You know that photo of Teddy Roosevelt riding a moose? The one you'll find on lists like Cracked's "18 Old-Timey Photos You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped" and submitted to Imgur about every two weeks as an example of extreme manliness? Well, it turns out it's a fake.

According to Heather Cole, curator of Harvard's Theodore Roosevelt Collection, the pre-Photoshop image fakery was achieved in 1912 by the photography firm Underwood and Underwood. They created a collage called "The Race for the White House" and also made it look like the other nominees for the 1912 presidential election were perched atop animals. William Howard Taft was riding an elephant (the Republican mascot) and Woodrow Wilson was riding a donkey (the Democratic mascot). Roosevelt was the Bull Moose party nominee, which explains his bulky steed.


You can read Cole's case for why the Teddy Roosevelt image is a fake over at the Houghton Library Blog (and check out their excellent Tumblr while you're at it). Although you don't need much more evidence than this revealing close-up:

[Houghton Library Blog via Twitter]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter