Color slide film, also called color positive film, was introduced by Kodak in 1935, and the Fischgrund firm was probably the first Mexican postcard publisher to make use of the new development. One example from the author's collection is very telling. Although the stamp has been removed, the card bears a U. S. censorship backstamp, which dates the card to the war years of the early 1940s. These early chromes were printed on slick white paper stock, have the words "Kodachrome" and "Made in Mexico" printed on the back of typical scenes and landmarks popular with tourists.
Additional series bear similar backs as those of Fischgrund's series of fine art and photography postcards from the 1930s. These series were printed on heavy rag stock that lends a soft look to the images. Although the photographer is not credited on the postcards, here are a few thought to have been taken by Luis Marquez:
If the numbers in the stamp boxes and/or postmarks are reliable indicators of the chronology of his postcards, Eugenio Fischgrund printed his earliest "Continentals" in France in the early 1950s. The cards were the larger 4" by 6" size already popular in Europe, and they had a deckle edge, or raggedy sides. The title and place of the view are printed at the top right of the back, "Mexichrome / Colores Naturales" in the top center, "a genuine Fischgrund card" at the bottom left, and running in two lines down the middle, "Editorial de Arte, S.A., Apartado 2071, Mexico, D.F. / Publishers of Art Post cards and Christmas Cards." The wording of the center lines can vary, including the name of the firm to Editorial Mexico, S.A.
By 1954, the printing of the color slide film was done by Helio-Mexico, S.A., and the sides of the postcards soon have straight edges, and round corners began to appear.
Color photos by Luis Márquez were among the first printed on the large format Mexichromes. A few views are credited to photographers named "Barona" and "Uribe" but the vast majority of the tourist views are not credited. (A photo credit that is printed in the stamp box is hidden if the card has been stamped!) Besides the two Luis Márquez photographs that appear on the front and back covers of MEXICAN FOLKLORE, which are pictured earlier in this article, the first and second Mexichrome images below are credited to Marquez, and the third appears to be his as well:
As early as 1956, Fischgrund downsized the larger cards to a standard 3-1/2" by 5-1/2" size. A few have the old deckle edge and sharp corners, but the majority of the smaller sized Mexichromes have straight edges and round corners. Here are four Márquez photographs issued as 3-1/2" x 5-1/2" Mexichromes:
The probable switch to color print film, presumably published as "Marcolor" under the logo of the two-headed snake, began in the very late 1950s. A 1959 postmark is the earliest found so far. Only a very few Marcolor cards have rounded corners, which must have been considered old-fashioned by the 1960s. The name of the printer is almost always missing, but a few have a credit line for "Lito Offset Sanchez, S.A."
The numbering system is not always consistent. Occasionally there was a slip-up and two different images were assigned the same number. Loose cards that are unnumbered and have serrated edges, were removed booklets. Each small booklet had ten cards that were joined together and folded like an accordion. The purchaser could tear the cards apart and mail them separately.
One specialty item from the 1960s was a bookmark-shaped chrome that measured 6-1/2" long by 2-3/4" wide. Another was an oversized card published in the 1970s. These "giants" measured a whopping 4" by 7" and most were views of Mexico City. Both shapes bear a Marcolor logo.
As was the case with Kodachrome and Mexichrome cards, most Marcolor views show Mexico City, followed by Acapulco and Taxco, and a sprinkling of the rest of the Republic. Although the cards typically have only one view, a few have two, three, or even four smaller images together on one postcard. Among the hundreds of Marcolor cards, Fischgrund credited only one photographer -- Enrique Franco T. -- on a very small number of views. The following are Marcolor postcards that can be attributed to Luis Márquez:
Fourteen of Márquez' images of dances and popular arts make up a booklet entitled "Folklore Mexicano", which contains both color and black and white views. Another folder entitled "Beautiful National Types of Mexico" contains 20 of Márquez' tinted photographs from the large series of 96 displayed in two earlier pages of this web site. The folder includes numbers 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 30, 35, 36, 39, 40, 47, 53, 56, 66, 78 and 79. Several other folders include work by Marquez and/or other Fischgrund photographers: "Acapulco", "Cuernavaca / Taxco / Acapulco", "Mexico", "Mexico - Ciudad de los Palacios" and "Souvenir of Mexico".