Real photo postcard backs

Identifying the photographic stock paper that a real photo postcard is printed on can be a very useful method to help date a card. The style of the backs of real photo postcards changed relatively frequently during the 1900-1920 era with most of the backs used being readily identifiable. This approach was first described by Hal Morgan and Andreas Brown in their 1981 classic Prairie Fires and Paper Moons: The American Photographic Postcard: 1900-1920 and subsequently expanded on by Robert Bogdan and Todd Weseloh’s in Real Photo Postcard Guide: The People’s Photography. Comparison of a real photo postcard back to reference images generally allows identification of the brand and version of the photographic postcard stock used.  Since dates of use are established for most backs, a date range of a card’s production can be deduced.

The following guide expands on the guide presented in Real Photo Postcard Guide: The People’s Photography. Additions include primarily proprietary styles used by photographic view companies including Bamforth, Underwood & Underwood, and Garraway, but further additions are added when warranted.  The major brands used on view cards in the United States were Azo, Cyko, Defender, and Kruxo. Photographic stocks produced for other countries typically were distinct from those produced for use in the United States and are not listed here.

Aristo, artura, azo, bamforth, cyko, defender, devolite, dupont, eastern illustrating, garraway, kodak, kruxo, noko, rotograph, solio, tru-valu, underwood & underwood, velox