- Los Angeles, CaliforniaDr Jim Stamps Us New York Skyline From Governor's Island Linen Postcard 1955Chicago, Il, Illinois, World's Fair, Czech. Pavilion, 1933 Linen Postcard A5731Dr Jim Stamps Us Pennsylvania Station Linen Postcard New York CityDr Jim Stamps Us Rockefeller Center Outdoor Restaurant Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Nicholson Railroad Bridge Between Scranton & Ny Linen PostcardChicago, Il, Illinois, Soldiers' Field At Night, 1953 Linen Vtg Postcard A5719Council Bluffs, Ia, Iowa, Golden Spike, Unused Linen Vintage Postcard Pc A5747New Orleans, La, Louisiana, Jackson Square Diagrammed, Linen Postcard Pc A5827Boston, Ma, Massachusetts, The Lake In The Public Gardens, Linen Postcard A5904Dr Jim Stamps Us Troy Menands Bridge Linen Colortone Postcard Troy New YorkDr Jim Stamps Us 200 Disk Corning New York Observatory Linen Tichnor PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Pratt Institute & Park Entrance Linen Postcard Brooklyn, NyLotof 300 + Postcards Mostly Chrome,some Linen,;2 3-d;mostly DifferentRochester, Ny Postcard "fraternal Order Of Eagles - Aerie 52" Bowling Bar Linen Linen Postcard Painting At The Art Institute Of Chicago In Saugatuck, Mi~100100 Vintage (1930-45) Linen Style Av202 Aviation Comic Series Occupied TerritoryScene Near Philmont, Ny Vintage Linen Unused Postcards Circa 1930-1940s Balboa, Ca Postcard Newport "harbor Entrance" Sailboat Curteich Linen 19472 Vintage Linen Postcards Denver Colorado City Park Miniature Railroad Station1940s Linen Postcard South End Swimming Pool And Monmouth Hotel Spring Lake N.jDr Jim Stamps Us New York Skyline At Night Linen Acacia PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Rca Bldg Rockefeller Ctr At Night Linen Postcard New York City2 Mint Linen Trailer Comics 1946 Era