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”)

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    

Large/huge Lot 1000+ Us Postcards Standard Size Pre-linen/linen/chrome Motels1000 Postcards Huge Vintage Lot Pre-linen & Linen United States Post Cards500 Postcards Huge Vintage Lot Pre-linen,linen & Rppc Foreign PostcardsLot Of 150 Florida Postcards, Linen And OlderHuge Lot Of 100+ Us Pre-linen And Linen Postcards - Lot IxxxBaseball Park: Pre-linen Federal League Park, Chicago - Pm. 1916Huge Lot Of 100+ Us Pre-linen And Linen Postcards - Lot XxxiMeadowbrook Diner - East 38th St. - Indianapolis, In Vintage Linen PostcardBaseball Park: Pre-linen Cleveland Interior View - Indians - C. 1910s-20sHuge Lot Of 100+ Us Pre-linen And Linen Postcards - Lot XviHuge Lot Of 100+ Us Pre-linen And Linen Postcards - Lot XxviiFlorida Black Americana Darky's Prayer" Vintage Linen 1940s PostcardHuge Lot Of 100+ Us Pre-linen And Linen Postcards - Lot XxviiiHuge Lifetime Postcard Collection! Linen Udb Rppc Chrome 1,600 Postcard Lot (12)Huge Dealer Wholesale Linen Postcard Lot Southern State Views Ga Sc Tenn (1600)+1930s Augusta National Golf Club House Georgia Ga. Linen PostcardBaseball Park: Pre-linen Polo Grounds #2 - Ny Giants - Pm 1910Baseball Stadium, Pre-linen - Navin Field, Detroit Tigers - C. 1920s-30sLinen Roadside Postcard Sgt Dave Green's Alamo Cafe, Beaumont, Texas Ca 1930sHuge Lot Of 100+ Us Pre-linen And Linen Postcards - Lot XxxC1940 Briggs Stadium Detroit Tigers Baseball Linen PostcardHand-colored Linen Postcard West Side Plaza Ww/ Theatre, Taos, New Mexico 1920sHand-colored Linen Postcard Plaza, North Side, Taos, New Mexico - Ca 1920sBaseball Park: Linen Era Briggs Stadium, Detroit Tigers #1 - C. 1940sBaseball Park: Pre-linen Harrisburg, Pa Senators, Tri-state League - C. 1910sBaseball Park, Pre-linen Polo Grounds #4 - Ny Giants - C. 1920sHuge Dealer Wholesale Linen Postcard Lot Southern State Views Va Nc Sc (1600) +1912 Pre-linen Postcard "rose Hill", Frederick, MarylandBaseball Park: Pre-linen National League "cubs" Ball Park - Chicago - C. 1922Vintage Military Comic- "calvary Men!" - Colorful Linen - C.1940'sTiptonville Tn Tennessee Linen Postcard Exaggerated Fish Reelfoot Lake Zs8216Ely Minnesota Large Letter Linen Greeting Antique Postcard V18552Pan Am American 40 Passenger Clipper Ship Miami Fl Nice Linen PostcardLot Of 100 Linen/chrome Postcards 40s, 50s, 60s Mostly California AVtg San Juan Puerto Rico First Baptist Church Postcard - Linen -iglesia BautistaBaseball Park: Pre-linen Wrigley Field, Los Angeles #1 - C. 1920s-30sEuclid Beach Linen Post Card Lot(18) UnusedLot 17 Utah Linen Mini Postcards Color Vintage Zion Parks Postal Unused AntiqueSeattle, Wa Linen Postcard Pike Place Market W/ Sign & 1940s Trucks & CarsVintage Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, Ny Linen PostcardWw Ii 1944 Linen Fred Harvey Postcard-6 Us Women In Uniform Identification-vfPanama Canal Ppanama Airways Plane Carrying Passengers Linen Antique Pc (y7622)Leesburg Florida Large Letter Linen Greeting Antique Postcard V18759Baseball Park: Pre-linen Polo Grounds #1 - Ny Giants - C. 1910sLinen Postcard Advertisement Williams Stores DenverPre-linen Postcard Drying Codfish, Provincetown, Ma Unused Pre-linen Postcard Round Barn, Hershey, Pa Hershey Pa. Linen Type Postcard Never Mailed E Chocolate Ave & Post OfficeLas Vegas Postcard Linen Art Deco Miami Beach Hotel Linen Triton Hotel Or- Vintage Oregon Large Letter Greetings Postcard - Linen - C.1940'sSummer Beach Sacandaga New York Adirondack Mts Linen Postcard $.50, Free Ship !!Vintage Linen Freighters Arriving Loading Port Terminal Morehead, Nc Baseball Park: Pre-linen Game Action - M.a.c. Lansing, Michigan - C. 1910sBaseball Park: Pre-linen Wrigley Field, Los Angeles #2 - C. 1920s-30sPanama Canal Zone Postcard Set 1944 Curt Teich Linen, 20+ ViewsLincoln Car Dealer Mcgoldrick Motors Flushing L.i. Ny Linen TypeBaseball Park: Linen Era Muehlebach Field - Kansas City, Mo. - C. 1940sLot 17 Linen Postcards Vtg California Hand Colored Hotel Del Mont Unused AntiqueConey Island Brooklyn Nyc Ny-parachute Jump-steeplechase Park-linen Postcard