see Writing Tabs
A Talio-Chrome is a color gravure print utilizing a simple RGB pallet. The colors were separated photographically and printed through the use of a line screen so small 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 matt.
Talking postcards were produced as novelties that played a message or short tune in the form of a small record. They were 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 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 U.S. in 1907, though not known to have been used until 1915 by the Federal Novelty Importing Co. of New York. The American talking postcards were opaque and were usually stapled to the card. A variation is the French Sonarine or the Pathe Company’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 format changed a few publishers continued to make cards at 45 and 33 rpm.
Tall-Tail cards is a term once used for what are now usually referred to as exaggeration cards.
Tarjeta Postal is Spanish for postcard. While this term is found on postcards from Spanish speaking countries, it is sometimes specifically used to refer to cards published by Americans but sold in the former colonies of Spain (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines) that were seized by the United States in the War of 1898. Official wording was in Spanish for the convenience of the local postal workers but additional printing on these cards was usually in English as they were directed toward the American tourist.
Tarnishing refers to a form of age deterioration found on a photograph manifesting 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 in almost all silver bromide images and developed out prints, it can occur on any silver based image that use an organic emulsion.
Tartan is a pattern of bands of color crisscrossing at right angles that first appeared on woven cloth in the British Isles. This design is most often associated with Scotland and specific patterns have 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 appeared in the 1890’s because of cheaper printing and photo reproductive methods. The many illustrations they contained combined with lower price, down from about thirty-five cents, attracted greater readership among the working class, which in turn attracted more ads directed towards them. As magazines moved from being subsidized by readers to being supported by advertising, they no longer had to be 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 declined.
A territorial postmark is a cancel of postage indicating the correspondence was sent from an American Territory, some prior to their becoming a State. During the years that postcards were in widespread use the following Territories became States; Utah in 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.
Generally a paper that has not been flattened by pressing it with rollers during production, thus retaining its natural rough finish 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, textured 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 the patterns of halftones. The most familiar texture is that on linen postcards, though different manufacturers each used slightly different patterns.
Theochrome is a trade name for the tinted halftone postcards in line block published by Theodor Eismann.
Thermography is a printing process by which raised print is created. A resin powder is applied to the surface of a freshly pulled print that only sticks to its wet printed ink, and when heated this chemical combination swells and the printing on the finished sheet will be raised. This process is mostly used with printed text such as stationary and business cards.
The photographic film originally manufactured by George Eastman in 1892 to be used for Thomas Edison’s motion pictures was created in 35mm. By 1909 this film width and a length of 16 frames per foot became the accepted international standard for all movies. It differed from other film not just by its small format, but also from the sprocket holes running down its sides allowing it to move through a motion picture camera at high speed. Starting in 1908 a number of still cameras were developed to make use of this film. The best known are the ur-Leicas invented in 1913. Because of material shortages caused by the First World War they did not go into 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 the postal employee that the postage stamp was applied to the other side 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 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 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 there were requirements in place that they 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 halftone is a printed image by which the color is applied through hand drawn lithography in dots or solid fields, while the detail is rendered through a photographic halftone on a single key plate. A pallet of light red, yellow, and blue was the most commonly used but there are many variations in color and the numbers of them employed. This process was used in both lithography and line block printing, though the same principals were also applied to collotype. 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 method was replaced by process printing by the late 1930’s.
A printing plate sometimes used to add titles, numbers, and backs onto uncut sheets of printed postcards is called a titling plate. Some printing processes like collotype, used to create the images for postcards were not capable of producing clear sharp lettering, especially when small fonts were used. Type was usually set in letterpress, as used for books and newspapers and overprinted over a postcard image or onto its backside.
Toning was once a common way to change the color of a photograph by adding a metal into the photo emulsions of paper during processing. Toning is 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 also 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 resulting 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 emulsions for many years as they were believed to increase their stability, but it now appears that this practice may have contributed to their fading.
Topicals refer to postcards that are sorted into categories denoted by a specific topic as opposed to location. Certain images however can be classified as both view-card or topical. 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.
Topographical cards 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 had first been promoted for railway travelers and then for cyclists. There were often sold out of bookstores and railroad stations. This format was latter adopted by postcard publishers. While many postcards hold maps, these touring map cards actually folded out and usually had an image of the region printed on one side.
Trade cards were used primarily in the 1880&rsqo;s and 90’s as free give away advertising. They were usually printed with 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 to the front or back. These 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 another product. While sets were 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. Both large and small publishers printed their trademarks on postcards. Printers sometimes added their own trademarks onto cards as well.
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 specifically refers to a transparent positive image as opposed to a film negative.
A transparency postcard is a more rare type of hold to light card where an entire sheet of transparent film is sealed between two pieces of die cut paper. This transparency provides for a new viewable image, not just illuminated colors.
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 would apply these same principals to color printing where the limited pallet 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. It takes two cuts to separate high quality cards from one another when printed on a large sheet but this residual edge can be found on many postcards that were separated by a single cut.
A trimmed postcard is one that has been cut down from a larger size. It was not unusual for cards of the pioneer period to be made in different sizes. After 1898 many of these cards were trimmed to conform with new postal regulations requiring smaller sizes so that stock would not go to waste. 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. When some publishers bought out stock from another the card would sometimes be trimmed down to remove the printed name of the previous publisher.
A tympan is a sheet or blanket that holds the paper in place once on a press. It also buffers the paper from the pressure of the platen or scrapper of a lithography press.
The term Type that is often found on postcards of European origin makes reference to a specific classification of people. They most often refer to an ethnic group that is different from the intended buyer of the card, and that can probably found within the issuing country or one of its colonies. Though less common the term Types can also refer to other social classifications within a society or those found within the military.
Typogravure (Relief Halftone)
Typogravure is an early photo reproductive process, developed in France around 1890, in which a halftone image could be printed. The printing plate was cast from a photosensitive gelatin relief, formed when exposed to sunlight through a negative and then washed out. The cast contained many raised peaks of varying sizes from where the gelatin was washed away in relationship to the amount of exposure it received. These peaks could be rolled up with ink in the letterpress manner, creating a series of fine dots that gave the illusion of continuous tone. This process was abandoned in favor of simpler halftone screen techniques as they became available.