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    

500 U.s Postcard Lot Pre- Linen, Linen, Real PhotoHuge Lot Of Vintage Postcards - 1000 - Linen And Pre-linen Huge Antique Postcard Lot Of 89 No Linen Or Chrome 1900-1910's Undivided BackPanama Canal Zone Biological Area Map Signed James Zetek Linen Finish PostcardLot Of 11 Comic Linen Postcards 1930s/40 Unposted No Creases Clean BacksAmazing Sugar Bowl Court Motel, Houma, La Linen PostcardTwo Vintage Linen, Scalloped Edged Postcard Monterey Hotel, Murrieta Hot SpringsDr Jim Stamps Us Ford Plant Dearborn Michigan Linen Tichnor PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Port Clinton Light House & Boat Lake Erie Linen Postcard OhioNew York City // East River Drive,showing Sutton Place Linen Postcard UnusedHuge Antique Vintage Postcard Lot 500+ Rppc, Und Bk Pre Linen, Linen, Greetings Pre-linen Mason Postcard Goat Shaking Hands With Man Hl6696Nash Car Dealership Postcard--linenRare Kaiser Frazer Car Dealership Postcard--linen700 Early Postcards Huge Lot Mixed Greetings,holidays,novelty,pre-linenPostcard Dealer Lot Of 25 Vintage Linen Postcards Santa Catalina Island Casino++Linen Postcard Unloading Catch Of Tuna Fish, Beach Haven, New JerseyCurt Teich Linen Comic Postcard 'what A Life Comics' Hamburger Lunch CounterJayhawk Motel Chapman Ks Kansas Advertising Linen Postcard Mobil Gas Vg9671Linen Postcard Sports Americas Finest Baseball Stadium Miami Fl FloridaInterior Diner,"cunningham's Lunch" Seneca St, Oil City, Pa 1952 Linen PcTampa Florida Drew Field Tents Military Linen Vintage Postcard K17687Tolchester Beach Maryland View Of Moonlight On Water Linen Antique Pc Z13661Pre-linen Postcard The Armory, Centreville, MarylandLot Of 12 Vintage Linen Florida Postcards Highways, Key West, Singing Towerlot 1Dr Jim Stamps Us Statue Of Liberty At Sunrise Postcard Linen New York CityLot Of 11 Comic Linen Postcards 1930s/40 Logo Of Miller Art Co On BackLot Of 9 Comic Fishing Linen Postcards 1930s/40 Unposted No Creases Clean BacksDr Jim Stamps Us Chicago Stadium Linen Tichnor Postcard 1940Dr Jim Stamps Us Wrigley Bldg & Tribune Tower Linen Tichnor Postcard ChicagoDr Jim Stamps Us Glass Bottom Boat Silver Springs Florida Linen Tichnor PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Chicago Illinois Big Letters Linen Colortone PostcardBrooklyn New York // Botanical Gardens,prospect Park Linen Postcard Unused30s Poster Style Multi-view Linen Adv: Cartozian & Sons Rug Cleaning, Tacoma WaUnion Pacific The Columbine; Chicago To Denver Vintage Linen PostcardLinen Postcard Sports Baseball Milwaukee County Stadium Milwaukee Wi WisconsinWestern Romance Queen Desert Linen Postcard Unsigned Artist Lon Megargee Vg9662Inner Garden University Of Santa Clara Ca Vintage Linen Postcard - D.a. MilliganVerona, Virginia Postcard "white House Cottages" Route 11 Roadside Linen C1940sHarrisonburg, Va Postcard "purer Village Cottages" Route 11 Roadside Linen 1939Lot Of 14 Linen Postcards-cleveland Oh-c.1940-50-cars/lg Letter-harbor-hotel-vfVintage Linen Postcard, Flamingo's Eat From Hand, Miami's Rare Bird Farm, MiamiPostcard Lido Motel Atlantic City New Jersey Early LinenLot Of 5 Cowboy Bronco Busting Vintage Postcards; 1917 Rpo Cancel + 4 Linen1916 Pre-linen Postcard Art Exhibit, Heinz Pier, Atlantic City, New JerseyPre-linen Postcard U. S. Sub Treasury, Manhattan And Morgan Bldgs, Nyc, New YorkDr Jim Stamps Us Streamliner Train Tropical Florida Series 61-f Linen PostcardLot Of 12 Vintage Linen Florida Postcards Porpoise, Circus, Pelican Lot 4Dr Jim Stamps Us Navajo Indian Medicine Man Linen Postcard New MexicoParis Mountain State Park Near Greenville Sc Linen Postcard - Southh CarolinaPueblo Indians Deer Dance Vintage Linen Posted Divided BackLinen Postcard Courtyard Of Bosque House, New Orleans, LouisianaLinen Postcard The Terrace, The Little White House, Warm Spprings, GeorgiaLinen Postcard R. C. A. Exhibit Building, New York World's Fair 1939, New YorkPre-linen Postcard Foyer, H. J. Heinz Co. Administration Bldg, Pittsburgh, PaLot Of 12 Vintage Linen Florida Porpoise, Flamingo Singing Tower, Flower Lot 6Lot Of 16 Comic Postcards Linen 1930s/40 Correspondence InjunDr Jim Stamps Us Elephant Hotel Margate City New Jersey Linen Colortone PostcardLarge Letter Greetings Linen Postcard Baltimore Md Maryland C.t. ArtDr Jim Stamps Us Chicago Skyline Linen Tichnor Postcard 1944