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, No Chrome!Lot Of 1000 Antique Vintage Postcards As Early As 1907 Various Old Linen & OtherLong Beach Ca, Teepee Barbecue & Mac Pherson's Drive-in, LinenLot Of 130 Mixed Vtg Postcards Rppc Linen White Border Early 1900's Thru 1950's1000 Early Postcards Huge Lot Mixed Greetings,holidays,novelty,pre-linenPedro Miguel, Panama/ Canal Prism To Culebra/ From Top Of Hill/non-linen PostcrdDr Jim Stamps Us La Salle Monument Indianola Texas Linen Colortone PostcardEstate Lot 120 Vintage Posted Unposted 1c Postcards Linen Era Unpicked For ValuGreetings From Roseland Park - Canandaigua Lake Ny - Linen Large LetterVintage Lot Of 13 Linen Cards New York City Very Nice Shiped Free! Photo'sSanger Bros. Dallas, Tx Elm & Lamar, Texas Department Store, Linen PostcardPuerto Rico Palacio Del Gobernador Y Murallas Linen Finish Maximum Postcard 1951Dr Jim Stamps Canada Linen Postcard Royal Canadian Mounted Police 1939Sweet Briar College, Va/ View From Classroom/ Non-linen PostcardSale Risque Teich Shy Bathing Beauty Linen PostcardFlint, Mi/ Flint Plant Chevrolet Motor Co./ Non-linen PostcardLinen, Sir William Hotel, 7100 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Fl, 1940sC.z/ Panama Canal Restaurant/ Non-linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Liberty Memorial At Night Kansas City, Mo Postcard Linen475+ Postcards: Linen, Real Photo, Military, Humorous, Tourist, World's Fair, 3dRare Linen Market Diner New York City, New York C 1940sMiramar Hotel/hull Hotels Linen Pc W Deckled Edge Santa Monica California 1947 Lot Of 200+ Pre-linen Post Cards All Us Standard Size Lots Of Diff States Comic Vintage Linen Postcard Palm Springs, Ca Greetings Sexy Lady Cowboy IndianRppc Linen Adv Litho Occupational Us Military Women's Fashions/uniforms/c. 1940s1948 – The “champion” By Aeronca Aircraft Corp. – Middletown, Ohio – LinenThe White Furniture Co Mebane Nc 1924 White Border Linen 1940 Linen Rainier National Bus Feeding Bears Automobiles Teich Postcard 17134Greetings From Tobaccoland Large Letter Linen Postcard 1950 Curteich Nc Sc Ga VaPostcard Greetings From Elkins West Virginia Large Letter Linen Curteich 1952Postcard West Branch Keuka Lake From Pinnacle, Penn Yan, Ny Finger Lakes LinenBlack Americana Kids In Bath Dark Tan Early Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Canada Linen Postcard Banff Springs Hotel 1938Dr Jim Stamps Us Union Station Kansas City, Mo Linen Colortone PostcardVintage Postcards Lot (8) Milwaukee Wi Wisconsin Views & Large Letter Linen"that New Range Head", Cowboy, Horse, Artist Signed, 1951 Linen Postcard A6302Dr Jim Stamps Us Union Station St Louis, Mo Postcard 1947 Linen ColourpictureDr Jim Stamps Us Kansas City Stock Yards Postcard Missouri Linen ColortoneDr Jim Stamps Us Union Station Kansas City, Mo Linen Colortone PostcardLos Angeles, Ca/ Angeles Flight/ Tunnel/ Track/ Stairs/ Non-linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Fassnight Park Gardens Springfield Missouri Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Kansas City, Mo Jacob Loose Park Linen Colortone PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Municipal Auditorium Interior Kansas City, Mo Linen PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Swope Park Entrance Kansas City, Mo Linen Colortone PostcardLot Of 22 Vintage Chicago Illinois Buildings Linen Postcards #51897Jackson Ms Large Letter Linen Postcard - Rarest Of Ll Linen PostcardDenver, Colo. Postcard "pig 'n Whistle Village" W/ Bbq Restaurant Gas Pump LinenWashington/ Logging Tall Timber/ Men On Horses/train Tracks/non-linen PostcardCalifornia/ The Big Tree "wawona"/ Horses Going Through The Trunk/non-linen PcBeach At Nonquitt South Dartmouth Mass Linen Postcard 1940sVintage 1941 "greetings From Havana, Cuba" - Large Letter LinenPostcard Greetings Chapel Hill University Of North Carolina Large Letter Linen Postcard Record Tarpon Fishing Catch Florida Fish St. Petersburg Fl Woman LinenIllinois Greetings From Large Letter Linen Post Card PostcardPittsburgh, Pa/ H.j. Heinz Plant/ Bldgs/ Non-linen PostcardSale Risque Puppy Dog & Woman In The Bath Linen PostcardVintage Postcard,robert E. Lee,statue,lee Park,dallas,tx.,linen,printed,unpostedSale Risque Silhouette Woman Teich Parrot Linen PostcardSale Risque Puppy Dog & Woman Wants To Make Up Linen PostcardSale Risque Puppy Dog & Woman Says Hello Linen Postcard