Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mule Train, part the third

Mule Train Postcard update! 

Regular readers of this blog may remember the posts and/or discussions about the Mule Train postcard HERE and HERE, in which it was speculated that this postcard may have been "Photoshopped." (Using whatever magical technology that was available nearly 100 years ago, in the early 1900s!) 

As anyone who has ever sent or received a postcard can tell you, "fake" or embellished scenes are quite common in postcards, even today. It adds an extra bit of whimsey, and who doesn't like that?

Well, this particular subject rears its horsey head again because in this week's issue of The Waterloo Courier (or just "Courier," as they like to call it, so the Marshall folks won't feel left out), they published a set of old-timey postcards, one of which was the infamous "20 Mule Team Borax" postcard:

As you can see, the blurb accompanying the photo discusses the history of the Borax 20-mule teams, but does not even question the authenticity of this scenario. The blurb also says the mule teams were used until 1989. Wait... What?? Surely that's a typographical error. I can't imagine that it would have been efficient (much less "politically correct") to employ the services of several teams of 20 live mules, rather than a fleet of big old trucks, in 1989.

I do wish someone could come up with a date when this supposed visit from the mule team occurred. Something this unusual would surely have made the papers! Would be nice to have some corroborating evidence to declare this photo authentic. Perhaps some bored intern at The Courier or a volunteer at the Waterloo Historical Society could use their resources to look into this. Until that happens, though, I'm declaring this photo a fake.

That's right. It's been declared. 

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