There are few backdrops that could ever make us smile as much the paper moons of yesteryear. From about 1910-1945 these fun decorations lined the studios of photographers and bedecked booths at fairs, dances, and bazaars. From dour-looking men to toddlers giggling, these paper moon portraits take us back in time. Have a look for yourself and see if you aren’t just as charmed as we are!
These whimsical images capture such an interesting time. Gag photos were just becoming a fad with the mass production of photography equipment and the decreased cost of photographs. We can imagine many of these folks saving up their money and getting a paper moon photo at the fair!
The classic song, “It’s Only a Paper Moon” was written in 1933 and was later made a perennial favorite when Ella Fitzgerald sang it to perfection. But, the history of the photo phenomenon is not well-documented.
Here’s a bonus photograph from the late 1960s showing 3 ladies not in a moon, but a rocket. What a fun take on this theme during the space age!