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Dating Old Postcards

Real Photos         Curteich

Got a Main Street, USA postcard that pictures late 30s cars and has a 1939 postmark? For us, that's close enough.

For the millions of postcards in existence that are not so easily age-defined, we consult the painstaking research of experts in the field.

Listed below is a portion of the knowledge base that exists to help in dating old postcards. Hats off to those who compiled this information. It is invaluable to collectors and dealers alike.

Included are those references we consult most often. We hope you find them helpful.

REAL PHOTOS

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from J. L. Mashburn's excellent book, The Postcard Price Guide, 4th Edition, ©2001, Published by Colonial House
PROCESSORDATENOTES
AGFA ANSCO    1930-1940s    
ANSCO1940-1960Two stars at top and bottom
ARGO1905-1920
ARTURA1910-1924
AZO Square1927-1940sSquares in corners
AZO DIA1907-1908Diamonds in corners
AZO TRI 11904-1918Four triangles pointed up
AZO TRI 21918-1930Triangles; 2 up, 2 down
CYKO1904-1920sHollow letters
CYKO 21906-1908Solid letters
DEFENDER 11910-1920Diamond above and below
DEFENDER 21920-1940Diamond inside
DOPS1925-1942
EKC1945-1950
EKKP1904-1950
EKO1942-1970
KODAK1950-
KRUXO1907-1920s
NOKO1907-1920s
PMO1907-1915
Sailboat1905-1908
SOLIO1903-1920s
VELOX 11901-1914Squares in corners
VELOX 21907-1914Diamonds in corners
VITAVA1925-1934
 

CURTEICH

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Curt Teich Postcards

Compliments of the Curt Teich Archives at the Lake County Museum ©1994, The Lake County Museum

The first series of cards printed by the Teich company used numbers only and ranged from 1— 14989.The production dates were not recorded by the company at this time, but from copyright dates found on some of the cards, it has been determined that these cards were produced between 1900 and 1908.

The next card series began with either "A" or "R"* and were numbered from 1—124180. From 1908 until 1913 production dates are not clear and were determined by copyright dates found on a few of the cards. These numbers and dates should be used as a guide. After 1913, dates began to appear occasionally in the order books kept by the company and from 1922 on, production dates were well documented.

Year Production Numbers:

1908-10  A1
1910   A19922
1911   A22998
1912   A32000
1913   A32236 —A45599
1914   A45600 —A53999
1915   A54000 —A61999
1916   A62000 —A71999
1917   A72000 —A77320
1918   A77321 —A77481
1919   A77482 —A81999
1920   A82000 —A83599
1921   A83600 —A87975
1922   A87976 —A92873
1923   A92874 —A96826
1924   A96827 —A102410
1925   A102411 —A107826
1924   A107827 —A112867
1927   A112868 —A118311
1928   A118312 —A124180

An "-N" after a number indicates it was a reprinted card. Any other alpha character after the number indicates it has more than one subject listing or the same number was used on two different views. (This is mainly found with the very early Teich postcards and with V.0. Hammon postcards.)

*There are a few hundred cards ordered by the Woolworth company that begin with a "W" instead of the more typical "A" or "R". It is believed that in some cases the same view was ordered by another company and the card was printed with "A" or "R" preceding the number. A small number of cards also filed with this series begin with "BS," "DT," "RG," and "RT." After approximately 1924, the "A" or "R" may not appear on the card at all.

During the years 1929 and 1930, another new system was started. The company used a "-" followed by the year:

Year Production Numbers
1929   1-29 —6262-29
1930   1-30 —2934-30

In the middle of the "-30" period, the numbering system was again changed. A letter would denote the decade ("A" - 1930s, "B" - 1940s, "C" - 1950s, "D" - 1960s, "E" - 1970s) and the number before the letter would indicate the year within that decade. Thus the next card printed after 2934-30 was 0A2935. In 1931 another letter was added after the decade letter. This indicated different printing processes. An "H" was added if the card was printed using the "Art Colortone Method" (linen cards). A "K" was used to indicate "Curteichcolor" which is a chrome postcard printing process. From the 1930s through 1970s the following numbers were used:

Year Production Numbers:

1930   0A-2935 —0A-5363
1931   1A-1 —1A-3637 1A-H1 —1A-H565
1932   2A-1 —2A-1562 2A-H1 —2A-H1082
1933   3A-1 —3A-552 3A-H1 —3A-H1656
1934   4A-1 —4A-654 4A-H1 —4A-H2223
1935   5A-1 —5A-650 5A-H1 —5A-H2701
1936   6A-1 —6A-668 6A-H1 —6A-H2913
1937   7A-1 —7A-710 7A-H1 —7A-H3989
1933   8A-1 —8A-923 8A-H1 —8A-H3291
1939   9A-1 —9A-982 9A-H1 —9A-H2637
1940   0B-1 —0B-996 0B-H1 —0B-H2755
1941   1B-1 —1B-954 1B-H1 —1B-H2693
1942   2B-1 —2B-545 2B-H1 —2B-H1581
1943   3B-1 —3B-432 3B-H1 —3B-H1722
1944   4B-1 —4B-436 4B-H1 —4B-H1657
1945   5B-1 —5B-510 5B-H1 —5B-H1509
1946   6B-1 —6B-721 6B-H1 —6B-H2667
1947   7B-1 —7B-561 7B-H1 —7B-H2149
1948   8B-1 —8B-791 8B-H1 —8B-H1993
1949   9B-1 —9B-782 9B-H1 —9B-H1904 9B-K1 —9B-K129
1950   0C-1 —0C-700 0C-H1 —0C-H2125 0C-K1 —0C-K448
1951   1C-1 —1C-653 1C-H1 —1C-H1937 1C-K1 —1C-K305
1952   2C-1 —2C-564 2C-H1 —2C-H1680 2C-K1 —2C-K401
1953   3C-1 —3C-494 3C-H1 —3C-H1433 3C-K1 —3C-K1548
1954   4C-1 —4C-420 4C-H1 —4C-H909 4C-K1 —4C-K2194
1955   5C-1 —5C-230 5C-H1 —5C-H705 5C-K1 —5C-K3091
1956   6C-1 —6C-100 6C-H1 —6C-H228 6C-K1 —6C-K3110
1957   7C-1 —7C-8 7C-H1 —7C-H92 7C-K1 —7C-K3151
1958   3C-H1 —8C-H62 8C-K1 —8C-K3280
1959   9C-H1 —9C-H6 9C-K1 —C-K3023
1960   0D-K1 —0D-K2443
1961   1D-K1 —1D-K2385
1962   2D-K1 —2D-K2073
1963   3D-K1 —3D-K2035
1964   4D-K1 —4D-K1936
1965   5D-K1 —5D-K2006
1966   6D-K1 —6D-K1957
1967   7D-K1 —7D-K1795
1968   8D-K1 —8D-K1477
1969   9D-K1 —9D-K1330
1970   0E-K1 —0E-K885
1971   1E-K1 —1E-K787
1972   2E-K1 —2E-K699
1973   3E-K1 —2E-K561
1974   4E-K1 —4E-K392 4E-D1 —4E-D558*
1975   5E-K1 —5E-K637 SE-D1 —5E-D981*
1976   6E-K1 —6E-K689 6E-D1 —6E-D954*
1977   7E-K1 —7E-K454 7E-D1 —7E-D368*
1978   8E-K1 —8E-K116 SE-D1 —8E-D187*

* In 1974 the Teich Company was sold to Regensteiner Publishers also in Chicago. The Teich Company continued to operate in the same building and continued printing Teich postcards until 1978 when the plant closed. The "ED" series postcards are international size and are printed as Curteichcolor 3-D natural color reproduction.

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