Detroit Photographic Private Mailing Cards

Private Mailing Cards published between 1898 and 1901.

The Detroit Publishing Company was one of the largest American publishers of postcards and photographic views during the early decades of the twentieth century. During its height, the Detroit Publishing Company sold millions of prints annually. The company maintained outlets in Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, London, and Zurich, and also sold their images at popular tourist spots and through the mail.

The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. The company obtained the exclusive rights to use the Swiss “Photochrom” for converting black-and-white photographs to color prints. Photochroms were made by a photomechanical process using multiple lithographic stones. A separate lithographic stone was required for each color in the final print. A minimum of four stones were used for each print, and occasionally as many as fourteen stones were used. This process permitted the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market.