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Monday, October 26, 2015

Exaggerated?

William Howard Taft was the 27th president of the United States on March 4, 1909. While has was campaigning for the presidency, he used a train that had a car at the end with a platform on the back. As a matter of fact, this post card has captured a picture of him on that train car. He followed Theodore Roosevelt into the presidency so the economy in the United States was flourishing. You can see in the upper right of this post card the word “PROSPERITY”. The large vegetables in the picture reflect the same feeling of wealth. This post card was produced in 1908, while Taft was still travelling across the United States trying to drum up as many votes as he could. He won the election with only 51.6% of the popular vote.

The post card was produced by William H. Martin (1865 – 1940). He worked out of Ottawa, Kansas after purchasing a shop there in 1894. Somewhere along the way he decided to produce not just photographs of exaggerated subject matter, but, he turned these photographs into post cards. He sold his Ottawa business and opened The North American Post Card Company in Kansas City, Kansas. In only three years he made a fortune by selling these post cards. He sold his photography (post card) business in 1912 to open a new venture: the National Sign Company.
This particular post card was used on September 19, 1910, 18 months after Taft became president. It seems to be a note from one young man to another asking when he went to the fair, because they did not see each other there. There must have been a large blimp or dirigible at the fair – it is mentioned at the end of the message with a “ha ha” added.

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.