Thursday, November 26, 2015


The 2010 page about snapshot borders has been extensively updated and revised. So it is being reposted now.

Here are some examples of snapshot borders that are incorporated into the print. Any known dates will be included.

From the rear

This one is so uneven it is probably from an amateur home dark room production. There are no parallel sides on this one at all.

Young Man and Electric Guitar

This is a plain white border too but the print is off center. It is also printed with a wide border at the bottom like an RPPC, but it is not a post card.
It could have been done by an inexpensive, barely professional photo finisher.
Home dark room prints are often off center too.

This is a common border.
Narrow, unadorned white edge. Straight cut.

Office Halloween Party

This is a very recognizable border. The wide white space at the bottom identifies it as a Polaroid print.

Where's Dave?

This is an earlier Polaroid print. Deckled edge top and bottom and two straight cut sides.

Three women at the beach

Here is an easily recognizable format. It is a Polaroid print with the pull tab still attached. Notice how the deckled edge camouflages the perforation.


This is called a "Deckled" edge. This is dye cut stock paper for standard prints used by many photo shops in the fifties and sixties.

Horse and boy
This deckled edge example has rounded corners.

Glenna on a rail
This is another "Deckled Edge"
but a different cut.
Girl in a sun suit
Four girls

Out sitting on a rock

Light plane taking off.

Here is a decorated edge something like the dye cut deckled edge. This however, this is a formal design specific for the size of the paper. The deckled edge can begin and end anywhere so it will fit any size.


This is a modern day border-less print. The film is developed, the prints are made and tucked into an envelope all by machine.

Three and a truck This one has "FOX CO" in two corners and five dots in the other two.
man and girl and car
This one has a rounded corner design in the border but almost squared corners on the paper.
It says "WACO" and "OWL" in the corners.

This one looks as if a print mask/negative holder was designed using a conductor’s ticket punch.
May 1938

Three women asleep on the beach
The border designs are usually incorporated into the negative holder or pre-printed on the stock.

The date part is apparently changeable.
house and yard
This one has rounded corners. The design is probably pre-printed on the blank stock.
Another with a changeable date.
"B anc C" and "1935"
Guy with saddle shoes
Very subject oriented border with a date top and bottom.
Girl on a bumper A simple chain design.
An elaborate border for school pictures. Dudy?

Family Party
These two have fairly simple lines and decorated corners.
Trio by pool

Bee Sting?
This is the fanciest found so far.
winding the film

Fanny advanced the film.
Daubert advanced.

Three kids on rear of car

TWA loading 01
Here is a border with perforations designed to fit into a booklet.
Two cars

This is unusual. The deckled edged blank is also embossed with a line framing the print area.

Girl on Running Board
class picture
This border resembles Roman design.

By the sea -  Ma and the airplane

This one is a bit different. The border is incorporated into the print mask, changing the shape of the photograph itself.

Girl dressing

This print has a date stamp in the border. This became popular with photo finishers in the sixties.

Three youngsters in the surf

Here is a familiar one. Someone got out the old PINKING SHEARS
and made their own fancy border.
It's never quite straight.

double breasted suit

Rose Parade 1939
This one has fifteen circles in each corner decoration.

The gang, Enid, OK
This one has eleven.
Child on Running board
Four children on a running board
This one and the one above look alike but, they are not. The design is reversed.

Three girls in the yard
One Man at Desk
Oklahoma Tag
This is a bamboo design border.

This one looks similar to the "ELKO" and "FOXCO" designs but has no name in the corners. Also the chain design is smaller and slanted.
Two swimmers
This one is similar to the FoxCo and Elko borders but has "Studer Photo, San Antonio, Texas" situated in the four corners.

the cliff dwellers
This one has "ELKO" in four corners.
two dressed up kids
This one is like the ELKO design (above) but does not have "ELKO" in the corners.

This is another Elko border. A narrower design.
Man and two children
A little cheesecake

Lots of snapshots become wallet worn treasures. The frayed edges get trimmed away until only the essential subject is left.

Got any snapshot borders not shown here? Send them to LOST GALLERY and they will be included on this page.

Bassingbourn 1944 384th Bomber Group, B17 landing
Long lost negatives taken during the winter of 1944-45 at Bassingbourn AAF base in England.

Area 51 and a Half Area 51 and a Half You are probably not authorized to see these.

Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you! completely unaware of the photographer This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.

And don't miss
Cabinet Card Gallery
Square America
Tattered and Lost
Vernacular Photography
The best
sites on the web.

And for postcards try
And see what's going on over at
Sepia Saturday!

All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use. All rights reserved.

THE KIDS Lesson one.
It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned. Here are a few. You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.

Dee and the Business School Dee and the Business School
The beautiful Dee. A curious story; What do you see?

Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"


  1. I love the variety of borders. I find them fascinating. Do you know if the border was preprinted on the paper or did they have to sandwich it with the neg?

  2. Thanks. Yes, there is quite a variety I am finding. I may have to go on with a second page of them.

    I think the paper was preprinted at least later on. Then a negative carrier was designed to always keep the negative inside where the border would be. The border design would have to be printed on the paper before the light sensitive gelatin coating was applied so that it would have the same shiny look as the print.

    In the earlier more primitive versions there may have been a mask that was part of the negative carrier. I have seen evidence pointing to both methods.

  3. I don't often find photos with the borders.

    I especially love the the shot of the woman with the camera and the delicate border. That one is probably my favorite because the border actually works nicely as a frame. Too often they were just sort of hokey looking. Great finds!

  4. Thanks again. I like that shot too. It actually has four people in it. And it is one that asks "What is going on here?"

    Why did the fifth person take this picture?

  5. I have some old pictures that I scanned of my family. Two of them that had ELKO borders on them. No one could figure out who the people in the pictures were though LOL

    1. Thanks Helen. That's funny! Everything but what you need. The only thing I can think of that is any value to borders on prints is that sometimes it helps identify where the picture was processed. Don't throw away your unidentified photographs. SOMEBODY knows who they are.

  6. Is there any possibility of getting photos made today from slides on deckled edged paper?

    1. Deckled edge paper for computer printing is available. You'd need a slide scanner and an ink-jet printer. Some do it yourself kiosks in Walgreens, Walmart and similar places offer that option too.

      I have also heard that some mail-order photo finishers have a variety of print paper.



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