Does the postcard back indicated that it was printed in Germany? The German cards were of exceptional quality and are some of the best examples of old postcards available. Does the postcard have a shiny finish on the front, with a color photographic image?
However, World War I shut down the German printing presses and cards started being printed in the United States or imported from Great Britain. Photochrome postcards have been produced from 1945 to present.
A studio sometimes grew to the point where additional photographers were hired but all the photographs produced were published with the original photographers name.
This practice was only cost effective on cards printed in large numbers; individuals and small photo studios could rarely afford to do so. While many amateur photographers numbered their cards this was most often done by larger studios.However, there are many postcards that were never mailed or that a part of the post mark is illegible or soiled.Here are some general guidelines to help determine the age range of your post card.Sometimes a photographer might expose a logo onto the image or hand stamp a name to the back of the card. Numbering was an essential way of keeping tract of large inventory.The presence of a photographers name is not a definite indication of when a card was made or even who made it.And of course any image that contain a regularly patterned series of dots is not a photograph at all but a ink printed image.Some halftone cards were printed on high gloss paper to resemble a photograph but their screen patterns will give them away if one is vigilant.Cards previous to that had to have the Private Mailing Card Statement. There was often a statement that said "this side for address only." The postal service started allowing the use of divided back postcards in March of 1907.So, if your card is marked "Private Mailing Card," is dates from 1893 - 1901. A divided back postcard (example 3) has a line down the middle, or some other indication that one half of the back is for the address and the other half is for a message. If your postcard has an undivided back, it is from 1907 or earlier. during World War I in order to save ink and estimated to have saved 20% more ink.This could go on for generations, and it is not uncommon to find the same photograph attributed to three different artists.While today this would lead to lawsuits, copyright was uncommon and rarely enforced at the turn of the 20th century.