Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An RPPC of St. Anthony's Catholic Church and Noviciate, Angola, Indiana

This is a Real Picture Postcard (RPPC) of St. Anthony's Catholic Church and Noviciate in Angola, Indiana. 

Postcards like this get me to thinking about what an RPPC really is.  Most postcards start off as photographs, after all, so why are some RPPCs and others aren't?   Its a good question and sometimes it almost falls into the "you know it when you see it" category.  That's very unsatisfactory though.  After all, there are lots of postcard views of things such as this that are not RPPCs.

I used to think that RPPCs were not massed produced, but then you get into the definition of mass produced.  Many RPPCs are picture of people that were just included in a set made by a studio, and these are definitely almost one of a kind.  Some are nothing more than snapshots that people took and had printed on postcard paper (I like those, btw), and they are obviously not massed produced.  Others, like this one, are not studio produced, but are quite professionally done, complete with the caption in white on the front (scratched on the negative, I think).  I don't know how many copies of this postcard were produced but it was most likely quite a few.

One thing that guides me in a case like this is the manufacturer's logo in the stamp box.  Certain of these logos are associated with RPPCs - one of the most common is AZO, but EKC and many others are also common.  You can use these logos to date the postcards (or a least get a date range).  So to me, if it has the look of an RPPC and it has a stamp box logo I know is associated with an RPPC - then it's an RPPC.

This one has an "EKC" stamp box on back, dating it to somewhere between 1930 & 1950.  It's a nice stark black and white photograph which documents a scene 60 to 80 years old.  I have no idea if it's still there.

I have this postcard listed on eBay - if you're interested in it click here.


  1. Here's is a newer old postcard of the same church

    Googling shows that it looks like they built a new church and instead of a novitiate, it is a friary. Franciscans they are.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Howdy Grace - thank you. That looks like a linen card, probably from the 1940s, but it could be from the 30s. It's the same period as the RPPC here, but taken from a different angle. I looked closely at the details of the 2 pictures & I'm confident it's the same building. Thanks for letting me know about it.