Postcard Codes, Abbreviations & Definitions
Abbreviations Used for indicating CONDITION
The below listed code definitions are used by: Most Postcard collectors.
It is suggested that you copy/save this list for reference.
CODE DEFINITION CLARIFICATION
mt/MT Mint Card has no flaws what-so-ever,
same condition as was issued. Usually
never used in any way.
If postally used, MUST be noted-PMKD.
ex/EX Excellent Card may have very slight/faint edge,and
corner wear, no face, or back damage at
all. No Creases, can be postally used.
Canceled on front-allways noted-COF.
No Writing on front-allways noted-WOF.
vg/VG Very Good Card may have noticeable edge wear and corner
damage, face/back have no noticeable
damage. Creases are allways noted. Can be
postally used. Sometimes Canceled on Front.
Could have light writing on front, ususally
around edge, or where appropriate to write.
gd/GD Good Card can have more noticeable edge wear and
corner damage/creases, face/back may have
minor damage. Usually postally used. Can
have writing on front, edges and/or
where appropriate for writiing.
fr/FR Fair Card can have very noticeable edge wear and
corner damage/creases, face/back can have
damage. Creases will be obvious.
pr/PR Poor Card has heavy damage in all respects. Usually
only kept until a better card is found.
Use as a space filler.
NOTE: A (+), or (-) may be used to
distinguish between the above values.
Abbreviations Used Within Descriptions
( ) Special info To describe card/view, etc.
(___) Used for Inventory
[ ] Added notes
-a, -b, -c, -d Variations of same number
19th 19th Century
20th 20th Century
21st 21st Century
a/s Artist signed
aab Album adherence's on back
aaf Album adherence's on front
ado Add-on Ex: ado-feathers
ai Airline issue Ex: (ai)
AI as is (not returnable)
aic Album impressions at corners
albm/AM Album marks Ex: lt-albm-cnrs-frt/bk
alr Address label removed
amb Album marks on back
amf Album marks on face
AN Another Number
AO Add-on attached to Card
aob/AOB Advertising on back
aof/AOF Advertising on front
ap/AP Another Publisher
APO Army Post Office
ASI As IS (Not returnable)
AWOB All writing on back
AWOF All writing on front
b/w,B/W Black and White
bc Bent corner/s
bdr/BDR Border Ex: yl-bdr
bk/BK Back Ex: bk-dmg
bkc/BKC Booklet card
bl/BL Blue lettering
bp Browning or brownish paper
brc Business reply card
bre Business reply envelope
bt/BT Black title/words
cap/CAP Capitol Ex: cap-letters
cb Citizen's band(radio)
cc Corner crease
cds Circular date stamp
CDV Carte de Visite
cew Corner & edge wear
cf/CF Cyanide Finish(bluish tone finish)
cof/COF Cancel on front Ex: lt-COF
cont/CONT Continental - Usually larger cards published after 1940's
cover Envelope issue (may or may not be first day issue)
cpr:/c:/cy:/c: Copyright Ex: cy: 1903, c: 1903, cpr: 1903
cr Crease Ex: lt-cr-UL-cnr
crc Crushed corner
crn/s Corner Ex: crn-wr
c/mod Chrome or Modern
cto/CTO Cancel to Order
cu/CU Close up
cv Catalog Value
cwr Corner wear and rounding
cy/CY Cyanide Ex: Pa-CY
db Different Back
DE/sn Seen - Do not know Where
DN Different Negative
DO Ditto - Same Words
div Divided back - also D/B
dk Dark Ex: dk-stn-LR-cnr
dmg Damage Ex: bk-dmg-UL
dpo/DPO Discontinued Post Office
dv/DV Different view
dwob Description Written on back(Publisher)
ec Exceptional Color
ed/edg Edge Ex: ed-wr, edg-wr
efo/EFO Error/freaks & oddities
egst Envelope glue show through
ew Edges worn
ewb Extraneous writing on back
expo/EXPO Exposition Also "EXPO-pm" Exposition Postmark
fa Fresh appearance
fb/FB Full Bleed (Picture has no frame)
fc Flag Cancel
fdi First Day Issue - cancel
ffc/FFC First Flight Cover
fgb French Green Back
flat Not embossed
fdr/FDR Folder (Many views)
FO Foldout ( 2-3-4 cards connected)
frme/FRME/F Frame Ex: wh-frme
ft/FT Faint Ex: ft-ed-wr
gb Green back (French)
gl/GL/GA Glitter added
gn/GRN Green Ex: grn-frme
gp/GP Government Postal
gp Government-issued Postal card
gpo General Postal Ofice (cancels)
grt/GRT grey title/words
GS Gelatin Surface
gt/GT/G Green title/words
hc/HCT Hand colored or tinted
hpo/HPO Highway Post Office
hr Hing Remnants
htl/HTL Hold to light
htb Heavy toning on back
htf Heavy toning on face
hvd Heavy Damage
hvy Heavy Ex: hvy-cr-LR
ic Internal crease
IOB Information on back
isb Ink smear(ed) on back
isf Ink smear(ed) on front
ist Inconspicuous small tear
jbo Jumbo (larger than Continental-CONT)
lc Long crease
lcg Low contrast (grayish)
lcn/LCN Location EX: LCN-red
lf Lacks freshness (dingy)
lg/LG Lettering Ex: B/W-LG
lge Large Ex: lge-stn-UR-ed
lh Lightly hinged
ll/LL Lower left Ex: tr-LL
lls/LLS Large Letters
logo/LOGO Logo (stamp, or emblem)
lr/LR Lower right Ex: sm-stn-LR-cnr
lt Light Ex: lt-stn-UR
ltb Light toning on back
ltf Light toning on face
luc/LUC City unknown
lus/LUS State unknown
lun/LUN Location Unknown
m Monochrome(colors that vary)
m2/3/,etc. Nbr/views on card Ex: m3-UR
mb Minimum bid
mf/MF/FO Multi-fold - Foldout connected cards
mi/MI Miscellaneous Information
mnh/MNH Mint never hinged
mo Much oxidation(photos)
mt/MT Margin tear
mv/MV() Multi-view EX: mv(2)
mvc/MVC() Multi-view (card connected in strip)
mw/MW/MVN More words - May not be shown EX: -MW
MWB More Words/description on back
mwob/MWOB More words on back(printed by Publisher) EX: MWOB
mwof/MWOF More words on front(Printed by Publisher)
mxb/MXB Mixed back EX: E H Mitchell's MXB-S4A/S5A
NE No Emblem
nh Never hinged
nm/NM Near Mint
nn No Number
no/nbr/# Number Ex: nbr-1234, no 12, #12
NOF Number on front
NNS Publisher not Shown
npb No Postcard back
npw/NPCW Nat.Postcard Week
NSB Number in Stamp Box
nw/NW No Words
ofw Off white
og/OG Original gum
omb (former)Owner mark on back
on-/ON- Other number EX: ON-1234
onb On back Ex: adv-onb
onbr/otn Other Number
onf On front Ex: adv-onf
or Orange Ex: or-bkgnd
ph Pinhole Ex: ph-UL-ed
photo/foto Photograph card Ex:photo-AZO
pib Pertinent information on back
pic Picture Ex: pic-rect
pmc/PMC Private Mailing Card
pmkd/pm Postmarked Ex: pmkd1911
pn Pioneer era
PNA Published by Newman
pnp Photo not a postcard
pb Plate Block
pre Pre Ex: pre-1905
pmof/PMOF Postmarked on front
pstb Paper stuck to back(removed from old album)
pstlc Postal card
pu/PU Post-ally used
pub/PUB Publisher Ex: pub-COLO
qsl/QSL Ham radio cards
PW Pictorial Wonderland
ROATW Road of a Thousand Wonders
rci Rounded corners as issued
rfd Rural Federal (Free) Delivery
rfoa Removed from old album
rl/RL Red Lettering
rlf Relief Ex: high-rlf
rp/RP Real Photo
rpo/RPO Railroad Post Office
rppc/RPPC Real Photo Postcard
rr Rod&Rose (Logo on divided back)
rt/RT Red title
sar stuck album remnants
SAS/sas Same as other numbers
sb/SB Stampbox Ex: sb-DOPS
sc Slogan cancel
scc Small corner crease
sd Stamp damage
seb Serrated edge/s from booklet
sed Serrated edge/s
SEN Censored (usually by Military)
sf/SF Space filler
sl Slight Ex: sl-ed-wr
s/m Stamp missing or gone
sm Small Ex: sm-smg-bk
smg Smudge Ex: smg-UR
sn/SN Seen do not have
sne Stain near edge
snm/SNM Stamped-never mailed
so Slight oxidation (not to a fault)
sob/SOB Signed on back
sof/SOF Signed on front
son Sock on the nose cancel
sr/SR stamp removed
ss/SS/S/s Souvenir Sheet
ssb Small scrape on back
ssf Small scrape on front
sr Stamp removed
ST Sepia Tone(brownish color)
stfo Stamp fell off Ex: stfo-no dmg
stmr Stamp removed Ex: stmr-dmg
stn Stain Ex: stn-LL
sv/SV Side View
T1 On the Road of Thousand Wonders.
T2 On the Line of the S. P. R. R.
T3 On the Line of the Southern Pacific Ry.
T4 Reached Via the Salt Lake Route.
T5 As Seen on Tilton's Trolley Trip, Los Angeles.
T6 By Permission of Key Route.
tc Transfer clerk
tiny Tiny Ex: tiny-smg-UL
tm/TM Trademark Ex: tm-owl in circle
tn/tt Tinted Ex: tn-gn
to/TO Tear-out (from a Booklet)
tr Tear Ex: tr-UR-cnr
trb Tape pieces on back
trf Tape pieces on front
trb Tape remnant/s on back
trf Tape remnant/s on front
tv/TV Top view
ud Unusually detailed
ueb Uneven edge from booklet
ul/UL Upper left Ex: stn-UL-ed
und/ub Undivided back
unident/uni Unidentified Ex: pub:uni
unk/UNK Unknown Ex: pub:unk
ur/UR Upper right Ex: tr-UR-cnr
USA/US United States America
USM Unusual Subject matter
vig/VIG Vignette Ex: vig-wh-frme
vlu Very late usage
vw View (Can have nbr in front)
WA Words Added
wbe White border era (c.1920-1935)
wdob Words on back
wh White Ex: wh-bkgd
w/b White Border
WS White Strip
wob/WOB Written on Back(message by user)
wof/WOF Written on Front(message by user)
WOV Words without verse
W/V Words with Verse
wp wavy paper(will not lue flat)
wr Wear Ex: ed-wr
www/WWW World Wide Web, also- Wide Wide World(Tuck Cards)
yb Yellowing or yellowish paper
yl/yel Yellow Ex: yl-bdr, yl-pa
( ) A number within indicates lot
"-" Numbered in Consecutive Order
"/" Not numbered in consecutive Order
Below are some other helpful definitions of terms that may
be of some use to new Postcard collectors.
Antique Postcard: Generally any postcard published before WW I.
Arcade Card: Postcard size, but without a postcard back. Usually came
from vending machines
Artist Signed: The artist's signature is reproduced with the artwork
on the postcard.
Chrome Era: The term Chrome originated with Kodak's Kodachrome film.
Chromes were the first color postcards produced from color film and printed
with the photo mechanical process. Union oils of 1939 were the first
Chromolithograph: Sometimes called "Chromo" a reproduction process
using finely grained lithographic tones from continuous-tone negatives.
Continental Size: Postcards measuring 4" by 6". Most published after
1940's. Many Foreign cards are were also published prior to 1940's.
Deltiology: The collecting and study of postcards. The words is
derived from "delti" (Little picture) and "logy" theory, science, or study of.
Golden Age The period between the Spanish American War and World War I
when the collecting of postcards was at it's peak.
Linen Era: Were widely printed in the U.S. in the late 1930's
and early 1940's when access to quality European printing was restricted by
high tariffs. Linens are typically printed in vivid colors on paper with a
line-textured surface, and they tend to have a shadowless airbrushed
Pioneer Postcard: A postcard produced prior to July 1, 1898 of the
Private Mailing Act of May 19, 1898.
Private Mailing Card: A card mailed between 1898 and 1902.
Standard Size: Postcard measuring 3 1/2" by 5 1/2", either
vertical, or horizontal.
Real Photo: A picture postcard made directly on photographic paper
with a postcard back.
SASE: Self addressed, stamped envelope. A query which does not
include remittance, but where a reply is expected, should allways be
accompanied by an SASE.
Abbreviations used for Common Publishers/Venders/Printers/Artists
AB Bruce, A., Hoquim, Wash.
AFB A. F. Broad 48 Third St., San Francisco
ALC Art Litho Co.
ALMZ Alfred Mainzer
AND Allen News Depot
ALW Art Litho Co. - For Wall Nichols Co., Ltd.
ASH Ashville (linen)
BAP Bardell Art Ptg.Co., San Francisco, California.
PS: There may be a connection with
Collins - McCarthy Candy Company
of San Francisco in the 1911-1915 era.
It will require more investigation!
BBL B B London
BO Bardell & On'neill, San Francisco, California.
BRD Bardell Art Ptg. Co. San Francisco
BP Bardell Process, San Francisco, California.
CAG Gerhard, C.A. Corvallis, Oregon
CB Cheney Bros., Healdsburg, California.
CBS Cannons Book Store - Roseburg, Oregon
CCP Pierce, C. C. & Co.
CD Case & Draper
CDC Cann Drug Co., Reno, Nevada
CEN Nailor, C.E.& Co., Port Angeles, Washington
CLA Aydelotte, C.L., Santa Cruz, Cal.
CMB Bruner, C.M., Santa Rosa, Cal.
COF Cawston Ostrich Farm, So. Pasadena, Cal.
CP California Postcard Co., Los Angeles, California.
CRS Savage, C.R., Salt Lake, Utah
CS California Sales
CTA C.T.American Art
CVC Cardinal Vincent Co., San Francisco, U.S.A.
CW Charles Weidner
DET Detroit Publishing(Phostint)
DMI Imlay, D.M., Spokane, Wash.
DP Dexter Press -- chrome
EAB Bardel, E.A. & Co., Norwich, Conn.
EAS Evans Art Store, Bellingham Bay, Wash.
ECK E C Kropp
EHM E H Mitchell
EMP Empire Distributor Co., Vancouver B.C.
EPC/CH E.P. Charlton & Co.
EP1/CH1 Ditto - San Francisco, Cal.
EP2/CH2 Ditto - Portland, Oregon
EP3/CH3 Ditto - Los Angeles, Cal.
EP4/CH4 Ditto - Sacramento, Cal.
EP5/CH5 Ditto - San Diego, Cal.
EP6/CH6 Ditto - Oakland, Cal.
EP7/CH7 Ditto - Fresno, Cal.
EP8/CH8 Ditto - Tacoma, Wash.
EP9/CH9 Ditto - Seattle, Wash.
EP10/CH10 Ditto - Spokane, Wash.
EP12/CH12 Ditto - Stockton, Cal.
ESE E. Schwartzchild, Eugne, Oregon
EVA Evans Art Store, Bellingham Bay, Wash.
FC Fields & Cole Co., Santa Cruz, Cal.
FDS Shaw, F.D., Hotel Spokane, Spokane, Wash.
FMO Ordway, F.M. & Sons, Merced, Cal.
FR Rosenthal, F., Tulare, Cal.
GAG G. A. Gerard, Corvallis, Oregon
GAM Gabriel Moulin, San Francisco, Cal.
GDH Horton, G.T., Snohomish, Wash,
GG Goeggel & Weidner
GLM Minott, G.L., Gardner, Mass.
GM Graham Merriam, The Co., Seattle, Wash.
HD Hawes and Dusterberry, Centerville, Cal.
HJJ Jones, H.J., Albany, Oregon
HOF Hopf Bros, Seattle, Washington.
HSC H S Crocker
HTT H T Tammen
HWS Simkins, H.W., Palo Alto, Cal.
IMP IMPACT (Continental)
JA Johnston - Ayers Co.
JBC Caro, J.B., Juneau, Alaska
JFE Eicherly, J.F., Juneau, Alaska
JMS Schemel, J.M., Gilroy, Cal.
JSP Steiner, Joseph, Port Townsend, Wash.
JSS Svenson, John
KOK Kokusansha, Japan
KTH Keith, David, Wenatchee, Wash.
LEV Levinson, Harry, Visalia, Cal.
LOW Lower California Commercial Co., Inc. Lower California, Mexico
MBS Sneded, M.B., Niles, Cal.
MR Mike Roberts (chrome)
MAC Mission Art & Curio Store, Monterey, Cal.
MRDR/MRD M. Reider, Los Angeles, Cal.
MS Smith, Mrs. M., Vallejo, Cal.
MZ Maze, The, Petaluma, Cal.
NHR N. H. Reed
NDC Newlin Drug Co., La Grande, Oregon
NPPC/NPC Newman Postcard Co. (Also see-ONC/OSK)
NPW National Postcard Week
OEG Goetz, O.E., Nome, Alaska
OLD Owl Drug Co., Oakland, Cal.
OLK Owl Drug Co., Lakeport, Cal.
OLS Owl Drug Co., San Francisco, Cal.
OLL Owl Drug Co., Los Angeles, cal.
ONC/ON Oscar Newman
OSK/OS Oscar Newman
OWL Owl Drug Co.
PBS Pioneer Book Store
PET Bob Petley
PIL Stanley A Piltz (linen)
PNC Pacific Novelty
PPCC Pacific Publishing Co (Vancouver B.C., Canada)
PPC Portland Postcard Co.
POL The Polin Brothers, Post Office News Stand, Goldfield.
RND Rand Bros., Oakland, Cal.
R&D/S&R/ROD Sword & Rose E H Mitchell & other Venders
RHO Rhodes 10 cent Store, Seattle, Wash.
RHW Warfield, R.H. & Co., Prop of California Hotel
SAD Sadlers, Berkeley, Cal.
SBS Sherfey's Book Store, Moscow, Idaho
SF S. F. Card Co. - S. A. Pratt
SH Shaw & Hodgins, Snohomish, Wash.
SIN Sing Fat & Co., Publisher, San Francisco
SIS Inch, S. & Son, Placerville, Cal.
SMS Smith's Book Store, Dawson, Y.T. (Yukon Territory)
SMB Smith Bros., Oakland, Cal.
SMW Smith Western Inc., Portland, Oregon.
SOU/SV/SPC Souvenir Publishing Co., San Francisco, Cal.
SSW Smith South Western
SVC Scenic View
TK Thatcher and King, Lewiston, Idaho
TUCK Raphael Tuck & Sons - England
TUT Tuttle Co., The, Rutland, Vermont
UO Union Oils 76
VOR Van Ornum Colorprint Co., Los Angeles
VTM McCroskey, V.T., Colfax, Wash.
WAB Baird, W.A., Newsdealer, Baker City, Oregon
WFK Kelly, W.F.
WIN Winsch, John
WN Wall, Nichols Co., Ltd., Honolulu, Hawaii
WP Watt's Pharmacy, Pullman, Wash.