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Most Real Photo Postcards, abbreviated RPPC, have information on their backs to help in identifying the manufacturer of the photographic paper that was used by the postcard publisher. If you can identify the paper manufacturer, you can approximate the age of the old postcard. If the postcard has a stamp box, click on one of stamp box links below. If there is no stamp box, or a generic stamp box, go to Postcards Backs. All entries on one page may be slow to load.

Below is a brief description of the vintage designs. A blank panel was put on the front for messages. The address was to be written on the right side and the left side was for writing messages.

This is the same style used today. White borders were popularly introduced around In more modern times, both full bleed and white borders were made, but the white borders almost always date mid s and after.

3 thoughts on "Dating and Authenticating Real Photo Postcards"

Many real photo postcards have text identifying the brand of paper. If this text exists, they will be found in the stampbox. The stampbox is the little square in the upper right hand corner that the stamps are placed on. If a real photo postcard has the stampbox text, the below chart will help determine the general period in which the postcard was made.

Chart courtesy of the2Buds. Postally mailed postcards will have the dated postage cancellation stamp. No better way to date postcard. Other tips between for telling the difference between genuine vintage examples and modern reprints. As old postcards can easily be reprinted on home computer printers these days, the following are some additional tips for telling the difference between vintage and modern reprints.

Needless to say, it is good practice to buy from reputable sellers who guarantee authenticity. Silvering is when it appears as if the silver has come to surface of the image. If it exists, it is more noticeable at the edges and in the dark areas of the image, and when viewed at a specific angle to the light.

If you change the angle of the photo to a light source, the silvering will become stronger and darker, sometimes disappearing. It can range in intensity and often resembles a silvery patina. The key is that silvering is an aging process and appears after decades.

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If the back has a smooth, plasticy surface, it is modern. Kodak introduce plastic resin-coated paper in You will occasionally see real photo postcards with bright blue images. These are cyanotype photos, with cyan meaning light blue.

Cyanotype was an old type process. David is an art and artifacts scholar. You can visit his website at cycleback.

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Like Like. Some players names are written in pencil with the year on the back.

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Others just have the name written in red sharpie or pen. Are there specific traits that distinguish each postcard?

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Thank you for any help. Hi my name is Pam I have some old pictures on postcards that my grandma has had for years. I would like to know if you or if you know anyone who could look at one for me and tell me if it is a real picture. The picture is black and white printed on a postcard and it is a man in a electric chair.

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Nobody seems to know were the picture came from. The back looks just like the one that you have on this post.

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On a card that was not mailed, the first place to look is the stamp box. Stamp boxes are the small rectangular boxes printed on the upper right hand side, where the stamp is to be affixed. By comparing identical mailed and unmailed cards, researchers have developed a pattern to determine when a particular style of card was produced.

On real photo post cards, codes in the stamp boxes can also be helpful in dating the card. Stamp boxes on printed or lithographed cards also offer dating clues. Often there is a reference in the box to the amount of postage required.

Of course, if the card is used and has a stamp, that too gives a clue, both by its value, and the style of stamp itself.

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For U. When World War I ended at the end ofthe rate was lowered to its prewar level of one cent. The postal rate was raised briefly from 1 cent to 2 cents in and in ; the conclusive raise to 2 cents was in Commission Rate Board overestimated revenue needs in and was forced to reduce the postage rate in Post Card Eras.

Pioneer Era Most of the earliest American picture post cards that exist today are those that were sold at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, starting on May 1, These were illustrations on government-printed postal cards and on privately printed souvenir cards.

The government postal cards included a printed 1-cent stamp; the privately printed souvenir cards required a 2-cent adhesive postage stamp to be affixed. Messages were not permitted on the address side of the cards; after attempting various forms of explaining that regulation, the U.

Private Mailing Card Era An Act of U. The required postage was a 1-cent adhesive stamp. At this time, a dozen or more American printers began to focus on post card production.

Still, no message was permitted on the address side. Real Photo Post Cards to Post cards that are actual photographic replications were first produced around They provide a quality black and white photographic record of history in the making and they can usually be enlarged somewhat without losing image quality.

They may or may not have a white border, or a divided back, or other features of post cards, depending on the paper the photographer used.

Many of the real photo post cards being done at the current time are reproductions of earlier historic photos. The easiest way to distinguish a real photo postcard is to look at it under a magnifying glass; it will show smooth transitions from one tone to another.

On real photo post cards, codes in the stamp boxes can also be helpful in dating the card. Stamp boxes on printed or lithographed cards also offer dating clues. Often there is a reference in the box to the amount of postage required. Dating Real Photo Postcards Real photos are dated by the back designs and text and, as shown later, authenticated by some basic knowledge of old photography. In the United States real photo postcards originated in The American design of postcards was regulated by United States law and can be dated in general by the text and designs. 31 rows  There is some confusion on what Real Photo Postcards (RPPC) are, and how to differentiate from a printed postcard. 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.

Photo post card paper is currently only available from foreign sources. Undivided Back Era New U. 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.

The easiest way to distinguish a real photo postcard is to look at it under a magnifying glass; it will show smooth transitions from one tone to another. Click here for links for dating rea l photos. Early Divided Back Era Postcards with a divided back were . Nov 01,   In the final post in our series showing you how to dating your old family photographs using physical clues, Colin Harding offers some tips on how to identify postcards. This is the final instalment in my series showing you how to date your old family photographs using physical clues to determine which photographic technique was most likely rhodeshotel.nets: 5. Sep 05,   Dating Real Photo Postcards In the United States real photo postcards originated in The American design of postcards was regulated by United States law and can be dated in general by the text and designs. Below is a brief description of the vintage designs.

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. 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. Linen Era New printing processes allowed printing on post cards with high rag content that caused a linen-like finish.

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