So called because these were the photos that period fans would receive back in the mail when writing their favorite movie stars directly or in care of the studios.
Most commonly 5" X 7" in size, though also manufactured both smaller and larger (exact sizes noted in each listing) these are typically double-weight mass produced photos with a matte finish. Typically there is a facsimile signature across the front of the photo, often with the word Sincerely or another form of salutation preceding the signature. The signatures are usually printed in the negative though sometimes they're stamped onto the photo finish as well.
Oftentimes the 5x7 fan photos will have a stamp on reverse offering a larger, typically 8" x 10", photo in exchange for 25¢ or some other nominal fee.
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