A Lost Art of Days Gone By
November 28, 2010 7:19 AM   Subscribe

Curt Teich (1877-1974) was a printer who immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1896. Curt Teich & Company, opened in 1898 in Chicago, was the world's largest printer of view and advertising postcards. Teich is best known for its "Greetings From" postcards with their big letters, vivid colors, and bold style. Flickr user amhpics has archived nearly 2000 Teich linen postcards in his set Vintage Curt Teich linen postcards 1930s-1950s.

You can also view hundreds of thousands of these postcards in person in Libertyville, Illinois. The Curt Teich Postcard Archives, part of the Lake County Discovery Museum, is recognized throughout the world as the largest public collection of postcards and related materials.

amhpics also has several other smaller postcard sets in his Flickr collection.

posted by netbros (5 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
These are fantastic. I'm already scoping some on eBay...
posted by MikeMc at 8:31 AM on November 28, 2010

One of those bits of Americana ubiquitous enough to be used in tribute and parody with an origin I'd never considered.

Thanks for posting this. (There's also this collection of Curt Teich cards, although the images are regretfully small.)
posted by ardgedee at 9:15 AM on November 28, 2010

As I understand it, the Curt Teich company kept 6 copies of every postcard they ever printed for their archive. When the company was winding up business, it went looking for a museum that would accede the collection with the requirement that postcards from the collection always be on display. They approached lots of obvious museums, like the Smithsonian, which would have been happy to have the collection but demurred on the display proviso.

Eventually they got around to the Lake County Museum, which was very small, and was happy to agree to their terms. But apparently the museum didn't know what they were getting into until several tractor-trailers filled with postcards showed up.

The bequest included all the resources needed to keep up the collection, so it's not at all as if the collection is being poorly managed. The museum is quite nice, and rotates its postcard exhibit frequently, with themed displays. Last time I was there they had a display of windowed postcards, something I'd never seen before.
posted by adamrice at 10:25 AM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Absolutely fantastic. It is so much fun to see color images of a time that we are used to viewing in black and white. The past feels a little bit closer.
posted by Jodio at 12:14 PM on November 28, 2010

I never knew who was responsible for that iconic "Greetings From" style. Thanks so much for this post!
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:56 PM on November 28, 2010

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