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 Oct 2018

A. S. Johnson Introduction by Joyce M. Tice

As hoped, getting the book out put me in touch with other collectors who had cards I did not, and who knew about aspects of Johnson’s craft that I did not at that time. I call these people my Johnson friends. Among them is Mary Ritchie of Wisconsin, an ebay seller from whom I had purchased cards and who became my scout on the ground in Wisconsin. She scoured the shops and unearthed treasures that I might not otherwise have, including at least one very rare example.

Morgan Williams has been collecting exaggeration humor since 1980 and has cards that few of us have or have even heard of. He has been generous in sharing his extensive collection of cards and his knowledge. Paula King is a fellow collector who has never failed to let me know when she finds a new card and who shares it with me if it is not in my own collection.

Rick Fletcher of Waupun grew up in the Fletcher Studio, formerly the Johnson Studio, and had stories to tell about the Johnson family and their work.  Tracie Nichols and her husband, Steve Biever, of the Waupun Historical Society shared information and photos to add to our body of Johnson’s work.

Since Johnson copyright registered all of his exaggeration humor titles except the 1908 Welcome Home series, we have been able to compile what we believe to be a complete list of his humor cards whether we have an example or not. The number now stands at 216 registered titles, a huge increase over the 138 of the first edition of the book. There are eight registered titles for which we do not have an image in any of the collections shared here. That inspires our quest to continue hunting. The stated purpose of the first edition was to find out just how many cards would constitute a complete collection, and we have done that, at least as far as unique titles go. Nothing is ever as simple as it might be, and the complexity of RPPC vs printed versions and alternate overprints adds another dimension to that.

In expanding our collective knowledge of Johnson’s work, and thanks primarily to the Morgan Williams' collection, we discovered that there is more to it than just the “How We Do Things” series with occasional variant titles.  These include the unregistered Homecoming series of 1908 and the RPPC Crop of 1909 series that served as Johnson’s test market in the towns around Waupun. Most of the original cards in the Crop of 1909 series were continued under the How We Do Things motto and survive to this day by the thousands. They were reprinted over a period of years and marketed throughout the country. We’re very glad his test series worked out and he went on to produce a body of work that entertains us to this day. It has been a voyage of discovery as we Johnson collectors hunt them down.

 Bigger, Better, Bolder Than Life

Our Goal: Find Them All

Old Boys

The Old Boys Are Coming Home 1908


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