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
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.
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