This vintage real photo postcard features a lovely image of an adorable little girl holding a beautiful doll. The child is wearing a lacy dress, a necklace, and a pink ribbon in her hair. She is so photogenic. This postcard was sent by a woman named Suzanne to her younger brother living in Argentan, France. The postmark dates back to 1906. Suzanne wrote her name on the top right hand corner of the front of the postcard. She wrote it in red which is the same color ink she used to write her message on the reverse. The postcard was published by Germany’s Neue Photographische Gesellschaft (NPG) (New Photographical Society). The company was in business between 1894 and 1948. It was founded by Arthur Black (1862-1943) and it became of the most well known and largest companies involved in the production of postcards. Over time, NPG opened subsidiaries in London, Paris, Rome, and New York. Interestingly, the company was one of the “Best Companies to Work For”. Employees were given free medical treatment and illness benefits. Employees also received bonuses and life insurance. The company offered it’s employees a library, a casino, and a dining room which sold food for cost. In addition, the company offered it’s workers a reading room and a theater for lectures and theatrical performances. Now we know where Google and other employee friendly companies got some of their ideas from. Printing on the reverse of this postcard mentions that this postcard is an “Oranotypie” and also lists the name “A. G. Steglitz”. An oranotype is a trade name for a type of glossy real photo postcard published by NPG at the beginning of the 20th century. These cards are hand colored. I am unsure if Steglitz was a postcard publisher or a photographer. I have seen postcard aficionados refer to him as both a photographer and a publisher. My guess is that most of these “experts” are as unsure as I am about his role in producing postcards. 


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love this one 🙂
    I have to don the mantle of one of those so called “experts” here. Early in my research into N.P.G., I sometimes repeated what I’d read elsewhere online and identified Steglitz as a person. Still considerably red-faced over that. It’s the internet “telephone game” unfortunately, and I guess many of us slide down that slippery slope.

    At some point later on, I discovered that Steglitz is a place (like a borough) in Berlin, and that A.G. is the abbreviation for Aktiengesellschaft, a word identifying a company as a corporation whose stock is owned by its share holders.

    So, the text appearing on those N.P.G. “oranotypie” cards (I do so love the results achieved by that process), “Neue Photographische Gesellschaft A.G.,” refers to the printer publisher in Berlin, a company founded by Arthur Schwartz in the 1890s, its status as a corporation and the “Steglitz 1904,” refers to the location of the company in Berlin and the date (copyrights or patents, presumably) of the oranotype process’s early use. I’m pretty darned certain of this information now, after years of repeatedly researching different N.P.G. postcards and hope that since I added to the online confusion over this early on, I can contribute a little clarity now.

    • Thank you so much for the explanation. Your comment is interesting and informative

  2. P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

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