The dazzling use of dramatic architecture, breathtaking landscapes, brilliant colors, bold typography, and off-the-wall humor, made Curt Teich & Company’s postcards more than memorable.
Curt Teich & Company’s Postcards
The printing company opened in 1898 in Chicago, Illinois and shuttered its factory doors 80-years later, in 1978. The world’s largest printer of view and advertising postcards, Teich & Co. produced some of the most striking and iconic postcards of the 20th Century.
Most known for its “Greetings From” cities and towns across North America, the company also produced cards depicting travel, transportation, architecture, military themes, National Parks, and patriotic themes to social attitudes on race, sex and family life.
All cards were designed by hand and relied on images that were submitted by photographers, artists, and the general public. Most cards were printed on linen-finish paper, using one of three different printing techniques – 90% of Curt Teich Postcards were printed using the C.T. Art Colortone. This was a five-color printing process made on linen-finish stock from a black and white photo.
When the United States entered World War II, Curt Teich joined the war effort and used his large-format presses to print maps. In fact, Teich & Co. printed more than three million maps, including nearly half of all the invasion maps used by the U.S. Military throughout the war.
Curt Teich Postcard Archives
All of this great history has not been lost to time! Recognized as the world’s largest public collection of postcards and related materials, the Curt Teich Postcard Archives are part of the Lake County Discovery Museum in Libertyville, Illinois. The reason why this collection is so complete and well preserved is due to the company’s policy of well… saving everything – from copies of every image ever printed, to photographs, negatives, client letters, designers’ drawings and notes, material samples, and other production materials.
After taking a look at a few of Teich’s Postcards, you’ll quickly understand why it must have been a delight to have been greeted by a Curt Teich Postcard when one opened their mailbox!
Additional Research & Resources
Popular with dealers and collectors alike, here are a few resources that will prove useful in your research. For help dating Teich Postcards, check out the Curt Teich Postcard Dating Guide. To gain a better understanding of postcards from the Curt Teich era, check out the “Large Letter Postcards: The Definitive Guide, 1930’s to 1950’s,” written by Fred Tenney and Kevin Hilbert.