The Robinson Library >> Fine Arts >> Greeting Cards, Postcards, Etc.
Exaggerated Postcards

novel depictions of the fertile farming for which the Great Plains were known

Exaggerated postcards required creativity and skill to create. A photographer took two black-and-white pictures: a wide shot and a close-up. The enlarged image would be cut, placed, and glued over the wide shot to created the exaggeration. Headlines such as "Shipping a Few of Our Peaches" and "Harvesting a profitable crop of onions in Kansas" helped exaggerated postcards become extremely popular, especially in the Great Plains. They also showed a sense of humor in dealing with disaster.

One of the first producers of exaggerated postcards was William H. Martin, of Ottawa, Kansas. Martin's photography studio began experimenting with trick photography around 1908. His work featured huge ears of corn and peaches, a giant rabbit being tracked by a car, and pumpkins uprooting a farmstead. He was so successful that he established the Martin Post Card Company in 1909, and reportedly produced seven million exaggerated postcards the next year.

Another successful producer of exaggerated postcards was Frank D. "Pop" Conard, of Garden City, Kansas. Inspired by the "grasshopper plague" of 1935, he created exaggerated postcards featuring giant grasshoppers being ridden like horses, battling men, sitting on the bed of a pickup, and even holding up trains.

Texas cowboy riding a jack rabbit

cabbage harvest

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The Robinson Library >> Fine Arts >> Greeting Cards, Postcards, Etc.

This page was last updated on 06/19/2017.