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HomeContentsPhotobooks > Book Details
Larger Than Life: The American Tall-Tale Postcard, 1905-1915 
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Product Details 
132 pages 
Abbeville Press, Inc 
Published 1990 
From Publishers Weekly 
During the early years of this century the tall-tale postcard flourished in the American Midwest. In design, close-up photographs of ordinary-size produce and/or animals were combined--in skewed scale--with photos of people. Painstaking scissor-work resulted in hilarious, proto-surreal shots: a tremendous porcupine chases a man down a street, children ride harnessed roosters, people live in bungalow-size watermelons, potatoes are so big that one alone fills a flatcar, bass are man-eaters, money grows on trees. Rubin (Southern Folk Art) and Williams, a collector of these cards, have assembled a veritable rogue's gallery of graphic lies and cheats; 135 black-and-white examples of the tall-tale postcard take us from the ubiquitous jackalope (a rabbit with horns), past the furry-trout and "whopper-hopper" grasshopper, to a new take on the proverbial giant clam. The text breezily discusses the traditional roles of boasting and the tall tale, and touches on such inspirational (for the tall-tale postcard artists) landmarks as Mount Rushmore and the Sioux City Corn Palace. 
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.  
From Library Journal 
Millions of picture postcards were produced and sent in the years just prior to World War I. One type was the tall-tale or exaggeration postcard, which employed trick photography for humor; people matching wits with nature was a favorite theme. By modern standards the folk humor of these postcards would be considered bizarre, tasteless, and even offensive (a "unique bungalow" shows blacks living in a huge watermelon). This is a survey of such postcards, illustrated with original, well-produced cards of the period. The text is informative, although the subject clearly calls for a less sober treatment than is found here. Still, the fascinating photographs make this attractive volume a good addition to any collection of offbeat Americana. - Stephen Rees, Bucks Cty. Free Lib., Levit town, Pa. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. 
From Book News, Inc. 
A collection of examples of the genre with commentary on the photographers and the society for which the cards were produced. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

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