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visual arts

Real Photo Postcards: Unbelievable Images from the Collection of Harvey Tulcensky

 
 
Author
Laetitia Wolff, ed. Todd Alden, essays.
Publisher Princeton Architectural Press  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 7 x 0.6 inches
ISBN 9781568985565
Pages/Publication Date 208/2005
Daedalus Item Code 50031
This item is not available.
Description
At the end of the 19th century, the inauguration of the penny postcard combined with Kodak's development of an affordable folding camera resulted in an explosion of popular photo postcards, as people mailed their own "snapshots" to friends and relatives. In the mid-1980s Harvey Tulcensky began seeking out these real photo cards, and has since amassed one of the world's leading collections of these supposedly ephemeral images. Under headings like natural phenomena (floods, storms, fires), Main Street America, rural life, parades, and "exaggeration" cards—like a photographically manipulated giant rabbit—the cards here reveal a surprisingly personal perspective of early 20th-century America.

"Sometimes the detritus of human history, that which was meant to be disposed of and forgotten, carries a greater and more lasting impact than those artifacts saved specifically for their purported historical value. In 1907 the U.S. Postal Service made an abrupt reversal of a law forbidding messages from being written on the backs of postcards. This change, coinciding with Kodak's introduction of an affordable, easy-to-use portable camera that printed out photographs onto heavy card stock, inspired a flurry of homespun postcards akin to the current digital photography craze. Because the photos were one-of-a-kind snapshots, produced predominantly by ordinary folks whose goal was to send a frozen moment, a fond wish or just a giggle to a friend or loved one, they tend toward an authenticity and an idiosyncrasy often lacking in more professional photographs of the day."—Publishers Weekly

 
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