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Organic Gardening

Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.

Tall-Tale Vintage Postcards

Tall-tale vintage postcards emerged around the turn of the 20th century, and were often used to promote a sort of utopian myth about the agricultural abundance of rural communities. Photographer Alfred Stanley Johnson, Jr. specialized in tall-tale postcard production and worked for more than a decade to perfect the genre. The process used to create these images was simple: A photographer would take two prints, one of the background landscape and the other a close-up of an object, such as a pumpkin. The photographer would carefully cut out the image of the object, superimpose it onto the first, and re-shoot the combination for a final photomontage.

In 1915, due to the onset of World War I, America banned the import of German postcards and the postcard’s popularity began to diminish.  What’s more, advances in technology in the form of personal automobiles and telephones made postcards seem suddenly archaic. For more information about tall-tale postcards, visit the Wisconsin Historical Society

website. The images below are courtesy of our friends at Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.  


Giant Apples on Train

Giant Cabbage On Wagon

Giant Celery Stalks on Train

Giant Citrus on Wagon

Giant Corn on Train

Giant Corn Postcard

Giant Cucumber Illustration

Cucumber Postcard

Giant Fish on TrainMelons on Wagon

Onion in Wheelbarrow

Onion on train

Parsnips on train

Potato wagon

Potato wagon 2

Pumpkin Wagon Postcard

Giant Strawberries Postcards

Turnips Postcard

Giant watermelon wagon