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Vernacular Photography

William H. “Dad” Martin of Kansas, who was one of the most prolific of the tall-tale postcard makers of the early twentieth century, perfected the technique of photomontage for his comic pictures of mid-western fantasies. Cutting and pasting together pieces from different photographs, he composed scenes whose humor relied on juxtaposing tiny people with immense images of produce or game. He then photographed these altered pictures and printed them on postcard stock. Newly settled mid-westerners often sent Martin’s images back east to friends and relatives, who collected them in albums for family entertainment.