French Postcard Companies

Figure 1.--This is a postcard made by the ABC company in France. It was postally used in the Netherlands during 1936. This one was largely black and white and only slightly tinted, the color was mostly painted into the flowers. Click on the image for a similar card postally used in 1932 that is strongly colored and had a Dutch greeting. Note that the ABC file number on these different cards is identical.

We have little information on the French post card companies ar this time. We note that cards from some comapnies are much more numerous than others. This could reflect the size of the operation or the extent to which theu specialized in cards depicting children. Spme of the comapnies may have requested specific subjects such as poses, props, clothing, gender age, and other variables. They may have had close contacts with specific studios. They may have also purchased images from freelance photographers. While the trade mark name of the comapny is often on the cards, the name of the photographer or studio is rarely showm. The card pictured here was printed by the PC Paris company (figure 1). This appears to have been a realtively large company. It is number 6207. That number will indicate the date the card was printed if information is available from the company. We also notice a lot of cards from ABC.


We note large numbers of ABC cards in the early 1930s. They look to us like French cards, although we have not found much information about the company. Hopefully readers will know more. The company marketed both strongly and mutely colorized cards. Some were marketed in foreign countries. This was easily done by just changing the lsnguage of the greeting when the card was printed. We note cards, for example with Dutch greetings. This leads us to wonder if the company may have been Dutch. Flowers were commonly added to the cards with boys and girls. Many of the cards are numbered, but this is not the number of the individual card. As several different poses from the same shoot have identical numbers. We believe it is probably the shoot number, but there are other possibilities.


We have noted several Fox postcards from France, bith postally used and unused. Theu seem more modern than some of the other companies. The earlist Fox card we have noted looks to have been made in the late 1920s or early 30s. we have also noted some from the late 1940s after World War II. These have serrated edges.


We have noted a Furia postcard that was postally used in France during 1912. Thus we know the company was active before World War I. The sepia card shows a boy wearing a fancy lace-trimed outfit outfit with sailor styling. The suit was a rather unrealistic pink. The greeting says "Bone Fête" or "Good Party". I'm not sure, but this may be another way of saying "Happy Birthday".


Another French postcard company was Lite. Again we know littke about this company at this time pther than they were active in the years before World War I. We note that not only did the company color cards they would also add patterns to garments.


One French postcard company in 1932 was making cards woth a "M" in an oval logo. The cards were being exported to the Netherlands. We do no know, however, if the cards was shot with a special them for the Netherlands. It did have a Dutch greeting. The cards employed rather fancifal hand painting as well as improable scenes.

PC Paris

We note PC Paris cards in the early 20th century before World War I. Some of the cards were rather strangely posed such as little girl with a big wine bottle. Boys were commonly pictured with floweres. Sailor suits were a popular costume for the boys, sometimes with wide brimmed hats. PC Paris was still printing cards in the 1930s. Card in the early 1930s showed boys in short shorts, often with white kneesocks ans strap shoes. The curled mid-length hair cut was also popular.

PFG (France)

We have noted a French card marked PFG, if we are reading the logo correctly. It was a an elaborately, but unrealistiv hand painted card postally used in Belgium diring the mid-1920s, showing that the comapny was active in the mid-1920s. The card showed a boy with curled mid-length hair wearing short shorts with a floral display.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: October 7, 2000
Last updated: 6:54 AM 1/26/2010