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

presented by The History Center on Main Street,
Mansfield, PA
How We Do Things, Second Ed.
Site Under Construction starting June 2018 -
Still Collecting - October 2021
Click Here For Collector's Checklist by Title

Variant Overprints

How We Do Things was a very unique identifier for the Johnson exaggeration card. No other producer used that phrase. Many used :The Kind We Raise at ..." or similar overprints. It became a trademark for Johnson.       

Before How We Do Things, very briefly in the fall of 1909, Johnson did a test market production which he labeled "The Crop of 1909" and "Raised at..." Obviously, that title was limited by the date, so he had to come up with a more universal slogan that could be used any place and any time. He settled on "How We Do Things at ..."

However, once in a while a variant overprint would be used, probably at the request of the customer. As a collector, I always enjoy finding a non-standard overprint. It makes that card special. They are uncommon and therefore highly collectible.   

In World War One, 1918, overprints referring to feeding the army circulated.

The following variant titles are in my own collection :

Green Corn At Desmoines, IA. Where the Tall Corn Grows
My First Strike   How we catch 'em at Tupper Lake, N.Y.
We Nearly Lost Him  The Kind We Catch at Pearl Beach, Mich.
We Nearly Lost Him  How We catch 'em at Tupper Lake N.Y.
Our Kind The Kind We Get on Algona land.
Pears The Kind We Raise at Hope, N.D.
Overloaded  The Kind We Raise at Harris, Minn.
They Bit Right Fishing is Good at Sherburn, Minn.
Dipping Them Up  How Jake Brown Does Things at Superior, Iowa
Dipping Them Up  Tupper Lake Will Help Feed the Army
Dipping Them Up  Fishing is Good at Breezy Point Lodge, Pequot Minn.
Dipping Them Up  How We catch 'em at Tupper Lake, N.Y.
A Live One Great Fishing at Meinke's Resort
Alfalfa Pembine, Wis. Will Help Feed The Army
The One That Got Away  Fishing is Good at Grey Eagle, Minn.
The One That Got Away  Fishing is Good at Barron, Wis.
The One That Got Away  How we catch 'em at Tupper Lake, N.Y
A Canoe Won't Do Fishing is Good at New Richmond, Wis.
A Boat Load The Kind We Catch at Lake Mills, Wis.
Landing a Submarine Donnelly Minn Will Help Feed the Army
Marketing Potatoes Helping to Feed the Army at Mt. Horeb. WIS.
Marketing Potatoes March, Minn. Will Help Feed the Army
This is No Place for a Nervous
Fishing is Good at Park Rapids, Minn,.
F Card in the Who Cares Series Waupun is a Dry Town
Lunch I am at Waupun But Not in the Pen

A New Variant discovered:From Lorane, Oregon, in the Fertile Valley of the Suislaw. This same overprint has been seen on five different cards including "If My Pole Had Not Broken, " "Potatoes," and "Our Barn Is Full."   

A 1911 Turnip Card has been located with the following Overprint " How We Do Things on Oratamin Farm in the Hills of Rockland County. Printed on back of postcard says Oratamin Inn, P.O. Blauvelt, NY. Card submitted by Morgan Williams.

Very unusual and interesting overprint on a Johnson exaggeration.  One of the very few

overprints that actually mentions a business or an exact entity and not just a city. The

Johnson postcards were probably available at the Oratamin Inn.  The Oratamin Farm

must have been quite a place.  The Oratamin Inn was on the farm.


Another form of variation is in the font or the color of the overprint. Johnson's standard overprint was red. The following example is his most typical overprint font and color.over

Anything else is a variance from his standard. There are examples with blue and with black ink. This is often a quick way to identify a Johnson card when you are scanning through a series of online images. They stand out because of the red heading and the particular font that was usually used..