I did not make the above illustration! Marksman Brian G. kindly forwarded me this article at Futility Closet, which reprints a 1910 magazine feature entitled “If Insects Were Bigger”:
What a terrible calamity, what a stupefying circumstance, if mosquitoes were the size of camels, and a herd of wild slugs the size of elephants invaded our gardens and had to be shot with rifles!
Several kind readers brought to my attention the “Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage” exhibit, showing through May 9 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Here’s a great description from an article in the CS Monitor:
William Henry Fox Talbot introduced photography to England in 1839. Due to the cumbersome equipment and time and expense required, photographs were the exclusive purview of the wealthy. In the 1850s, however, commercial cartes-de-visite with photographic portraits (the size of business cards today) became, as [curator Malcolm] Daniel says, “wildly, wildly popular – a worldwide phenomenon.” Collecting and displaying these pictures fueled a fad called “cartomania.” When Queen Victoria had her portrait made in the 1860s, 3 million to 4 million copies were made and sold. […]
This accessibility and democratizing effect posed a problem for the “upper ten thousand” of high-society England. Wishing to re-establish the display of photographs as an elite activity, amateur artists adopted a cut-and-paste technique that required ample leisure not available to the masses. The female album creators collaged images of family, friends, and celebrities, mixing fact (photographs) and fancy (the sometimes irreverent settings they drew).
Finally, Mike H. sends along this collection of drunken mugshots from 1904. Need more be said?