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G.P. Abraham, Ltd. (Abraham Brothers) (1865-1920’s)
Founded by photographer George Perry Abraham in England’s Lake District where he produced photographs and lantern slides of local scenery. His two sons, photographer Ashley and artist George Dixon joined the company and began producing real photo postcards by 1907. Avid rock climbers they did much to enhance the sport by publishing and illustrating guide books with their photos. Many of Ashley’s images were turned into real photo postcards with hand coloring done by George. They became a limited company in 1917.
M. Abrams (1920’s)
A publisher of view-cards who captured many scenes of Boston in tinted halftones.
Hans Friedrich Abshagen (1917-1930)
An art publisher who produced both books and postcards. They are know for their artist signed cards by Paul Hey and Margaret Thiele as well a a series on horses.
Acacia Card Co. (1940’s-)
A publisher of linen view-cards depicting New York City.
Acmegraph Co. (1908-1918)
A publisher of national view-cards.
Adirondack Resorts Press, Inc. 1923-
This firm published, designed, and distributed brochures, guide books, maps, newspapers, and postcards of the Adirondack Lake George region. Their Colorgraph cards were printed as tinted halftones in line block over four colors.
S. Adler (1932-1934)
G. Ajelli & Co. (1919-1922)
A publisher of artist signed cards in halftone lithography. Produced many cards for Lawson Woods. There French made Olio series reproduced paintings and was printed with a heavily textured surface to simulate brush strokes.
Alaska Steamship Co. 1895-1944
This line first ran steamships to Juneau, then Valdez, and then Nome in Alaska catering to tourists who wanted to visit America’s latest acquisition from Russia. In 1897 they received a boost in business transporting miners to the gold fields of the Klondike. A year later they formed the Puget Sound Navigation Company as a subsidiary so they could continue using older vessels no longer fit for longer voyages northward. In 1909 a group of wealthy investors (Alaska Syndicate) purchased the Alaska Line and merged it into the Northwest Steamship Company but keeping the Alaska Steamship name. This merger greatly boosted business and they began publishing postcards to advertise their line. By 1930 they had purchased the Pacific Steamship Company. During World War Two all their ships were pressed into military service, and they became an agent for the War Administration. After the War they reopened as the Skinner & Eddy Corporation. They discontinued passenger service in 1954 and shut down completely in 1971.
Albany News Co. (1902-)
A publisher and distributor of local postcards for the American News Company.
The Albertype Co. 1887-1952
The Wittemann brothers, Adolph and Herman had worked as printers and publishers since 1867. They first started printing books and pioneer postcards under the Albertype name in 1890. Herman ran the firm while Adolph acted as an agent, both finding customers for their services and taking photographs to be made into cards. Eventually they printed images by many photographers both in house and out. Their early collotype cards were printed by Louis Glaser, but they eventually set up their own print shops in the United States. They went on to became a major publisher of national view-cards, producing about 25,000. Their postcards were not numbered and their name appears within the stamp box on their early cards. When the divided back postcard was authorized, the Albertype company created a line down the back of their cards with the words Post Cards of Quality and later with The Finest American Made View Post Cards. Many publishers large and small printed cards though the Albertype Co. They were purchased by Art Vue Post Card Company in 1952.
Alexander Mfg. Co. (1908-1922)
Published view-cards of Ohio through a number of different printers.
Alfieri & Lacroix (1913-)
A publisher of books and postcards. Their lithographic cards covered a variety of subjects from views to artist signed glamour to military propaganda. Some of their cards were published in booklet form.
David Allen & Sons, Ltd. (1890-1965)
Important printers and publishers of posters for the theater, hotels, and railway companies. They used many well known artists of the day such as L. Barribal, John Hassall, E.P. Kinsella, and Lance Thackeray to create images for them. Many of these posters were later reproduced as lithographic postcards. They also produced many artist drawn postcards for other advertisers. Their factories were located in Harrow and Belfast up to 1918. Merged with Mills & Rockleys, Ltd. in 1965
Alsation Photomechanical Arts Co. (CAP) (1916-1969)
This photo agency, Compagnie Alsacienne des Arts Photomecaniques published a large number of real photo postcards. Many of these cards were hand colored in a highly mannered style. They also produced printed cards in collotype, lithography, and some that were hand colored. In 1932 they bought out the studios of Levy & Neurdein reunis, but in 1969 all their work was added to that of the Roger-Viollet Photographic Agency.
Peter Alstups (1902-1923)
A photographer who published printed postcard views of local town and countryside scenes. Some cards had humorous themes. They were printed in monotone and black & white, some of which were crudely hand colored.
American Airlines 1930-
In 1930 a number of small airlines united to form American Airlines. Over the years they have absorbed many smaller companies. They published postcards in their early days in tricolor lithography that depicted their air fleet at various locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
American Art Post Card Co. (1915-1953)
A publisher of black & white collotypes, and tinted halftone view-cards. They used the trade name Photolux on many cards. Most of their white border cards were contracted out to Curt Teich. These cards are often recognizable by their blocky titles and numbers.
American Art Publishing Co. (1918-1925)
A publisher of postcards in tinted halftones for H. Finkelstein & Son. These cards are often noted for their bright but crude coloring. Many of these cards were printed by Curt Teich.
American Bank Note Co. 1856-1999
After the financial panic of 1857 seven important printing houses, some having printed money for the U.S. Treasury since 1795, merged the following year to form the American Bank Note Company. They specialized in the engraving and printing of stocks, bonds, paper currency, and stamps not only for the United States but for 48 other nations as well. They printed all U.S. stamps until 1894 when it was taken over by the federal Bureau of Engraving. They also set up a lithography department that printed non high security items such as advertising and trade cards. The company went bankrupt in 1999 as demand for their services declined.
American Colortype Co. (1904-1956)
A publisher of books and tinted halftone postcards that included views, greetings, expositions, and various military subjects. Thay merged with the Rapid Electrotype Company of Cincinnati to become Rapid American.
American Historical Art Publishing Co. (1903-1907)
A publisher of chromolithographic postcards depicting scenes from early American history. Their compositions were often comprised of multable images tied together with highly decorative graphics. Because of the heavy layers of inks used many of these cards now suffer from flaking. These cards were printed in Germany.
American Import Co. (1908-1910)
A publisher of view-cards of the upper American mid-West in both monotone and tinted collotype. They produced many cards for the Northern Pacific Railroad.
American Lithographic Co. (ALCO) 1892-1929
This large Trust formed when the Knapp Company consolidated with the major lithographers of Donaldson Brothers of New York, F. Hepponheimer’s Sons of Jersey City, George Harris & Sons of Philadelphia, and the smaller New York printers of G. H. Buek & Co., Schumacker & Ettlinger, Witsch & Schmitt, and Lindner, Eddy & Clauss. Joseph P. Knapp became the Company’s first President and his old Knapp Co. became the art publishing branch of the new firm in 1900. Together they became the largest printers in the United States controlling about 80 percent of the market. They printed all types of material including early chromolithograph postcards such as the official cards of the 1893 Columbian Exposition for Charles W. Goldsmith. By 1900 most of the separate printing facilities of all these firms had been consolidated into a single plant. As the marked for chromolithographic labels declined, their business suffered and it was sold to the United States Printing & Lithographing Co. in 1929. The following year they sold the label producing portion of the business to the Consolidated Litho Company.
American News Co. 1864-1957
Founded by Sinclair Tousey in 1864 this firm became a major distributor of books, magazines, newspapers, comic books and postcards exclusively through their national network of more than 300 affiliated news agencies. Nearly all of their output was in view-cards and they mostly covered the New York, mid-Atlantic region. In addition to distributing postcards, they seem to have published some as well and worked as a middleman for many smaller publishers wishing to produce cards. Most of their cards were printed in Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin, Germany, but they switched to American and French printers during World War One. They often became the focus of litigation from trying to monopolize distribution of printed material in the United States. Their closure in 1957 led to great difficulties in distribution, putting many small publishers out of business as well.
Their earliest black & white cards bore no logo but they quickly began using using variations of a basic design to coincide with their different printing techniques, each issued under a different trade name. They had a numbering system for their cards but the principals behind it continually changed to better suit actual needs. Their first series has a letter A prefix followed by When these numbers ran out they began their B series with sequential numbers running 1- 12200. The C series ran up to 15000. Within theses blocks certain techniques were assigned a range of numbers but there are gaps because certain techniques were more popular than others, and the less popular cards fell short of their allotted range. To cope with this problem, especially after new techniques were introduced, the firm began allotting numbers in smaller blocks. Eventually cards were just numbered sequentially without regard to style. Many cards with undivided backs were reprinted with divided backs after 1907.
Americhrome - This series began being printed in the United States around 1910 using tinted halftones. These cards are characterized by a medium screen pattern, limited pallet, turquoise skies, and small red block lettering. Their soft look creates the illusion of continuous tone lithography. This series became popular during Wold War One when the firm no longer had access to their German printers.
Bromide Chrome - A German made card printed in tinted collotype. Bromide Chromes are characterized by a sharp crisp image.
Doubletone Delft - A German made card in black collotype with two layers of blue tinting.
Doubletone Sepia - A Geman made card in black Collotype card with a light and medium sepia tint.
Druckchrome - A German made tinted halftone over RYB colors.
Embossed - These cards were colored very simply, though cards that carry the same numbers can have different coloring schemes.
Excelsior - A German made card printed in collotype. It was the first series this firm printed and later marketed as their highest quality black & white card (most customers chose this type over their cheaper halftone cards). Almost all cards in this series are printed in black & white, but there are some later examples issued in monochromes of blue, green, and sepia as well as more rare cards that were printed in color and handcolored.
Hand Colored These cards were printed in black collotype and colored with a simple RGB pallet.
Helio Dore - A German made card printed as a black collotype over brownish tints. These cards are characterized by flat tones, stylized clouds, and a dull finish.
Litho-Chrome - A German made card printed in blue collotype over red and yellow lithographic spatter. Their individual colors are sharp and tend to stand out. They are drawn more toward more solid tones than to texture. Blue often dominates the pallet as it is used instead of black. This hue is sometimes so heavy that it renders a scene highly un-natural. This was one of their earliest types of cards that were originally issued without prefixes.
Mezzochrome - A German made card printed at a tinted halftone over a RYB pallet. They have a very fine dot pattern, which gives them a more photographic than drawn look.
Monotone - A black & white halftone lithographic card. It was promoted as the highest quality budget card but its average look caused few to order cards in this series.
Newvochrome - A German made card printed as a tinted collotype over a RYB pallet. The colors on these cards tended to be applied in broad areas, characterized by a sharp look and a dull finish. The paper on these cards has an embossed pattern.
Octochrome - A German made card printed in black collotype over seven color tints. These cards are characterized by a sharp look with hard clean colors that emphasize blues and reds.
Photo Chrome - The cards in this series were printed as tinted halftones. An medium gray tint is added that creates a grain so fine it almost resembles continuous tone. Photo Chrome cards are characterized by bright cool colors and a soft hand drawn look.
Photo Helio - A German made card printed as a tinted collotype. These cards are characterized by a fine grain with smooth color transitions in the skies and crisp foregrounds. A bright cool pallet was usually used.
Plenochrome - These cards were made as tinted collotypes with a very fine grain, which give them a very distinctive look. Though printed by Stengel & Co. in Dresden their name does not appear on any of these cards; only that of the local publisher. Many other postcards were produced in this exact style but it is probably only the cards baring the Plenochrome label that were distributed through the American News Co.
Poly-Chrome - A German Made card printed in photo-chromolithography with heavy retouching. Its colors are bright and so flat that they almost resemble screenprints. The poly-chrome process was almost exclusively used before 1907, and was the firmís first color printing technique. Other European publishers also used the same process but without the Poly-Chrome name.
Quarto-Chrome - A German made postcard that was printed as a black collotype over red, yellow, and blue lithographic tints.
Sextochrome - A French made card printed as a tinted collotype over five colors. These cards are characterized by an extremely fine grain.
Special Colored - A French made card printed as a tinted collotype. These cards are characterized by a crisp sharp image in black overprinted with colors in lighter tones. They show obvious retouching of color.
Steeldrucktone - A series printed in gravure with deep brown tones.
Art Series - Though most of their cards were produced through photography they published a set of artist drawn postcards in halftone lithography.
One of their more mysterious sets of cards were hand colored in France with a more varied than usual pallet and a wider than usual border. While some cards are painted carefully in subtle tones others are loosely painted in bold colors. Only a few of these cards have a logo on them with most only carrying the local publishers name. They seem to have been largely distributed in New England by E.D. West, H.A. Dickerman, and the New England News Company. Many views were also made of Long Island, NY. The logo that appears on only some of these cards have been attributed to the Eastern News Company, but it is hard to say if the logo was used exclusively by them or the American News Company as well. A good many of these cards have no attributes at all.
The American News Company also used other trade names such as Double Tone Green, Rotochrome, Tritone and Waterette.
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