The Art & Humor of
A. Stanley Johnson of Waupun, Wisconsin

presented by The History Center on Main Street,
Mansfield, PA
asj2
How We Do Things, Second Ed.
Site Under Construction starting June 2018 - Still Working
January 2019
Collector's Checklist by Title

Homecoming 1908

Before "How We Do Things," and even before "The Crop on 1909," Johnson was having fun inventing all kinds of humorous ways to lure people back to Waupun and Oshkosh for the summer homecoming celebrations.   

The cards in Johnson’s Welcome Home series are the first we see of his humor. Published in 1908, this series shows people arriving for Homecoming Week  Any Old Way they can. Waupun, Wisconsin held their 1908 homecoming from July 2nd to the 5th. Nearby Oshkosh held theirs August 24th to 29th. These nine cards promoted the two events, and they are among Johnson’s most amusing. When we look at these we can’t help thinking what fun Johnson and his friends had designing and posing for these scenes.

These are rare cards. I acquired an “Any Old Way” in 2013, and Paula King acquired a “Pace Will Be Fast” recently in 2017. A copy of "Old Boys" was offered in 2015. Except for these examples, the others we have included are from the Morgan Williams collection and were acquired many years ago. Since they were marketed only locally in Waupun and Oshkosh, they were not produced in the numbers that national distribution would have created. Considering the probable small number printed, it is amazing that any have found their way into our collections a century later. People saved their cards, and we are glad they did. As with all of the cards, if there are other examples, we would be very happy to see copies of them.

 Unlike all of Johnson’s humor cards from 1909 on, these 1908 cards were not copyright registered, so if there are other titles in this series, we do not have a record of them. Most titles in this series have the Johnson Postcard Works insignia on the back. “Any Old Way” does not have any reference to Johnson, except his recognizable hand printing.  This is the card that estab lished the theme for the rest of the series which represents every possible way to get home.

pig

Any Old Way to Get There
Home Coming Week
Oshkosh, Wis. August 24-29
OSHKOSH HOMECOMING PIG - RPPC
Message on Front...... ANY OLD WAY TO GET THERE HOME COMING WEEK
OSHKOSH, WIS AUG 24 to 29.
Postmarked Oshkosh, Wis Aug 11, 1908
Message:
This is the way we will celebrate the "home coming." Would like to have you here to help.
Lida
To Miss A. Anderson
Eland Wis
Box 56

pig2 Any Old Way to Get There
Home Coming Week
Waupun, Wis. July.2.3.4.5.
Postmarked 1908
No Johnson signature or business logo.

The Old Boys and the Merry Widows are good examples of the hilarity Johnson put his friends through as a continuation of the Any Old Way To Get There theme he created in the pig card.

The Old Boys Are Coming Home
Home Coming Week
Oshkosh, Wis. August 24-29
Johnson Postcard Works, Waupun, Wis.
RPPC
Mailed on Aug 08, 1908 from Oshkosh, Wis
to Alma Fiker, Random Lake, Wisconsin

A second version of this was avaialbe in 2015 for the Waupun July 1908 homecoming.

oldboys

Here They Come, Waterloo Home Coming

Johnson recycled his Old Boys in 1915 for the Waterloo Homecoming.
1915
The Merry Widows Are On Time
Home Coming Week
Oshkosh, Wis. August 24-29
Johnson Oshkosh Homecoming RPPC
Johnson Postcard Works, Waupun, Wis.
RPPC

Hats were extreme in this period, but ASJ has exaggerated them even more. Carrying valises, musical instruments and umbrellas, these people are ready for anything as they return to their hometown.
merry
The Merry Widows Were Caught in the Rain, But They Will Be Here Just the Same
Home Coming Week
Oshkosh, Wis. August 24-29
Johnson Oshkosh Homecoming RPPC
Johnson Postcard Works, Waupun, Wis.
RPPC

Pelting rain added by ASJ, first photo manipulation?
rain
water Come In The Waters Fine
Home Coming Week
Oshkosh, Wis. August 24-29
Johnson Oshkosh Homecoming
RPPC
Johnson Postcard Works, Waupun, Wis.

This card looks like a more spontaneous setting  except for the man in the suit on the diving board pointing the way to a good time at homecoming.

steers Oshkosh Or Bust
Home Coming Week
Oshkosh, Wis. August 24-29
Johnson Oshkosh Homecoming
RPPC Two Steers
1700 miles to Oshkosh
Johnson Postcard Works, Waupun, Wis.
Mailed on Aug 11, 1908 from Oshkosh, Wis

Unlike the other homecoming scenes, this was taken in the winter and was probably in Johnson's inventory when he was searching for transportation themes.
still And Still They Come
Home Coming Week
Oshkosh, Wis. August 24-29
Johnson Oshkosh Homecoming
RPPC
Johnson Postcard Works, Waupun, Wis

And Still They Come is another example of a shot that could have been two guys driving through town rather than a posed photo. It is postmarked 20 August 1908 from Oshkosh.

indians Whoop With Us
Home Coming Week
Oshkosh, Wis. August 24-29
Johnson Oshkosh Homecoming RPPC
Johnson Postcard Works, Waupun, Wis.

Message on back: This is what you will see here next week.
The Pace Will be Fierce
Home Coming Week
Oshkosh, Wis. Aug. 24 to 29
Johnson Postcard Works on back
RPPC
"Well Edd what do you think of this trotter ain't he a dandy Chas"
Same element as the 23 Skidoo card 1070.1916.H.b (Scene on the Road)
Note differences in cropping between this and the M Williams otherwise identical card.
(from Paula King Collection)
23p
The Pace Will Be Fierce
Home Coming Week
Oshkosh, Wis. August 24-29
RPPC
Johnson Postcard Works, Waupun, Wis.
23m
For comparative purposes we show Johnson's 23 Skidoo card published in 1916 as the H card in the Scene on the Road: Who Cares For an Auto series. This particular example does not have the standard overprint, but most do.
This is an example of the way Johnson recycled and repurposed his inventory of images.
23j

Special Surprise Treat - The 1908 Oshkosh Homecoming Auto Parade