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It may be hard to believe, but there actually was a time when the postcard image was not a clich. To reach it, you'll have to set your clock back to the end of the nineteenth century, when an Act of Congress allowed Americans to mail a card for just one cent. A few years later, Kodak introduced an easy-to-use and affordable folding camera that put postcard power into the hands of ordinary citizens, setting off a craze. Real Photo Postcards is a collection of the most outlandish and idiosyncratic, beautiful and even occasionally bizarre images of this early postcard period.
Painstakingly assembled from the collection of Harvey Tulcensky, one of the world's most avid collectors of these original postcards, Real Photo Postcards includes images of natural phenomena (floods, storms, fires), Main Street America, rural life, political parades, and wacky "exaggeration" cards (such as a photographically manipulated giant rabbit!). Together these cards show an oddly personal and intimate perspective of America at the turn of the 20th century.
|Publisher:||Princeton Architectural Press|
|Product dimensions:||7.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.62(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Laetitia Wolff is the design editor of Surface magazine, the former editor of Graphis, and an international consultant on design trends and culture. She is the founder of the creative consultancy futureflair.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Loved the photos but wish that more of the card backs were shown. Those that were translated I would have liked to have those backs shown as well, just to get the full experience of reading the original handwriting as well as the translated text.
In the early 1900s, Kodak promoted real photo postcards which could be mailed for one cent through the post office using the company's first inexpensive, portable camera made for the public. Such a post card could be made out of any photograph taken by the camera. The nearly 200 real photo cards show the variety of ways the public responded to this opportunity to try out the new camera and get in touch with relatives and friends. People would send photos of parades, circuses, snowstorms, and pictures of themselves, often in playful poses or amusing settings. Some of the cards were surreal-like with their distortions in the sizes of objects which could also be amusing, as one from Kansas where a giant cricket is attacking a car and the note, 'See what we have to put up with out here.' The amateurish, popular use and subjects is apparent in practically all of the photo postcards. But what is also apparent--pointed out in the brief introductory essay--is the real photo postcards' part in familiarizing the public with the camera and interesting them in its possibilities, laying the grounds for the photojournalism and the art photography of the following decades.