Photo Paper Trademarks,  Logo’s and other imprints

Anything found on an older postcard can be valuable for research. On real photo cards, either amateur or photographer work, you often find imprints which were not added by the photographer but already part of the pre-printed “Post Card” address side supplied by the photo paper manufacturer. This goes so far that even the film brand and / or camera lens used is mentioned.


I have noted the work of US collectors who carefully researched many of the photo paper trademarks. Names / initials (eg. AZO, ARTURA, VELOX, PMC etc) are usually found in the stamp box position. I am going to concentrate on old German companies here. Ignore the big firms like Agfa, Kodak who dealt worldwide. Names that are self-explaining, on which information is found quite easily. The trademarks in question are found on postcards done by amateurs as well as commercial photographers, with a limited number of copies printed. These however, were often mailed worldwide to relatives, friends etc.


The fir tree trademark with or without the initials Dr. A.K.W. was registered for Fabrik photograph. Papiere vorm. Dr. A. Kurz AG from Wernigerode / Harz (mountains) region. This photopaper factory was set up by Dr. A. Kurz in 1864. The first to produce Colodium paper (Celloidin) in quantity in Germany. Converted into a joint stock company (AG) in 1895. The huge ‘Vereinigten Fabriken photographischer Papiere AG’ from Dresden took many shares in 1902. By mid-1920’s the Schering (Satrap) company becomes business partner. The firm was removed from the register of companies in 1930. Only few cards seen so far.


The T & M trademark stood for Trapp & Muench from Friedberg, Hessia. Set up by Dr. August Trapp in 1861 and after his brother-in-law Theodor Muench joined (for few years only) named into Trapp & Muench. Turned into a limited company by 1902. Converted into a AG by 1919 and taken over completely by Mimosa AG in 1919, but continued under own name. Production at Friedberg was stopped in 1929. Business moved to Dresden in 1931. The small T & M imprint is usually found at top of dividing line position. Often seen on (good quality) real photo postcards.


D.R.P. 176323

The Cellofix trademark was registered for Kraft & Steudel, Fabrik photographischer Papiere, Dresden in 1907. See also title illustration. It was a photo paper especially for amateurs. This business was set up in 1894 and was around until late 1933 bankruptcy). Another popular Kraft & Steudel brand was named “Sidi”. Cellofix postcards are quite often seen.


The Satrap trademark was registered for Schering AG, Berlin. The name around 1901 and the Satrag head logo a couple of years later. The origins of Schering chemical company go back to the year 1851, the joint stock company was formed in Oct. 1871. Quite a big firm that took over the photo paper factory Herzheim, Dueren in 1898, partner of dry photographic plate manufacturer Richard Jahr, Dresden. In 1923 Schering took over Voigtlaender company, in 1925 shares of Vereinigen Fabriken photographischer Papiere AG, Dresden, shares of previous mentioned Dr. A.K. Kurz factory etc. In 1927 another co-operation and a new name: Schering-Kahlbaum AG. And so on and on. Quite complicated company history, typical for the time. The Satrap logo is found quite often on postcards, also abroad. Logo usually in stamp box position.

Just three samples of the many, many different photo paper makes, prints and qualities offered long ago. Sepia with matt surface, glossy look with sepia touch on quality card and wide tonal range, and reddish-yellow card, the photo coming along in excellent matt, detailed look. Nothing like that today anymore. Impressive indeed!


Dresdner Photochemische Werke Fritz Weber, Heidenau/Dresden

Fritz Weber took over the 1900 set up ‘Ernemann’s Photochemische Werke’ in April 1901 and continued under own name. A new factory was built in 1903 and further expansion took place in the mid 1920’s. The factory was fully specialised in photo papers / postcards. By early 1930 Weber had some 110 different makes and qualities on offer. Fritz Weber died on 11 February 1933. The company was continued until end of WW2. The production plant was dismantled, photo papers and raw material confiscated. An attempt to built up production again failed and the company was deleted from trade register in April 1948.

Above you see a Weber ‘two letter code’ usually found imprinted below dividing line. There are other combinations as WB etc. known (“Weber Weich; Weber Brom / - Blitz”). Fritz Weber was also a clever businessman, convincing some customers to allow his photo paper name to be imprinted. Guess they received lower purchase prices in return. “Weber-Blitz” imprint comes from a Walter Hahn, Dresden, card series.


”EKA” was registered for Vereinigte Fabriken photograph. Papiere AG from Dresden. A group of photo paper manufacturers from Dresden formed in 1874. Members were: H. Anschuetz, J. Fessler, W. Hoffmann & Co., G. Wachsmuth & Co., G. Rotter & Co., Zinkeisen & Richter and Sulzberger & Mater. Close co-operation / production for Dresdener Albuminpapierfabrik AG from 1894 on. More firms were added (see above). Schering AG became partner in 1925. Factory sold to Voigtlaender in 1932, in 1935 part of Voigtlaender-Gevaert Ltd. group. The factory buildings were almost completely destroyed in late WW2 years. Partly built up again, but closed down in the early 1950’s. – Another (earlier) trademark found on real photo postcards was the crossed swords (Schwerter) logo. The illustration comes from an 1905 advert, simpler shape on ppc’s. – Around 1926-27 the “ERGO” trademark was registered. Illustrated is the simple type, either found inside stamp box or below dividing line. There are also other ERGO designs known.


Photo paper manufacturers, although sometimes close connected with picture postcard trade and research (eg the Mimosa and E.A.S. / Ross / Rotophot business relationship), belong more to general photographic history.

An article on Mimosa AG, Dresden is found in TPA 26.

A photo of the huge Rotophot Berlin bromide photo printing (‘by the mile’) plant will be illustrated in TPA 27.

Inquiries on this topic welcome.

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