Orson W. Peck (1875-1954) was a famed photographer and postcard maker from Traverse City. One of the hallmarks of his work is Photoshop-like manipulation of film processing, that playfulness often exaggerating features of the scene he was portraying. Here are two photos, one probably borrowed from a fellow postcard maker Edward Beebe (1871-1945), which shows two engines laboring to remove snow from railroad tracks running through Leelanau County. Peck’s version shows no fewer than four engines working just has hard to accomplish the same feat. Then as now, a picture is no guarantee of the truth.
Explore the creative world of early-20th century postcard making, in Jack Hobey’s “Wish You Were Here: The Edward Beebe Story,” available for checkout at Traverse Area District Library. Have your librarian put a copy on hold today!