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News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

The Little Mail Carriers at the Curt Teich Postcard Archives!

The last time we heard from the Little Mail Carriers, they were knee-high in snow in Siberia, but that was a long time ago... We were wondering what they were up to, when we received this exciting report from Chicago! Turns out, they've just spent some time with Heather at the fantastic Curt Teich Postcard Archives!

We've written about their Greetings from postcards before, so we were curious to see what Little Paulo & Ana would discover "behind the scenes"...

Archives entrance Teich2013

Hi everyone!

In April we traveled to Wauconda, Illinois, in the far northern suburbs of Chicago. There we visited the Lake County Discovery Museum's Curt Teich Postcard Archives -- the world's largest public collection of postcards! Our first stop was the mailbox located at the end of the drive. It was quite roomy and gave us a chance to stretch after the trip.

Mail Box 2 Teich2013

First we saw the reading room and library, which is open to the public. We decided to do a little research. Postcards are sleeved before researchers handle them, and we were only given a few at a time to look at. Pencils only for note taking!

Research Teich2013

Next we were given a behind-the-scenes tour. The core of the archives is from Chicago printer Curt Teich & Co (1898-1978). The Teich Company specialized in printing postcards, and saved copies of everything they printed. During the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, it was the world's largest volume producer of postcards. The archives literally holds millions of postcards from the Teich Company and other publishers.

Postcard cabinets Teich2013 Postcard box Teich2013

The postcards are stored in archival boxes in cabinets. There are a lot of cabinets to hold all of the postcards. The archives also has production files that were used to create the postcards. Some contain original photos, notes, artwork and samples of wallpaper, carpet, or products. This client sent a carpet sample to get the colors and pattern just right.

Production File Teich203

When we were there, postcards from the Detroit Publishing Company were just being entered into the computer database.

Catalogging Teich2013 Digitizing Teich2013

Many of the postcards are digitized on a flatbed scanner at the archives and made available online at While visiting the digitizer, we made some new friends!

New Friends Teich2013

Later, we headed over to the museum building to tour the exhibits. We saw what the original off-set press looked like (that's Curt Teich Sr., company founder, on the right).

Museum exhibit Teich2013

We also discovered a “Top Secret” map! Did you know that during the Second World War, the Teich Company had a contract with the United States Army Map Service for printing maps?

TopSecret Map Teich2013 Map revealed Teich2013

There are lots of different types of postcards on exhibit.

Postcard Exhibit 1 Teich2013 Postcard Exhibit 2 Teich 2013

It was great to meet the staff and see how the postcards are cared for at a postcard archive. They love postcards!

Archives Staff Teich2013

P.S. May 5-11, 2013 is National Postcard Week in the United States!

National Postcard Week Teich2013

What a fantastic trip - sounds like postcard heaven to us! Thank you for showing them around, Heather! :)

Now they're off to their next destination... the adventure continues!

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27 comments so far

rosenbusch, Germany
The little mail-carriers had a fantastic trip. Thank you for the story....

FairyFoot, United Kingdom
How many miles have they done so far?

marica_t, United States of America
How fun! :)

ned44440, Ireland
What a fantastic trip and I sure hope the Little Mail Carriers enjoy their next holiday just as much.

Robin67, Austria
Oh, I think I'd like to work there... :o

moonlessnite, Canada
May 5-11th is postcard week...that coincides with National nurses week...hmmm.

CatharinaG3, Netherlands
Just today, I was wondering when we would meet the little mailcarriers again, and here they are! With a great story!
Have a safe journey to your next destination. :)

Luziaceleste, Brazil
These two have a great life! Lucky we that learn from their adventures!!!

Mundoo, Australia
I love the pic with the Top Secret. Great to see them having so much fun

Janestar, United States of America
Thank you little mailcarriers for another interesting trip!
And Happy Postcard Week! We look forward to your next trip, too. Have a safe journey to it.

shui, Taiwan
Glad to see you guys again!! This is defintely a dream trip for every postcard lover!! Thank you very much for sharing such an interesting story! :)

bornokyo, Philippines

Bestgirl, Austria

islander61, Bahamas
I enjoyed this tour.

ipuenktchen, Iran
great to see them in such an interesting story!!!

pandoraspocks, United States of America
i don't live too far from there! i'm going to have to check it out!

Crizle, Australia
What a wonderful place for an adventure.

LilyGray, United States of America
I retired last year after 23 years at the Curt Teich Postcard Archives as the Image and Licensing Specialist. It really is postcard heaven! So glad to see my old friends and especially the postcards.

mskamat1857, India
wow !! we miss this in india

Soleast, China
oh,so cool.I love there

Spanishliz, Canada
What a great report! I knew that there must be some reason I wanted to visit Chicago!

Loli-ts, Spain
You made me smile... and wish to go there :-)

florencen, Australia

rosieam, Australia
Thank to the little mail carriers for this story :)

nugget, United States of America
We have a national postcard weeek? Guess I learned something today! Thanks for the story.

TonyGv, Spain
great trip and fantastic pics¡¡¡

BraziliumGra, United States of America
Great story! worth a visit! I've been to a philatelic museum before, and off course that postcards and stamps are deeply connected!