I found the cover image for Racial Indigestion while browsing at an online auction site, Ben Crane’s Trade Card Place. I love the playfulness and latent eroticism of the image, and I was particularly intrigued by what remains unsaid: why is the girl’s face covered when the boy’s face is not? Is this image taken from a popular play or song or children’s story? Then too, in a period that frowned upon interracial relations so much, what do we say about the fact that these two figures are facing each other, straddling a peppermint stick?
Images like this one were stock images, that advertisers bought from publishers. They then either bought an image for the back of the card or they stamped the name of their store on the front image. There are about 42 images in Racial Indigestion, most of them reprinted in these rich chromoliothographic colors. I’ll be posting more of them in the days to come.