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MOST LUDICROUS POSTCARDS

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Your postcard guide to risky, ill-considered & downright stupid
ideas that deserved only the fleeting moments they received.
High-resolution thumbnails are now used throughout.
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MOST LUDICROUS POSTCARDS & POST CARDS
These post cards tend to be rare, because their ideas were short-lived.
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ANIMALS & CHILDREN. "THE ALLIGATOR EXPRESS, FLORIDA" showing a small unprotected child riding on an alligator cart, color postcard from the Florida Artistic Series, a little writing on the lightly toned back, small corner crease not into the image, mild corner & edge wear. Unbelievable that someone would put their child in such danger!

AUTOMOBILES & KANSAS. "Hankinson's / Original / Auto Polo / Teams. // MADE IN OKAMOTO / TOKYO JAPAN" showing an action scene from the real & dangerous sport started as a publicity stunt by a Ford dealer named Hankinson in Topeka Kansas; postcard mailed SEP 25 1916 from Billings Montana, bottom corners creased, trivial upper corner wear, lightly toned back. Writer mentions "the Big Fair" where there might well have been a match; these were popular fair & exhibition events. Rare: When we searched the Internet, no one else was offering it, no one bragged about having sold it & no one was even exhibiting it.

AUTOMOBILES & MASSACHUSETTS. 3-wheel delivery truck & trailer of the R. W. Rice Coal Company in Springfield Massachusetts, manufactured by the Knox Automobile Company in the same city; approximately 8-5/8"x6-1/2" original real photo with good focus & contrast dating circa 1903. Knox was in business 1900 - 1914, but because such vehicles were unstable in braking turns, 3-wheelers were made only in their earlier years. Rice Coal was incorporated in 1903, providing a pretty good fix on the date. Save the cost of one wheel & endanger your driver--how ludicrous an engineering concept! Rare.

BALLOONS & MILITARY AVIATION. "1912  AN OBSERVATION BALLOON OF U. S. Aerial Service, anchored to a vessel. / From this balloon the actions of the enemy under-sea boats are detected" showing a tethered balloon working from a ship, unused black & white postcard with good edges. This is the SC-1 (Signal Corps #1) of the US Army, while being tested at Fort Myer Virginia (hence, its access to the coastal waters), and operating from the first permanent military airfield in the United States. Excessively rare, there is no record of its likes being offered anywhere else on the Internet. It is ludicrous that testing of a then-new military capability from a then-new military installation would receive any publicity at all in print; we speculate that the military censors put the kibosh on this ill-considered idea rather quickly (and probably tried to gather in all the cards that were printed!)

BELGIUM & WORLD WAR I. "One of the / Belgian / Dog-drawn / Machine Guns / Off to the Front" postcard, W.C.A. 145 on back, unused, corner wear & rounding. This idea was only temporary because the dogs did not like the noise of battle. Surprise!






BICYCLES & FAMILIES. "© American Stock Photography 1988 / Emotifs a division of Catch publishing, ... The Netherlands" You saw it here first--an unbalanced & ludicrous backwards tricycle built for three, suggesting family usage! Unused postcard, slight toning near the top back edge, otherwise fairly fresh.

CIRCUS & THEATER. How risky can you get? "Hill & Sylviany" unused circa 1908 Cyko real photo postcard showing them descending a staircase outdoors on a unicycle, the woman perched securely on his shoulders; long corner crease affecting in part the front caption area, unevenly toned back. Mentioned in the Los Angeles Herald of November 24, 1908 as a theater act that would be performed that week. What ever happened to them? We can only speculate that an accident was inevitable. Excessively rare; no one else can offer you this.


ILLINOIS & UNIVERSITIES. "STRAUCH'S STUDENT LIFE SERIES. / UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS" pranksters' dummy hangs from electrical wires beautifying the Urbana Illinois skyline, beer bottle & bird cage suspended from him, 1911 date on his sleeve--don't try this at home! Unused real photo postcard, original cost of 5 cents printed in stamp box area, just a little toning along one short back edge, excellent condition otherwise. We are admittedly a bit biased but this is the best postcard we have seen from the series.

INDIANA & IOWA. "A farm tractor attachment to fit all / standard makes and sizes / of automobiles // Auto Tractor pulling gang plow, four bases" with the back printed message 'you ever see AN Auto Tractor? / (SEE OVER)', postcard addressed but not mailed to 531 Vinton St. City & annotated on message side "Fair, Sept. 1914" (which places it as an Indiana State Fair item held at Indianapolis). This ludicrous idea was short-lived: it is doubtful that the poor-quality printing of this advertisement or its content (view obscured, no manufacturer detail, no claims ...) helped gather any prospective customers or investors. Later, the Three-P Auto Tractor Company did incorporate in Davenport Iowa in 1917, and was a founding member of the National Tractor Attachment Association. Rare.

MICHIGAN. "BEACH AT SAGER'S RESORT" including a sailboat, rowboat & long docks; sepia-tone real photo postcard mailed 19 AUG 1912 (complete MACK. RICH. R.P.O. hand cancel) to Mrs. Frank Lackey in Richmond Indiana, small upper corner crease only in sky, oxidation consistent with age. Rare. Why? Probably taken in the off season, its lengthy docks are bare of boaters & fishermen enjoying themselves. Why? If sent, the caption does not even mention what state they are in, let alone what lake! Seriously, if you were their customer and had a great time there, would you want this as your memento? Advertising at its least effective & most ludicrous.

MOTORCYCLES & COMIC. "Warning of approach / Art IV.(5). He shall / give audible and sufficient warning .. when overtaking / foot passengers .. / ..." with signed Chas. Crombie (Charles Edward Crombie) comic art depicting a motorcyclist using his horn to warn pedestrians, a pig & some ducks of his approach along a country path; postcard from the Reo Series, printed in Germany, former owner's handstamp neatly on back, minor corner wear. The law quoted was the British Motor Car Act of 1903 (which went into effect in 1904). It differentiated for the first time between motorcars and motorcycles. A bell was another approved method spelled out in the law for warning pedestrians, but we wonder -- if the pedestrian could not hear the motorcycle, why would the horn or bell be heard? It is on such absurdities that comic postcards are made.

UNUSUAL TRANSPORTATION & PIONEER AVIATION. Uncaptioned sepia-tone real photo postcard showing a man in aviator costume, holding a large wrench, standing next to his improbable construction of a bicycle converted to an airplane shape by the addition of wings & a tail assembly, four British Commonwealth flags atop it; unused postcard from an undisclosed publisher, light album toning on back, trivial corner wear. An improbable venture into the ludicrous.



ZEPPELINS & NEW YORK CITY. "106
 EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, NEW YORK CITY / 3A-H91" unused linen postcard in vertical format, fairly fresh except for soft corners. Back printing explains '...Mooring mast at the top is intended for / dirigibles.' Surely one of the most stupid ideas ever conceived. An engineer did the math & calculated that in a stiff wind a moored zeppelin would exert the force of a locomotive, pulling down the building top onto a hapless public!

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