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    

900 Vintage Postcards Huge Lot 1901-1907 1907-1915 Linen Era 1930-1945 Huge Lot Of 300 Vintage Foreign Postcards ~ Pre-linen, Linen 1000 Postcards Huge Vintage Lot Pre-linen & Linen United States Post CardsLot Of 1000 - Us Postcards Linen & Older Various Subjects & Locations - (us-110)800 Postcards Huge Vintage Lot Pre-linen,linen & Rppc Foreign Postcards1000 Linen Postcard Lot All South N S Carolina Tn Va Ky Ga No Chrome AshevilleBaseball: Cincinnati Palace Of The Fans; Police Inspection; Pre-linen (pre 611)Baseball: Polo Grounds, Nyc; Helmar Cigarettes Adv.; Pre-linen*huge* Vintage Lot Of (139) New Jersey Postcards Rppc Pre Linen Early 1900'sLinen Postcards - Lot Of 800500+ Postcards W/ Vintage Album (linen, Chrome) Landscape, Motels, National ParkPontiac Il Advertising Linen Postcard Liberty Cafe Interior Route 66 Qq9983Catskill Mts Mountain House New York Post Vintage Old Card Pre-linenAuburn, Ind/ 182 People On 4 Turnbull Wagons/1 Team Of Horses/non-linen PostcardNice Lot 325 Old Linen Postcards~greetings From~great Mix~unused Nos In SleevesLinen Postcard Trio Motor Sales, Pitman, New JerseyAlaska/ "obleka"/eskimo Woman In Native Costume/ Linen PostcardNew York/ Brooklyn Bridge/ Non- Linen Postcard1941 Close Up Mt Rushmore Under Construction, South Dakota 1941 Linen Postcard500 Old Usa Postcards From Linen And OlderLinen Truck Earl Brooks Fire Control Equipment Lincoln Highway Coatsville, PaGrand Rapids, Minnesota. 9 Real Photo Postcards; 1 Linen PostcardVintage Linen Boeing B-47 Stratojet Bomber Sheppard Afb Wichita Falls TexasEstate Lot 55 1935-1950 Linen Era Vermont Postcard All Shown1912 Pre-linen Postcard Boat Landing, Harvey's Lake, Near Wilkes-barre, Pa Unused Linen Postcard Peter Miller Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida100+ Antique C:1940's Linen Era Oregon Postcard Plus 150+ Bonus 1950-1970 CardsLot Vintage Postcards Rppc Linen Italian Romance Tuck Singles Souvenir Booklets1940's Illinois Starved Rock French Canyon Linen Tichnor 8886 PostcardArrowhead Gift Mart, 133 5th St., Miami Beach, Fl, Jewelry, Moccasins, LinenWilliam Rockefeller's Home Tarrytown Ny Udb Pre Linen Postcard 1906Lake Winnipesaukee, Nh Linen Folder Postcard & Miniature Views PostcardOverlea Diner Baltimore Maryland Md LinenAspen Grove Cemetery Linen Multiview Burlington Iowa PostcardEstate Lot 99 White Border & Linen 1920-1950's Utah Postcard Plus Bonus Stack1940s Greetings From Miles City, Montana Large Letter LinenAerial View Bush Field Airport Augusta Ga Linen Postcard W29Mt. Si Motel, North Bend, Washington, Linen Roadside PostcardVintage Lighthouse - Portland Headlight, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Me - LinenMontana/ Big Timber In The Northwest/ Men Looking At Trees/non-linen PostcardLarge Lot Of 100 Vintage Florida White Border Linen Postcards Old Linen Postcard Of Pony Track On Rt 40, Braddock Heights, Md Lot Of Over 150 Old New Orleans Postcards Mostly Linen Era But Includes All ErasLinen Postcard, Ye Old Mill Inn, Green Lake, Willmar, Spicer Minn. Minnesota MnWarrior On Horseback Drawn By Blackfoot Indian Reproduced 1942 Linen PostcardWwii Linen Pc Postcard Vintage Air Force Military Marfa Texas Tx Flying SchoolSacramento, California Ca The Topper Interior Roadside 1940s Linen PostcardSanta Monica, Ca Olympic Auto Hotel Roadside 1940s Linen PostcardWaconia, Minnesota. 7 Linen Postcards. Hotel Patricia- Miami Florida- Linen CurteichDelaware Lot Of 27 Vintage Standard Size Postcards Mixed Lot Pre Linen To ChromeNice 1935 Linen, Panama Canal, Kiss Of The Oceans, MapFlemington Nj - Hunterdon Medical Center - Linen PostcardPhilippines Manila Hotel Linen Postcard From 1940Philippines Manila Hotel Linen Postcard From 1939 Aerial ViewPhilippines Manila Fort Santiago And Pasig River Boats Linen Postcard From 1938Philippines Manila Euchraistic Congress Last Supper Painting 1936 Linen PostcardVintage Linen Postcard Of Key West Turtle CrawlsOk Tulsa Mid-continent Oil Refinery And Skyline Linen PostcardTn Milan First Baptist Church Linen Postcard