Mad in Pursuit Notebook

Postcard Printing Processes: Color

I wanted to know more about color printing processes over the decades. That's me -- can't grasp the product without a peek at the process. I thought that the printing methods would have changed over the first 30 years of the 20th century. I thought if I put some common color postcards under a "microscope" (that is, scanned them at 2400 ppi), I'd see the eureka differences. Hmm...

The first few color views — from 1907 [Sample 1], 1913 [Sample 2], and 1924 [Sample 3] — look remarkably the same: a black and white halftone screen produced from a B&W photograph; then color added in splotchy patterns, probably applied with a "line block" prepared with a tint.

[1] 1907 Undivided back era: Black halftone screen, with color tints added
 

postcard 1907

 

[2] 1913 Divided back era: Black halftone screen, with color tints added

1913 postcard

 

[3] 1924 White border era: Black halftone screen, with color tints added

1924 postcard

 

[4] 1935 Linen card era: Black halftone with mechanical color tint

1935 postcard

 

[5] 1960s Photochrome era: 4-color halftone

1960s postcard

 

[6] circa 1907-1915 Divided back era: Albertype (variety of collotype), hand-colored

postcard circa 1910

 

[7] 1914 Divided back era: tinted collotype

Placeholder image

7.5.05 (revised 12.6.05, 5.1.13, 10.31.15)

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Susan Barrett PriceBooks by Susan Barrett Price

THE SUDDEN SILENCE: A Tale of Suspense and Found Treasure (2015) Thailand: lovers of ancient treasure tangle with international black markets. Delia Rivera pulls Martin Moon back into the game and their quest turns deadly. In paperback and Kindle editions.

TRIBE OF THE BREAKAWAY BEADS: Book of Exits and Fresh Starts (2011) Time after time, Mary asks herself: Do I go or do I stay? She finds her power in her ancestors: Smart women turn discontent into action. An illustrated memoir in paperback and Kindle editions.

PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD: A Thriller in Pakistan and China (2008) The twin forces of revenge and redemption drive Nellie MacKenzie and Taylor Jackson on a crazed adventure into the heart of Central Asia. They grapple with issues of ethics, trust, rage, and bitter heartbreak -- as well as the intrigue of the international antiquities trade. In paperback and Kindle editions.

 

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