Discovery Museum


Curt Teich Collection John High Collection Fort Sheridan Collection William O. Field Collection
Schmalgemeier Century of Progress Collection V.O. Hammon Collection Significant Smaller Collections
Teich Collection

Curt Teich Collection

The Curt Teich Postcard Archives is the nation's largest public collection of postcards and related materials. The core collection in the Teich Archives, acquired by the Lake County Discovery Museum in 1982, is the industrial archives of the Curt Teich Company of Chicago, which operated from 1898 to 1978 as the world's largest printer of view and advertising postcards. The Company was founded by Curt Otto Teich (1877 - 1974), who immigrated to the United States from Lobenstein, Germany in 1896. The Teich Company saved examples of every image printed, as well as company records and the original production materials for each card.

The core collection consists of over 360,000 cataloged images, 1898 to 1978, relating to 10,000 towns and cities primarily in the United States and Canada, and more than 87 other foreign countries.

Original production materials exist for 110,000 postcards, dating from 1926 to circa 1960, including photographic prints and negatives; letters; pencil and watercolor sketches; other layout materials; and physical remnants such as wallpaper, flooring, and textiles, which had been sent to the Teich Company to serve as color and pattern samples. The Teich Family papers are also available for research. These include photographs, letters, travel and personal documents, and information about the Teich ancestral town, Lobenstein, Germany.

High Collection

John High Collection

This collection is a gift from New York actor, John High, and consists of pre-World War I postcards, including the world's premier collection of woven silks and Stevengraphs. Currently, only silk postcards from the St. Louis 1904 World's Fair are housed at the Teich Archives. John High collects categories other than silks - Dickens, Shakespeare, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, jigsaw puzzle cards, "hold-to-lights" and copper windows, the four seasons, twelve months of the year, and crosswords, to name a few. Several of these categories are now on display in the Museum's exhibition, "Treasures of a Collector: The John High Collection."
Fort Sheridan Collection

Fort Sheridan Collection

This collection contains over 500 postcards, three postcard albums, and several postcard booklets, acquired from the former museum at the Fort Sheridan U.S. Army Base (1887-1993). These materials relate primarily to World Wars I and II. There are many Chicago Daily News Postals, printed of European locations during World War I, as well as views of military life in several American installations, such as Camp Custer, Michigan. A small number of views related to topics such as medicine and the Red Cross are also part of this collection.
Field Collection

William O. Field Collection

A personal collection of Dr. William O. Field and his father, it consists of 7,000 postcards documenting Europe and America from 1895 to the 1950s. Strengths includesteamships, railroads, and other travel related images; pre-World War I European politics; and views of European cities in the early twentieth century. One of five postcard albums in the collection documents the European "Grand Tour" of Dr. Field's parents between 1899 and 1902.
Schmalgemeier Collection

Schmalgemeier Century of Progress Collection

This collection was a gift from Chicago postcard collector, Grant B. Schmalgemeier. It consists of 3,000 postcards of the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair. A selection of these postcards are on display in the Museum's exhibition, Bringing the World Home.
VO Hammon Collection

V.O. Hammon Collection

A gift from Chicago's Windy City Postcard Club, this collection is a nearly complete archives of postcards printed by the V.O. Hammon Company of Chicago and Minneapolis. The collection contains over 5,000 view and advertising postcards of Midwestern towns and cities between 1900 and the early 1920s.
Significant Smaller Collections

Significant Smaller Collections

Small collections in the Teich Archives include original souvenir postals from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, thought to be the first picture postcards in the United States; the Leonie DeAngelis collection of fashion, genre, holiday, and patriotic subjects; Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway; and twenty postcard albums dating from 1899 to the 1960s.

Curt Teich Postcard Archives
27277 Forest Preserve Drive
Wauconda, IL 60084
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