The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
Life discovered on the moon, 1835
war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Eccentric's last prank, 66 years after his death, 1900
The Stone-Age Tasaday Hoax, 1971
The Lovely Feejee Mermaid, 1842
Adolf Hitler Baby Photo Hoax, 1933
Princess Caraboo, servant girl who became a princess, 1817
The disumbrationist art hoax, 1924
The Great Electric Sugar Swindle, 1884
Lincoln’s Portrait

The standing portrait of Lincoln (left) was created soon after the American Civil War. Although it hung in many classrooms, Lincoln never posed for it. Instead, an unknown entrepreneur created it by cutting-and-pasting a headshot of Lincoln taken from a photograph by Mathew Brady (middle) onto a portrait of the Southern leader John Calhoun (right). This was done because there were hardly any appropriate ‘heroic-style’ portraits of Lincoln made during his life. In the Calhoun image, the papers on the table say “strict constitution,” “free trade,” and “the sovereignty of the states.” In the Lincoln image, these words have been changed to read, “constitution,” “union,” and “proclamation of freedom.”

Links and References
MacDougall, C. (1958, 2nd ed.). Hoaxes. Dover Publications: 80.
Mitchell, W.J. (1992). The Reconfigured Eye. MIT Press: 204-208.


All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.