The Route 66 linen postcards listed on this web site are mostly from businesses that directly served the travelers but there are also many postcards that include street scenes or roadside scenery from Route 66 as well.
The two principal categories of business postcards are lodging followed by eating establishments. Lodging includes motels, motor courts, auto courts, cabins, inns, hotels, and probably other names too. Among eating establishments are restaurants, cafes, and diners. Some of these businesses also sold gasoline. Some other classifications that are included that could be construed as being somewhat traveler-oriented include two trailer sales postcards and one fruit stand postcard.
The street scene and scenic type postcards that I include must show either the highway itself or the caption must strongly imply that the view is as it appears from Route 66. I also included some scenic views that were off Route 66 but were inseparably associated with the highway itself, such as Meteor Crater and Onondaga Cave.
I include linen postcards that were printed not in multiple colors, as most are, but in one single color of ink. Almost always this one color was black but a couple of postcards that are listed are in other colors. In the tables the "mono-color" linen postcards are noted as such with a dark gray background in the manufacturer's number cell in the table. These mono-color postcards are different from black and white real photo postcards and black and white printed postcards. Real photo postcards are, of course, real photos printed from photographic negatives onto photographic paper. Examination under a magnifying glass will reveal a smooth continuum of tones that vary from white to black and through all the shades of gray. Black and white printed postcards were based upon photographs too but were printed on smooth cardstock with a printing press. Examination under a magnifying glass will reveal individual dots that make up the picture. But the cardstock was smooth whereas a mono-color linen postcard was printed on a textured type paper. National Press was the most prolific manufacturer of what I call mono-color linen postcards.
Also included in this compilation of linen Route 66 postcards are so-called "sepia" postcards that were produced during the same linen era. Using artist-drawn artwork as well, they used just one color of ink (a sepia-like tan ink, of course) and the cardstock paper had a textured finish somewhat like linen color postcards but not as coarse. These postcards are noted as such with a tan background in the manufacturer number cell in the table. Associate and Asco were the two most common names for sepia postcards. (Interestingly, I know of no Associate or Asco sepia postcards from locations east of the State of New Mexico on Route 66.)
I did not include novelty postcards such as Alfred E. Newman, Lawson Wood's "Roland's Back", "Laff Grams" and other comic postcards even if they were issued and distributed by a business that was on Route 66. I did not include the many "Greetings From" or "Large Letter" city and state linen postcards that did not specifically mention Route 66. These postcards are quite popular however and are collectible in their own right.
My intent was to not include linen postcards from businesses that were on Route 66, and perhaps even said so on the postcard, but were not traveler-oriented. I've seen postcards from different retail stores and even from a car dealer. Nonetheless, I am still working on the definition of traveler-oriented business and I have not been consistent at all. I have listings for some general businesses on Route 66 and not others.
I also did not include Fred Harvey "Harvey House" postcards. Fred Harvey hotels were an operational department of the Santa Fe Railroad and Route 66 pretty much followed the Santa Fe Railroad west of Albuquerque. There are many beautiful linen postcards of the Harvey Houses of the Santa Fe but I have not seen any that actually say "66" on them. The focus of the Harvey Houses was to provide accomodations and meals for the railroad traveler. Their restaurants were open anyone but I am not aware of any particular promotion toward the Route 66 traveler at all. Fred Harvey postcards are quite collectible themselves and there are many collectors of this category of postcards. Even though I do not include the postcards, several Harvey Houses (El Garces in Needles, La Posada in Winslow, El Navajo in Gallup, and the Alvarado in Albuquerque) were right on Route 66 and several others (Casa Del Desierto in Barstow, Fray Marcos in Williams, and La Fonda in Santa Fe) were very close.
I have not included what are called "fold out" or "accordian" mailer postcard packages. There are several that refer to U.S. 66 on the outside. These folders usually had images printed on linen paper on the outside but the interior images were printed on a thin matte paper. But each of these interior images were duplicates of individual linen postcards and the latter should be listed here if they meet the criteria.
Although sepia linen postcards are included, postcards printed from photographs on tan paper are not included. These images are almost photo-like and sharper than artist-drawn artwork. The cardstock paper is smooth, or fairly smooth, like a black and white printed postcard mentioned in an earlier paragraph. Artvue was one publisher of this type of postcard but there were others. I also did not include the series of sepia-like postcards created by artist Arthur J. Merrill in the late 1950s and early 1960s. A. J. Merrill drew with some artistic license illustrations of roadside structures mostly in New Mexico and eastern Arizona and his images were issued as postcards in the 1960s.
Finally I did not include postcards printed in the chrome (or "photo-chrome") process but instead of using color photographs as the basis for the printed postcards, artist drawn artwork similar (or even identical in some cases) to that used for linen postcards was used. These postcards are printed on smooth paper like modern photo-chrome postcards and have been called "early chromes", "chromes from linen art" and other names.