Curt Teich

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The Carnegie Library in Blue Island, IL - William A. Otis, architect (1903, demolished 1969) source Curt Teich & Co. postcard 60274
The Great White Liner "South American," Chicago, Illinois, circa 1915-1930 source Curt Teich & Co. postcard 103504

Curt Teich (March 1877 – 1974) was a printer who produced popular color postcards, primarily of scenes from American life. The Teich Company was the world's largest printer of view and advertising postcards.[citation needed]

Teich was born in Greiz, Thuringia (modern-day Germany), and, following his family's traditional career as printers and publishers, worked as a printer's apprentice in Lobenstein.[1] He emigrated to the United States in 1895, where he initially worked as a printer's devil in New York, a much lower position than he had held in Germany.[1]

Teich moved to Chicago, Illinois and started his own firm—Curt Teich & Company—in January 1898.[1]

Teich is best known for its "Greetings From" postcards with their big letters, vivid colors, and bold style.[2] "Greetings From" postcards had originated in Germany in the 1890s, and Teich successfully imported the style to the American market after a visit in 1904.[1] Teich employed hundreds of traveling salesmen, who sold picture postcards to domestic residences, and encouraged business to create advertising postcards; these salesmen also photographed the businesses and worked with the owners to create an idealized image.[1]

The company closed in 1978. The Teich family donated the archives of the company to the Lake County Discovery Museum in Illinois. In 2016 it was announced that the archives would be transferred to the Newberry Library.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Lopes, Shana. "Curt Otto Teich." In Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present, vol. 4, edited by Jeffrey Fear. German Historical Institute. Last modified July 24, 2015.
  2. ^ Gable, Gene (2004-04-08). "Heavy Metal Madness: Greetings from Big Letters USA". CreativePro. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  3. ^ Teich Archives Transferred to Newberry Library

Other Sources[edit]

  • Harris, Moira F. "Curt Teich Postcards of Minnesota." Minnesota History 54: 7 (1995): 304-15.

External links[edit]