Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2010


Great Plains Quarterly 30:4 (Fall 2010).


Copyright © 2010 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska.


The advent of the real photographic postcard (RPPC) and the burgeoning growth in the early twentieth century of the Texas Panhandle area of the southern Great Plains coincide. More than 100,000 "optimists" spilled into the region after 1906. The frontier receded as farmsteads grew around railroad towns. The era also witnessed a surge in popularity of the real photographic postcard from 1906 into the 1920s, mailed by the tens of thousands and collected in albums documenting the region. As the population grew, photographers increasingly worked for land developers making images of farmland and also of excursionists traveling to see the area. The new medium was also employed to transform the perception of the Plains as desert to a dream of agrarian abundance.