Valesque is the trade name for a type of postcard issued by Valentine’s during the 1950’s. These cards have a similar halftone pattern to that of Valentine’s Art Colour cards, but here the hues blend more easily to create better optical colors. This is an early form of process printing.
A variation is a general reference to postcards reproduced from the same photograph but look different from one another. Almost all variations are created during a postcards reprinting. In most cases this was unavoidable on early cards as photographically produced images were retouched by hand to add in color and skies. The skies appearance on most cards was derived from an artist’s imagination by necessity. Between poor exposure latitude and the inability of most film to capture anything more than blue light, the sky was most often washed out to white. When an image was remade there was nothing on the negative to refer to, so clouds were drawn in differently each time. Because the negatives used were also in black & white, the client would sometimes request specific colors, but most often they were just made up. Again this was rarely ever duplicated and specifics can vary wildly between reprinting. Other factors that created variations were sometimes purposeful. An undivided back card with a front tab for writing may have been reissued as a full frontal bleed when postal regulations changed. Cars and people were sometimes removed or altered to match fashions currently in style. The images taken from large negatives were often cropped and when reprinted cropped differently. Because it was difficult to photograph in low light the night scenes on cards used the same negative as the midday version; they were only printed in darker colors with a moon added in for effect. Sometimes variations were created when the negative was just taken to a new printer that used a different method of production. In later years, publishers reprinted old negatives to save money. Others printed variations in an attempt to disguise stolen images protected by copyright laws. (see Variations in the Guide section)
Varnishing is the practice of adding a thin protective coating of drying oils and resins to a dry printed surface. This coating helps prevent the ink from smudging and contaminants from being absorbed into the paper. It can also add a glossy surface that enhances appearance, or makes a printed card appear as if it were a real photo. The varnishing on some postcards has created serious problems over time; some show serious yellowing while the surfaces on others suffer from cracking where the varnish was applied too thickly.
Velox Paper (Swift)
Velox is a trade name for a silver chloride developed out photo paper in a gelatin base claimed to be invented by Leo Baekeland of the Nepra Chemical Company in New York, to replace the deficient albumen papers then in use. It had baryta sizing whose smooth finish provided high sharpness and good tonal range. The paper originally was made with a pink tint to simulate the familiar purple brown cast of albumen photos. While much faster than older papers it had the unusual quality of being able to be handled in low light. Kodak purchased the rights to this process in 1899, but they still needed to purchase baryta paper from Germany until they built their own factory in 1906. Photo papers had traditionally been made on thin stock until 1902 when Kodak introduced a heavier stock Velox with a preprinted postcard back. This innovation marked the beginning of real photo postcard production. Its success drove other companies to manufacture their own versions of photo paper such as Argo, Cyko, Kruxo, and more. Velox paper was produced until 1988.
Verlag & Druck
Verlag & Druck is German for published and printed. The term is sometimes found as a prefix to the name of a printing house on German made postcards. Verlag or Verlgbuchhandlung is sometimes used used on German, Swiss, or Austrian cards as a prefix to indicate a publishers name.
A vice card is a specific type of advertising card that offers sexual service either directly or discreetly. They first began to be placed in London telephone booths by prostitutes once it became illegal for them to solicit business on the street in 1956. They have evolved from unique hand drawn images to a more slick photo-based style. Similar cards have appeared in the United States and in Israel where they are usually handed out or scattered in the streets. They are often referred to as massage cards in the U.S. for the sexual services they promote are typically sold under the guise of massage therapy to avoid legal prosecution. They may go by many different local names. None of these cards are produced to be posted.
A postcard that depicts any type of view whether it is of a landscape or of buildings is usually referred to as a view-card. They can be of specific labeled locations or unidentified.
Small engraved views, some with hand coloring, began to be sold under the common name view cards in the mid-19th century. The image was often vignetted to leave space for a written message. These were not early postcards for they were not produced to be mailed.
View Master is the trade name for a product line developed by the Sawyer Scenic Photo Company in 1938. It consisted of a disk containing seven transparent stereoviews that could be viewed either with the aid of a special hand device or projected. The View Master replaced their production of real photo postcards.
A vinegar valentine is an insulting greeting card often sent anonymously to someone who was disliked. They were first published by John McLaughin’s New York publishing house in 1858 as cheap paper cards, then later as postcards lasting well into the 1940’s. Postmasters confiscated tens of thousands of these cards deemed unfit for the mail.
Visiting cards began to be produced in the latter 18th century as a means of offering introduction according to the etiquette of the day. These cards were not directly exchanged between the parties themselves, but past along by hand through their servants. They were highly decorative and carried many of the same motifs that would eventually find their way onto postcards that were often related to the owners occupation. These cards were also often used to convey short messages that were written on their backs. By the beginning of the 19th century they began to grow more plain until they resembled the more modern engraved business card. The decorative tradition however held out in some places longer than others like New England where they were still commonly used into the 1870’s.
The visual spectrum is the spatial arrangement of components of radiant electromagnetic energy in the order of their wavelengths that appear to us as white light or its color components. The visual spectrum is relative as it can vary between species.
V-Mail is short for Victory Mail, introduced in Casablanca on June 15th, 1942 after the first American troops landed in North Africa. It was designed to save valuable cargo space on oversees shipments. Correspondence was written on special forms, microfilmed, and then reprinted at reduced size back in the States. A 7-ounce roll of film could contain 1500 letters. When the service ended on April 1st of 1945, a total of 556,513,795 pieces of V-mail had been sent from the United States to military post offices, and over 510 million pieces had been received from military personnel abroad. Regular paper mail during years still outnumbered these figures. V-mail was modeled after a similar service in Britain known as Airgraph’s.