Dating Real Photo Postcards


Click to view larger scan of postcard  
Front Street - Traverse City, Michigan (Real Photo, Devolite Peerless, circa 1950) 


Dating Real Photo Postcards 


What exactly is a real photo postcard? 

Real photo postcards are actual photographs that have been developed onto photographic paper. They are generally the same size as standard vintage postcards (3-1/2" x 5-1/2"). The scan at the top of this page is a real photo postcard; click on it to view a larger image. 


How can I tell if my postcard is a real photo postcard?
 
The easiest way to tell if a postcard is a real photo or not is to look at it with a magnifying glass. Postcards that are NOT real photos are made up of many small dots. If you look at a real photo postcard, the image is solid (no dots). 


How can I tell how old my real photo postcard is? 

Many real photo postcard have marks that identify the manufacturer of the paper the postcard was printed on. Look to see if there is a stampbox on the back in the upper right-hand corner. If your postcard has a stampbox, it may have words or marks denoting what paper was used. 
  • Click here to see the back of the postcard shown at the top of this page (Devolite Peerless - circa 1950).

  • Click here to view the back of another Traverse City real photo postcard (EKC - circa 1940 - 1950).
If your postcard has markings, use the chart below to determine its approximate age: 


Stampbox MarkingsDates
AGFA ANSCO1930s - 1940s
ANSCO (2 stars at top and bottom)1940s - 1960
ARGO1905 - 1920
ARTURA1910 - 1924
AZO (Squares in each corner)1925 - 1940s
AZO (4 triangles pointing upward)1904 - 1918
AZO (2 triangles up, 2 triangles down)1918 - 1930
AZO (diamonds in corners)1907 - 1909
AZO (nothing in corners)1922 - 1926
CYKO1904 - 1920s
DEFENDER (diamond above & below stampbox)1910 - 1920
DEFENDER (diamond inside stampbox)1920 - 1940
Devolite Peerless1950 and later
DOPS1925 - 1942
EKC1940 - 1950
EKKP1904 - 1950
EKO1942 - 1970
KODAK1950 - present
KRUXO (nothing in corners)1907 - 1920s
KRUXO (Xs in corners)1910 - 1920s
NOKO1907 - 1920s
PMO1907 - 1915
SAILBOAT1905 - 1908
SOLIO (diamonds in corners)1903 - 1920s
VELOX (diamonds in corners)1907 - 1914
VELOX (squares in corners)1901 - 1914
VELOX (4 triangles pointing up)1909 - 1914
VITAVA1925 - 1934


Are real photos still made today? 

Yes. Look for marks on the back that tell what type of paper was used, such as the statement, "Printed on Kodak Paper".