A Kaleidoscope card is a type of novelty card that contains a paper wheel, usually attached with a rivet, sandwiched between two layers of card stock. The front of the card has die cut windows so when the wheel is turned different colors appear within the image.
A Kallitype is a photographic print based on the iron salt chemistry of cyanotypes that was invented by W.W.J. Nichol in 1889. Toned with silver nitrate, these photos were known as the poor man’s platinum, for they were cheap to produce and can look identical to platinum prints though they are sometimes more reddish brown. Kallitypes however suffer from a major flaw in that the use of alkaline in their processing makes them susceptible to dramatic fading. They went out of fashion around 1920. Kallitypes are also sometimes known as Brown Prints or Van Dyke Prints because of their color.
Kaloma refers to a specific risqué image of a standing woman in a frontal pose that is wearing a low cut sheer robe, based on a photograph that made its first appearance in 1914. Kaloma became a popular pin-up during the First World War and many prints and postcards were made of her in the years that followed. Eventually a number of retouched images that made her less revealing began to show up in advertising, which turned her into a popular icon. After Kaloma was place on the cover of the book, I married Wyatt Earp in 1976, these images began to be marketed as valuable Western collectables portraying Josephine Marcus Earp. Long convoluted rationalizations have appeared as to why Kaloma is really Josephine but no hard evidence exists to make this case. No such connection was ever made prior to the book cover release and the image itself is stylistically similar to other risqué images produced around 1914, and not from the time when Josephine would have had to posed for it.
Kewpie was introduced as a drawing of of a small nude child with a pronounced tuff of hair created by Rose Cecil O’Neill in 1909 to accompany her magazine stories. Kewpie figures regularly appeared in reoccurring situations depicted in illustrations both on and off postcards. They grew so popular that O’Neil became the highest paid woman illustrator of her time. By 1913 Kewpies were being made into dolls known by the same name. They may be most familiar today from the advertisements created for Campbell’s Soup.
In chromolithography a chromiste makes a full sized study known as a key drawing to outline (key line) where each of the chosen colors for the print will go. The final positioning of each color is then traced off of the key for transferring on to its own stone. The drawing of the guiding key lines were often made in red chalk because this substance did not chemically react with litho-stones while it would remain distinct from the black materials used to draw the actual image.
In multiple plate color printing the key plate is the one that carries the most information, usually in the darkest tones. In chromolithography the key plate was based on the initial key drawing made by a chromiste. It held the lines that largely made up the compositional details, which were printed over the small dots that provided the color. This methodology was carried over into the printing of tinted halftones, where a single halftone, printed over random color lithography, acts as a key plate.
A killer cancel is a term most often used by stamp collectors in referring to a heavy cancellation that covers a postage stamp’s design. On postcards the excess pressure of these hand-stamps would often create an embossment visible on their front side damaging the image.
A Kissogram is the trade name for a type of novelty card issued by Valentine’s in 1906. After wetting one’s lips and kissing the man printed on the card, another kiss would be made to the blank space below it. This caused a transfer of red pigment that provided the recipient of the card with a kiss from the sender.
Kleurendruck is Dutch for color printing. This term is sometimes found on old lithographic postcards from the Netherlands. These cards do not offer the full pallet of chromolithography but often use more than three colors in their printing.
Kodak is a marketing term trademarked by the Eastman Company in 1888 to represent the affordable, easy to use, total photographic system that was presented to the public that very same year. It was then best represented by the Brownie camera, which would be purchased pre-loaded with 100 frames of film, then returned in its entirety to the Eastman Company for processing. George Eastman was more than an inventor; he was an astute businessman who put more money than anyone else into promoting his product line. He wisely created a name, using his favorite letter K that he believed the public would find easy to remember and associate with photography in general. In 1892 his company was renamed the Eastman Kodak Company of New York.
Kopper Kard is a trade name used by the Kopper Kard Company for a postcard whose image is embossed on a thin sheet of copper and then folded over a paper card stock backing. No printing or ink is involved except for the card’s back. These cards began to be manufactured in the 1950’s though novelty cards of various types have been made on copper since the early 20th century.
Krampus is a mythological hairy horned figure that was a close companion of St. Nicholas. He complimented the giving of of gifts during the Christmas season by beating children who misbehaved with birch branches or by carrying them off in his sack. Krampus is specific to the Austria-Bavaria region but similar figures appear in other parts of Europe under different names. December 5th, the Eve of St. Nicholas, is still set aside to celebrate Krampus where people dress up in grotesque masks and unsuspecting women are whipped. Some of these traditions continue in parts of the United States as well. His origins remain obscure though he predates Christian Europe. Many postcards were produced depicting Krampus though he is sometimes mistaken for the devil. There is a strong sexual side to his nature that sometimes shows up on comic cards. (See Who the Hell? Dec 2006 in the Blog section)
Kunst Anstalt is German for art establishment. It is often used as a prefix to the name of a German postcard publisher, possibly specifically refering to the division of a publishing house that produces higher quality art cards. Kunstuerlag is German for a publisher of fine arts, which may include art cards.
Kupfertiedruck is German for the method of photogravure as developed by Karl Klic in 1895 in which the exposed gelatin tissues used to transfer a photograph to a copper plate was first infused with a halftone screen. The results would be a print with a sharper and finer grain.