Friday, April 1, 2016

What's Wrong With This Picture? Happy April Fool's Day

What's wrong with this postcard of Pilgrim Lake, published in Provincetown
somewhere around the 1910s? Click on the picture to enlarge it.
Click on the photo at the left to enlarge this antique postcard, published around the year 1912 by The Advocate, which was by far Provincetown's leading purveyor of postcards in the early 20th Century.
Have a good look and notice just how many things seem a little out of whack in this picture...

During this era, color on a postcard was achieved by having an artist hand-tint an existing black-and-white photograph, and seems often to have been done by someone who may not actually have seen the subject. Flowers or trees, for example, were often painted in by an artist, to add interest to a scene, or puffy clouds were painted into a sky just too turquoise to be real. Just such a postcard artist once spruced up a photo of our Town Hall by giving it a red roof. Yikes!
Keep in mind that these were the days long before computers and Photoshop. That word became a verb back in the 1990s as nearly everyone could easily alter any digital image, enhance colors, or even combine elements from many photos to create a whole new picture, as long as they could afford the software. But I'm always amazed to find early images that have clearly been altered, with a single photograph often given several incarnations by various publishers, with the cut-and-paste technique tediously done by hand a hundred years ago.
See how many questionable things you might notice in this postcard, and then enter TheYearRounder's annual April Fool's Contest by sending an e-mail message to, or leave a voice or text message by phone. Just dial 42423-PTOWN (424 237-8696) by 2 AM on April 10th, 2016. The winner (decided by a random drawing from all timely entries if there is a tie) will be treated to something good to eat, courtesy of a great Provincetown restaurant. As usual, a prize or two may also be awarded randomly, for no particular reason at all, so you don't even have to be right to win a prize. You just have to enter on time. Happy April Fool's.

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