Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Postcards


Postcard of Woman's Building, 1893
The use of picture postcards has been so widespread in the twentieth century that few pause to think about their origins, or are aware that Chicago figured prominently in the history of postcards. Among the first picture postcards in the United States were those printed in 1893 for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The set of 10 cards, produced by Charles W. Goldsmith, was decorated with artistic conceptions of the fair buildings. Since then, postcards have been unceasingly used as an inexpensive means of communication, as advertising, and to encourage tourism. Chicago was also the home of the world's largest-volume printer of view and advertising postcards, the Curt Teich Company (1898–1978), and the prominent photographic postcard company C. R. Childs, which specialized in views of Chicago's neighborhoods and suburbs.

Carline, Richard. Pictures in the Post: The Story of the Picture Postcard. 1972.
Miller, George, and Dorothy Miller. Picture Postcards in the United States: 1893–1918. 1976.
Staff, Frank. The Picture Postcard and Its Origins. 1966.