Uptown Chicago Resources

Curt Teich Factory. Image courtesy CRCC collection.

Vintage postcard of the Curt Teich factory, located on Irving Park Road near Ravenswood. Few people who pass the building today realize that it once housed the largest postcard publishing company in the country. Image courtesy CRCC collection.

Curt Teich Postcard Factory

1733-35 Irving Park, Between Ravenswood and Hermitage

Many of the historic postcards in the Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads collection were originally created by the Curt Teich Company of Chicago, once the largest postcard manufacturer in the world.

The company was founded by Curt Otto Teich (1877 - 1974), who immigrated to the United States from Lobenstein, Germany, in 1896. At the peak of production, the company could print several million postcards in a single day. The Curt Teich Company operated from 1898 to 1978, and saved examples of every image they produced. In 1982, the bulk of the collection—more than 350,000+ images relating to 10,000 towns and cities across the United States, Canada, and 85 other countries—was donated by the Teich family to the Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda, Illinois. The collection is available to the public. If planning to visit the museum, call ahead to make an appointment, which will provide staff assistance and access to the collection. A portion of the collection can be searched online at Digital Past.

Every two years, the Lake County Discovery Museum hosts the Postcard Art Competition and Exhibition, inviting artists from around the country to create original works of art in 4x6-inch postcard size.

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