Exaggeration Postcards - Introduction & Index

Exaggeration Postcards - Introduction & Index


This section of the website was started because of my hobby of collecting Terre Haute postcards. Whilst collecting these postcards I came across a couple of exaggeration or "tall tale" postcards. This type of postcard were produced from almost the start of postcard production - and you thought "photoshopping" was new!*

The main themes were usually fish, fruit or vegetables but almost any subject was used. Many were produced to advertise a particular state or area with captions such as "that's the way we grow them in xxxxx" or "bigger and better in xxxxx".

There were several techniques used to produce the images. One way was to use a photo-montage, another was to use a mixture of artistry and photography.

One of the best known producers of these exaggerated or "tall tale" cards was William H. "Dad" Martin of Ottawa, Kansas. His studio started experimenting with trick photography in 1908. A year later, in 1909, he formed the Martin Post Card Company. This company was so succesful that the company was reportedly producing around seven million postcards annually.

* Some people absolutely hate the idea of Adobe's Photoshop being used as a verb (a doing word) or adjective (a describing word) rather than a noun (a name, person, place or thing word). The fact is that Adobe's Photoshop is the standard against which all other image manipulation programs are measured against and it's not surprising that it's now used as a verb or adjective; much like Hoover was in the world of vacuum cleaners - as in "doing the hoovering". It's also now used as a common noun - people now speak of using other image editing programs, such as GIMP, to photoshop an image! There's an interesting discussion of this and the use of image manipulation in general at Scott Bulger's Photography Blog.

This collection contains 1 postcards.

Exaggeration Postcard Index

Title Page Description
Pictorial Index 2 Thumbnails of all the postcards illustrated on the site
Fish 3  

This page created 30th March 2010, last modified 31st March 2010

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