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All entries on one page may be slow to load. Real Photo Postcards are photographs that are reproduced by actually developing them onto photographic paper the size and weight of Postcards, with a Postcard back. There are many Postcards that reproduce photos by various printing methods that are NOT "real photos" The best way to tell the difference is to look at the Postcard with a magnifying glass.

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If the photo is printed, you will see that it is made up of a lot of little dots, the same as a photo printed in a newspaper. A Real Photo Postcard is solid, no dots. Photo post card paper is currently only available from foreign sources. Undivided Back Era Writing was still not permitted on the address side. In this era, private citizens began to take black and white photographs and have them printed on paper with post card backs.

Stamp Boxes for Real Photo Vintage Postcards

If no message was permitted on the address side, the card probably predated March of Early Divided Back Era Post cards with a divided back were permitted in the U. The address was to be written on the right side; the left side was for writing messages. Many millions of cards were published in this era -- it was the golden age of postcards.

Up to this point, most postcards were printed in Germany, which was far ahead of the United States in the use of lithographic processes. White Border Era Most post cards produced in the United States were printed during this period.


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Due to the relatively high cost of labor, along with inexperience and changes in public taste, the quality of the mass produced cards in this era began to decline. Furthermore, strong competition in a narrowing market caused many publishers to go out of business. New printing processes allowed printing on post cards with high rag content that caused a linen-like finish.

These cheaply produced cards allowed the use of gaudy dyes for coloring. Tichenor Brothers in Cambridge, Massachusetts also produced many cards in this era. Many important events and scenes in history are documented by these cards.

Photochrome Era to present. Three-dimensional post cards also appeared in this era. By the s, the standard size of cards had grown to 4 x 6 inches.


Photochromes are not real photos but rather, lithographed cards done by a photochrome process. To distinguish a printed post card from a real photo post card, examine it under a magnifying glass and you will see the dot pattern that is characteristic of lithographed cards. The best printed cards were produced by the photogravure process. They are difficult to discern from real photos but usually don't have the glossy finish of photographs.

Does the card include postal mailing codes? Does it list a phone number with area code? The first unassisted coast-to-coast direct dialing with a three-digit area code began on November 10, The size of the post card can also give a clue: Clues can also be found in the printing process: This was suitable for making contact prints, rather than enlargements for which the source of light would be much weaker.

The style of these boxes varied over time. Four triangles, one in each corner, pointing up. Two triangles pointing 'up' and two triangles 'down'.

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Squares in each of the four corners. If the card is old and it is larger than 3.

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If the card is old and it is slightly smaller than 3. If the card measures 3. If the card was produced using high-quality chromolithography with six or more inks , it was probably made before If the card has a flat-textured surface and is printed with a limited range of low-contrast inks , it was probably made before