Tall Tale Postcards Boasting of Bountiful Travel Destinations

Early in the 20th century, as Americans traveled more and more by train to exotic destinations in their own country, they mailed or brought back novelty “tall tale” postcards to show where they’d been. These are still funny, and charmingly retro. Most were the work of Edward Henry Mitchell. While this type of fantasy image can easily be done in Photoshop today, Mitchell made them the old-fashioned way, in his photo shop in San Francisco.

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Mitchell would lay out a picture of a background, often a photograph of the the Southern Pacific Railroad, then cut out  produce from a different photograph and just lay it over top. Then he’d take another photo of the whole thing together. These templates would be offered to various businesses, governments, and Chamber of Commerce and their name or location added before printing mass quantities.

Ridiculously large produce shipments were just a small part of Mitchell’s postcard business. His business published at least 4,000 designs between 1898 and 1915. See a gallery of his tall tale postcards from the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History at Flashbak. -via Everlasting Blort

Source: neatorama

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