Advertising imprints on old Postcards ...

that had nothing to do with the original card issue or shown topic = added later, are seen from time to time. Usually surplus stock cards, outdated motifs or in some cases from clearing sales when firms closed / insolvency.

The big publishing company Hans Kohler & Co. from Munich (company details in TPA 25) for example, issued hundreds of series of subject cards. Rest of stock was usually sold several years later. In 1913 a lot of (total) 500,000 cards was on offer for imprinting advertising. This led to some odd combinations sometimes.

The old style young woman portrait published by Kohler (chromolitho c. 1906) and on reverse an imprint offering ‘Medol’, a drug to cure (dog) mange. Advertising imprints of William Pearson (Hamburg) can be found on many cards;  eg. ppc’s from India.


The card was p/u post-1910.

 Dutch advertising imprints on (int’l) picture postcards

Dutch businessmen turned the advertising imprint on postcards into a business idea. During the past years I have collected some 75 samples, of which about 70 are of type I mean. Regular picture postcards, some greetings too, which were imprinted with advertising of Dutch shops, even political messages. The imprint often arranged across the entire address side covering other elements.

Many of the cards in question came from German printers (and publishers?) and show also German views. Other cards were printed by Dutch, Belgian and French companies. Much more of interest are those showing views from world-wide, many printed in Germany. So, these cards in question were never shipped to customers due to various possible reasons. Some of the cards used for imprinting advertising might have been 2nd choice in quality, with defects or printing mistakes. However, the majority is of very good printing quality.

So far I found three firms who were most likely the source of the advertising imprints:

Fa. L. Frieser, Ansterdam & Brux

Reclame-Bureau: Egbert Smilda

Recl. Art Tob. Groen & Co., Amsterdam

A Dutch printer name turns up on two non-postcard pictures (collotype printed) with views from an Austrian village. Electr. Drukk. “Hemony”, Ruyschstr. 85, Amsterdam.

I think the Dutch firms collected surplus or old stock of cards from printers/publishers in quantity. Guess they paid (very) little money and in case of German topography cards probably assured not to reimport to Germany. Potential (local / region) customers probably liked the idea to have their advertising on something unusual, and not a plain flyer or leaflet. These cards surely got more attention especially with a foreign view on. In some cases people even used these imprinted cards for correspondence. Helpful to find out when this operation took place. My few postally used sample date between 1910 to early 1930’s.

The list of (German) printers that can be identified by imprinted name or codes used, is impressive. Most were major export companies:

Dr. Trenkler & Co., Leipzig

Schlesische Lichtdruck- u. graph. Kunstanstalt Fabian & Co., Breslau II

Glass & Tuscher, Leipzig

Emil Pinkau & Co. AG, Leipzig

C.G. Roeder, Leipzig

Kunst- u. Verlagsanstalt Schaar & Dathe, Trier

Sinsel & Co. Leipzig

Louis Glaser, Leipzig

Neue Photographische Gesellschaft, (NPG), Berlin

Hermann Ludewig, Leipzig

Stern & Schiele, Berlin

The cards in my small collection show views from following countries: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Austro-Hungary, Russia, China, U.S.A., Canada, Switzerland, China, Bermuda, Great Britain. Plus a couple of greeting cards and art reproductions.

Imprinting advertising on otherwise almost worthless cards appears to have started around 1910. But continued during the 1920s as  printing codes from 1925 and 1927 prove. I would like to find out more of this “Dutch” ppc recycling business which was quite unique when considering the quantity of cards used.

If you have any other cards with imprints similar to those on this page, (scans) or any information on the (Dutch) companies involved please contact me. Your comments welcome, too. Thank you!


Picture side shows the major hall of Brieg (Silesia), since 1945 part of Poland renamed Brzeg. Collotype printing by Fabian & Co. from Breslau. No defects.


Picture: Main Street looking north, Clyde, Ohio. American News Company (ANC) ‘Litho-Chrome’ series (no. B 11808). Publisher: The Cleveland News Company. Collotype with litho colours superimposed. With Friezer & Co. imprint as well as Belgian advertising by a firm from Antwerp. Friezer not only served Dutch customers.


Picture side: Ekaterinoslaw, L’Avenue Puchkin. Cannot read publisher name. Excellent collotype with litho colouring printing by Dr. Trenkler & Co., Leipzig, in 1909.


Picture side: German engineers at work. Published by ‘Kosmos’ from Halberstadt as no. 8555. Colour printing by C.G. Roeder, Leipzig (no. 256,664 = from 1918 which is backed up by the average card / colour quality). Lottery (?) advertising with German soldier life topic - an interesting mixture.


Peking - Head of the parapet of a Bridge. By anonymous publisher/printer. Bilingual caption French/English. Early design style with divided back. Bears imprint for ‘RIKOBÉ washing powder. Identical Dutch imprints are also found on Tuck’s view from Edinburgh printed by unknown Dutch printer, and view from Germany with Glass & Tuscher printing code from 1927.

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