The Pickle Barrel house was novel, to be sure; and it drew gawkers, but far too many.
The accessibility of burgeoning photography technology merged with American ingenuity and “tall-tale” postcards were created. Also called “exaggeration” and “freak,” they came on the scene about 1910.
From early Tom Thumb courses to later Putt-Putt Golf, miniature golf was a source of entertainment for decades.
People have wondered for centuries what the Earth looks like from the air above. Before modern aviation, people attempted to take aerial photographs by sending cameras aloft by balloon, kite and even strapped to pigeons.
In the 1910s, Michigan saw an increase in automobile ownership, more development of good roads in the state and an enthusiasm for motorists to take to the open road.
In the first five years of the 1900s, Battle Creek was in the grip of a “cereal boom.” There were more than 40 companies manufacturing cereal products made from corn, wheat or oats. Kellogg became the most widely known and successful among these enterprises and still is headquartered in Battle Creek.
Michigan’s beautiful landscape, with its rolling hills, inland lakes, and patchwork of farms, fields and forests, encouraged entrepreneurs to build sightseeing towers that offered tourists a chance to see expanded scenic views from a height reached by paying a small fee.
“The Negro Motorist Green Book,” first published in 1936, grew to include travel stops in a variety of Michigan cities.
From early amusement parks such as the Chutes Park in Chicago (1884) and Coney Island in New York (1885), came the craze that sprouted almost 2,000 small amusement parks around the country by 1920.
Miniature villages once dotted the landscape.