Local History: Exaggeration Postcards

Exaggerated postcards are a wonderful example of turn of the century creativity. Imagine a world with no photoshop! Would it even be possible to alter an image to become something of a tall tale? How would you even do that?

Turn of the century photographers had a few tricks up their sleeves to create exaggerated postcards. They would take two black-and-white photos, one wide shot, and one close-up. The close-up image would be cut and glued over the wide shot to create the illusion. 

These humorous postcards were very successful in the Great Plains, depicting the fertile farmland which brought many settlers to Kansas, and making light of some of the tougher conditions in the state. 

A local example of exaggeration photography comes from Albert H. Wade. 

We have numerous of photographs in our collection (mostly portraits) from Wade Studio.

See his exaggeration photograph and read about his story here:

Our Vaden-Stroud Research Library is available during business hours, giving the public access to Reno County related research materials including, books, maps, city directories, news articles, and more.




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  • 100 S. Walnut Street
  • Avenue A & Walnut
  • Hutchinson, Kansas