see Writing Tabs
A Talio-Chrome is a type of tricolor gravure in printed in a RGB palette. The colors are separated photographically and printed through the use of a line screen so small that it creates the illusion of continuous tone. The process produces a photographic-like image similar in appearance to photochromes except that the surface is very matte.
Talking postcards were novelties in the form of a small record that played a message or short tune. They were also known by many other names including Gramophone cards or Singing cards. The earliest patent for this product was taken out by the Berlin firm, Bumb & Koenig in 1902. Talking postcards quickly took on many different forms. Max Thomas would patent improvements on this idea in 1904. His single sided disks had a hole punched through them and the card so it could be played on a standard gramophone. They were made of transparent celluloid to be less brittle than traditional shellac records, and so they could also allow the printed image on the card to show through. This idea was patented in Great Britain in 1905 and in the United States in 1907, though its first use seems to have been by the Federal Novelty Importing Co. of New York in 1915. The American talking postcards were opaque and were usually stapled to the printed paper card. A variation is the French Sonarine or the Pathe Company&rsqui;s Phonal-Postal, in which the sender could record a short message with the aid of a specially sold device adapted for the gramophone. By the late 1920’s many postcard publishers were producing these types of cards. Most of these cards play at 78 rpm but as speed formats changed only a few publishers continued to make talking cards at 45 and 33 rpm.
A Tall-Tale card is an informal term once used for what are now usually referred to as exaggeration cards. They are usually created through photomontage to better convey an exaggerated narrative. They come out of the American tradition of storytelling and boosterism.
Tarjeta Postal is Spanish for postcard. While this term is found on postcards from all Spanish speaking countries, it is also sometimes used on cards created by American publishers but sold in the former Spanish colonies that were seized by the United States in the Spanish American War of 1898 (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines). Official wording on these cards was in Spanish for the convenience of the local postal workers but additional printing like captions or instructions were usually in English as they were marketed toward American tourists and occupiers.
Tarnishing refers to a form of age deterioration found on photographs that manifests as a metallic sheen within its darker values. Processing residue or silver, migrating out from the image can form a very noticeable surface crust that takes on various colors. Though found on almost all silver bromide images and developed out prints, tarnishing can occur on any silver based image that uses an organic emulsion.
Tartan is a color pattern of crisscrossing bands set at right angles to each other. These patterns first appeared on woven cloth in the British Isles, and this design is now most often associated with Scotland. Specific patterns have also become associated with specific clans and thus the place they come from. Many postcards depicting scenes of Scotland have used Tartan designs on their borders to create these associations. The term Plaid is used exclusively in North America to describe these types of patterns.
Taylorchrome is a trade name for the photochrome postcards published by photographer G. Morris Taylor through the 1960’s. These were mostly view-cards of western Canada.
A ten-cent magazine refers to a type of picture magazine that first appeared in the 1890’s because technological changes made the reproduction of photographs much cheaper. Their many illustrations combined with low price, down from about thirty-five cents, attracted greater working class readership, which in turn caused more advertising to be directed towards them. As magazines moved from being subsidized by readers to being supported by advertising, they no longer had to be solely published for a niche audience, and a plethora of general interest magazines began to appear. As magazine advertising grew, the use of postcards for advertising began to decline.
A territorial postmark is a postal cancelation that indicates the correspondence was mailed from an American Territory. Many U.S. Territories existed during the golden age of postcards, but their low populations still limited the number of territorial postmarks. Utah Territory did not become a State until 1896, Oklahoma in 1907, Arizona and New Mexico in 1912. Hawaii became part of the United States in 1898 as a Territory, achieving Statehood in 1959. Alaska was considered a District and only became a Territory in 1912, then finally a State in 1959. The United States still possesses Commonwealths and Territories.
A paper that has not been flattened by pressing it with rollers during production retains its natural rough finish and is considered a textured paper. The term can also specifically refer to a paper that has been embossed with a texture by pressing it with rollers incised with a pattern during production. Though most postcards were printed on smooth hot pressed paper, textural embossing has been used since the beginning of the 20th century. Even though some embossed patterns are not observable to the naked eye they still have a tendency to obscure the printing process used, often blurring halftone patterns. The most familiar texture is that found on linen postcards, though different manufacturers pressed slightly different patterns into their paper.
Theochrome is a trade name for the tinted halftone postcards in line block that were published by Theodor Eismann of New York.
Thermography is a process by which the ink on a printed image can be raised into a shallow relief by dusting a special resin powder into the surface of a freshly pulled print where it only sticks to the wet ink. When heated, the combined ink and resin will chemically react causing it to swell. This process is mostly used with printed text such as on stationary and business cards.
The photographic film manufactured by George Eastman in 1892 for Thomas EdisonÕs motion pictures was originally created in 35mm. Its small format was not the only difference from other films; it also had sprocket holes running down its sides that allowed it to move through a motion picture camera at high speed. Starting in 1908, a number of still cameras were specifically developed to make use of this film, and by 1909 this filmÕs width and a length of 16 frames per foot became the accepted international standard for all movies. The ur-Leicas invented in 1913 were the best known of these early cameras but material shortages caused by the First World War delayed full production until 1925. In 1934 Kodak introduced its own 35mm Retina camera that featured a film holding cartridge that could be loaded in daylight. Even so, 35mm photography did not become popular until the 1960’s. Unlike large format film this new format could not be contact printed into real photo postcards; it needed to be enlarged. Faster enlarging paper such as Agfa-Ansco, DOPS, EKC, and Vitava entered the market to meet this demand. An enlarging an easel is often used to hold this paper down flat instead of a glass plate, which made white borders more common.
Timbre Cote Vue (T.C.V.)
Timbre Cote Vue is an advisory written into the stamp box of a postcard to notify postal employees that the postage stamp is applied to the front of the card. Variations in other languages sometimes appear or just the word Verso. Occasionally these cards would be marked Postage Due when the postal clerk took no notice of the written marking. Placing a stamp on the picture side of cards was a common practice for those who collected postcards and stamps. In this way both picture and stamp could be visible when mounted into an album. These practices eventually evolved into the Maximum Card where the image, stamp, and cancel reached maximum concordance. The first known TCV card was mailed from Greece in 1896, while the first known use of the term Maximum Card was in 1932. Placing stamps on the image side of a card was always more popular among stamp collectors than postcard collectors who tend to prefer their cards in mint condition. The practice seems to have been very popular in France.
The method of adding metallic fragments or mica to the surface of a card is known as tinseling. In this process metallic powder is dusted over glue or varnish printed onto a cards surface after the ink has dried. Flakes of silver were traditionally used, but as it grew too expensive cheaper substitutes were found in a variety of colors and textures. Unlike the fine powders used in bronzing that lay flat or nearly so on the card’s surface, this method produced highly raised and rough sparkling lines. Publishers would sometimes add tinseling to stocks of slow selling or monochrome cards in the hope of increasing sales. Kits with glue pens were eventually marketed to the public that allowed tinsel to be added to postcards at home. The Post Office Department considered these cards hazardous to their workforce and by 1907 it was required that tinseled cards be mailed in an envelope. It reached the point where twenty-thousand tinseled cards a day were sent to the Dead Letter Office for want of a cover. Tinseling is still widely used on folded greeting cards. These same principals are used in flock printing where fibers of wool or felt are dusted over the glue.
(see Ben Day)
A tinted collotype is a printed image in which the color is applied through hand drawn lithographic dots or solid fields off of multiple plates, while the detail is rendered in black through a single key plate in collotype. The most commonly used palette consisted of light red, yellow, and blue but there are many variations in color and the numbers of them employed. It began being used in the 1880’s as a way to incorporate color into photomechanical printing at a time when there was no good source of color photography. Tinted collotypes were a lot easier to produce than color images printed entirely through collotype. Many postcards were made through this technique until the late 1930’s when process printing became a cheaper alternative.
A tinted halftone is a printed image in which the color is applied through hand drawn dots or solid fields off of multiple plates, while the detail is rendered in black through a photographic halftone on a single key plate. The most commonly used palette consisted of light red, yellow, and blue but there are many variations in color and the numbers of them employed. It began being used in the 1880’s as a way to incorporate color into photomechanical printing at a time when there was no good source of color photography. By employing only one halftone the process also avoided the problem of inadvertently creating interference patterns (moiré). This tricolor method was perhaps the most common way that postcards were made until replaced by process printing in the late 1930’s.
A printing plate sometimes used to add titles, numbers, and back designs onto uncut sheets of printed postcards is called a titling plate. Some printing processes like lithography that were used to create the image on a postcard were not capable of producing clear sharp lettering, especially when small fonts were used. Type as used in the printing of books and newspapers could be used for overprinting a postcard image or its backside, but this form of letterset printing was largely replaced by line block titling plates.
Toning the adding metal into the photo emulsions of paper during processing was once a common way to change the color of a photograph. Toning can be done before or after the fixing procedure. Photographs were often exposed to look dark as toning would lighten the image. Gold was the first metal to be used for toning, which increases contrast and moves the color balance toward a cooler blue. Selenium increases the range and richness of tones, sometimes producing silvery highlights with rich purple shadows. Toning gelatin silver prints changes their chemical composition by depositing various compounds on their surface that results in shades that cover the spectrum. Toning never produced the exact same colors twice making it undesirable for commercial printing in quantity. Many photo papers were made with excess metal content to be self-toning when fixed. Toners have also been added to photo emulsions for many years as they were believed to increase their stability, but it now appears that this practice may have actually contributed to their fading.
In the sorting of postcards by collectors and dealer, Topicals are an important category that includes all topics except those view-cards that refer to location. Certain images however can be classified as both view-card or topical such as a specific city hall or a bridge. There are no set standards as to how topical postcards are categorized. Individual classifications may be determined by the topics popularity among collectors, the amount of inventory on hand, or just plain whim.
A Topographical card is a European term for a postcard whose imagery captures the landscape of a particular place. In the United States these are commonly referred to as view-cards.
Touring Map Card
Small pocket sized folding maps designed for tourists were first promoted for use by railway travelers and then for cyclists. They were often sold out of the same bookstores and railroad stations where postcards were eventually made available for purchase. It did not take long for publishers to adopt the map format for their postcards in order to increase sales. While many postcards picture maps, these touring map cards actually folded out and usually had an image of the region printed on one side.
Trade cards were primarily used in the 1880’s and 1890’s as free give away advertising. They were usually printed through chromolithography on 3 by 5 inch card stock though many variations in size, paper, and sometimes technique can be found. Many were designed to promote specific goods or services but most were printed up simply as stock cards where the purchaser, usually small businessmen, would then add their name or product to the front or back. These colorful cards became very popular collectables and were often placed in albums. Trade cards were partially the outgrowth of a quickly growing printing industry that was needed to produce advertising for the increasing amount of consumer goods available in the later 19th century. As printing became cheaper, a plethora of magazines came onto the market in the 1890’s that siphoned off advertising dollars; and the introduction of postcards took collectors interests elsewhere. The term trade card was not contemporaneous with the cards themselves; in the 19th century they were mostly referred to as advertising cards, album cards, or fancy cards.
Trading cards grew out of the tradition of reward cards but were purchased for the cards themselves rather than being a bonus to the acquisition of another product. While sets were being produced as early as the 1930’s, they made a substantial appearance in the 1950’s. They came in various sizes but were eventually standardized to 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches so they could be sold from vending machines. A few sets had postcard backs so they could be mailed though few probably ever were. The Topps Chewing Gum Company that sold these cards along with their Bazooka gum acquired a near monopoly on their production. By the 1980’s trading card production was beginning to be geared towards the investment oriented collector. A wide variety of subjects found their way onto trading cards but none were as popular as the baseball card.
A word, name, symbol, device, or any combination used exclusively by a single company on their products to distinguish them from the products of another company is considered a trademark. In 1946 trademarks became eligible for registration that protected them by law. They need to be distinctive and used for products in federally regulated commerce. They have their origins in the logos that both large and small publishers printed on their postcards. These could be pictorial but more often they took the form of monograms. Printers sometimes added their own logos and trademarks onto postcards as well. Unlike logos that often went under many changes in design, trademarks are more consistent to insure legal protection.
In the early 1800’s, methods of transferring a drawing from a sheet of paper to a litho-stone were developed so that the double transfer would result in a final print that was not mirrored but oriented to the original. Transfer paper offered artists the opportunity to work away from the poorly portable stone, and the drawing could also be more heavily manipulated with scratching and abrasion without disturbing the stone’s fine polished grain. There was a great variety of transfer papers available depending on the task at hand. Most were usually coated with some sort of water-soluble gelatin or gum and then drawn upon with the same greasy crayons, tusche or autographic ink normally used in lithography. Once moistened and placed face down on a stone the blackened grease would stick and the gelatin and paper would be washed away. Uncoated papers were also available but there was always a greater chance of image loss when using them, especially in the finer details. Transfer paper was easily applied to intaglio plates including those used for line block printing where the ink continued to act as a resist to an etch.
A transparency is a general reference to a photographic image on a transparent or translucent support, such as glass or film. The term is also used to specifically refer to a transparent positive image as opposed to a film negative.
A transparency postcard is a rare type of hold to light card where an entire sheet of transparent film is sealed between two pieces of die cut paper. When held up to light, the transparency does not just add color to the printed image but provides for an entirely new picture.
A trichromie is a lithograph printed in the three RGB colors through the use of halftone color separation based on the theories of Ducos du Hauron. It came into production after the first trichromatic camera was developed in 1892 making it easier to create color separations from black & white film through the use of color filters. It became more widely used in commercial printing after 1906 when the introduction of panchromatic film allowed for better color separations to be made. The trichomie method became the most popular technique to print in color before the introduction of color film. It could create the illusion of mutable natural colors without the need for using the older and expensive chromolithographic pallet. While this process was used by many printers the term Trichromie is usually only used for postcards made in France.
The principals behind trichromatic printing began with the science of Spectroscopy that started with Thomas Young’s investigations into the wavelengths of light in 1801. He theorized that the human eye could not possibly contain all the receptors needed to interpret all the nuances of color in the visible spectrum, that the eye must have a way of simplifying this stimulus. After further investigation by Hermann von Helmholtz and James Clerk Maxwell it was theorized that colors are just the minds reaction to differing wavelengths of energy, that they have no existence in reality for the eye only perceives light, and that the mind could falsely be made to think it was perceiving full color by stimulating it with mixtures of the red, green, and blue spectra of light alone. Maxwell proposed that if three black & white photographs were taken of the same scene, each shot through a red, green, or blue filter and then turned into transparencies they could be made to recombine into a full spectral image by projecting them back through the same three filters.
Ducos du Hauron would apply these same principals to color printing where the limited palette was meant to optically blend into new hues. He patented the tricolor printing process in 1868 and produced the first color printed image using it in 1877. The results were lacking due to the poor color sensitivity of early photo emulsions but this changed in 1881 when Frederick Ives developed a workable panchromatic film that captured the full spectrum of light. Even though panchromatic emulsion still produced a black & white photograph, the different color filters that could be placed over a camera’s lens were finally able to accurately separate out different colors of the spectrum within the same scene. When photomechanically transferred onto a litho-stone and printed in corresponding additive colors, it created the illusion of natural color. This process was both complicated and expensive so even though postcards were produced utilizing it, it never did well commercially. Many printers however borrowed aspects of this process to simplify their own methods. By the 1930’s the development of new inks and better film allowed tricolor printing to evolve into process printing. While all postcards produced through tricolor printing were referred to as photochromes in their day, we now only apply this name to the tricolor cards manufactured after 1934 with process colors.
The trim is the part of a printed sheet that is cut off and discarded when the final image is to be produced as a bleed. Whenever an image needs to extend to the edges of its substrate it is printed 1/8 inch larger on all four sides and later cut down to final size. This insures that a slight variation in registration will still result in a full bleed. It takes two blades to trim and separate high quality cards from one another when printed on a large sheet. Residual edges can often be found on postcards that were only cut apart.
A trimmed postcard is one that has been cut down from a larger size for any reason. Many early cards of the pioneer period were made in different sizes, but when the Private Mailing Card Act of 1898 required stringent size limitations. Many publishers trimmed down their inventory so it would not have to be discarded. This is not necessarily considered damage for it is part of the card’s production history. Many early collectors however did damage their cards by cutting off non-image areas such as tabs or borders, or trimmed down the image itself to fit it into an album not meant to hold postcards. Some publishers also trimmed off the name of a previous publisher when they bought out their stock. This type of damage is not always obvious on all cards due to normal variances in size.
A tympan can be a flexible hard sheet or soft blanket that holds the paper in place on a press. It is also used as a buffer to protect the paper from the pressure of the platen or scrapper of a lithography press.
The term Type is often found on postcards of European origin that reference a specific classification of people. The audience for these cards was largely tourists, so they tend to refer to ethnic groups that are different from the intended buyer of the card. They most often are intended to capture exotic qualities that enhance differences, so they usually show people from distant lands, though regional and class differences within the same nation were also displayed. While these cards can be used to reinforce social values by enhancing the notion of the other, they can also just highlight simple differences in traditional dress or custom that add local color to a region.
Typogravure (Relief Halftone)
Typogravure is a method of halftone reproduction developed in France around 1890 that is very similar to the Ives process. The printing plate was cast from a photosensitive gelatin relief, formed when exposed to a halftone negative and then washed out. It contained many raised peaks of varying sizes from where the gelatin washed away in relationship to the amount of light exposure it received. These peaks were then rolled with ink and the plate was printed as letterpress. These delicate plates were soon abandoned when halftone screen techniques became available.