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K - Topicals
Kewpie - A kewpie, after Cupid, was a baby-like character with a single tuff of hair, originally drawn by Rose O’Neill to accompany her stories written for the Lady’s Home Journal. Kewpie became popular very quickly and by 1912 O’Neill was licensing this moneymaker for all sorts of products most notably the Kewpie Doll. In 1914 Kewpies began being used to advertise Campbell Soup and they soon became the subject of about fifty postcards by the Gibson Art Company.
Kissing - Nearly all postcards depicting kissing were made as artist drawn cards and their effectiveness at capturing the moment often rested on skills of the illustrator. While the kiss on some cards is so tame to barely raise an emotional response it can be nearly pornographic on others as part of the embrace of nude lovers. Though often depicted on what can be termed romance cards their frequency and variety seem to set them into their own genre. Kissing must have hit an unconscious cord for such a passionate image to be placed on so many ordinary cards when risque imagery was subject to confiscation.
Kites - The kites first used in China 2800 years ago were designed for practical purposes but as they spread across Asia the diamond shaped fighter kite began being used in competitions. Use of this type of kite reached Europe in the 17th century and later became a popular toy for children.
Krampus - This mythological horned figure from the Germanic Alps is a close companion of St. Nicholas. While good children would receive gifts from St. Nick, Krampus would punish children who misbehaved during the Christmas season. December 5th is still set aside in certain regions, noteably Austria, to celebrate him. Many postcards were produced depicting Krampus though many mistaken him for images of the devil. His most common features are his hairy body, horns, long tongue, one hoof, and his accouterments of chains, birch whip, and a basket to carry bad children away in. Sometimes Krampus is portrayed in a comic manner.
Ku Klux Klan (KKK) - Depictions of the modern Ku Klux Klan are most common as real photo postcards having been produced since their founding in 1915. While well known for their racial stance on Blacks, they also held strong anti immigrant, Catholic, and Semitic postures that allowed this group to become popular in regions where few Blacks resided. They reached peak numbers in 1924 claiming about 15 percent of the nations white male population as members. Many postcards were probably made by their own members and tend to be rather matter of fact depictions of marches and rallies. Their membership and the cards depicting them rapidly declined as World War Two approach due to their violent actions, internal scandals, and their support of Nazism.