The odd wording in the caption of this old Galveston post card got us wondering what was going on. “Stupendous Reproduction of the Great Tidal Wave?” A little web searching turned up some research by Mr. Jeffrey Stanton, a Coney Island historian. Apparently there was a market for elaborate simulations of various disasters that the Coney Island showmen were eager to produce:
(the) showmen were quick to satisfy the public’s morbid curiosity to experience reenactment of the world’s calamities. Soon there were shows depicting the Galveston Flood, the volcanic eruption of Mont Pelee, and the naval battle of the Russo-Japanese War.
You can read more at the author’s website. The postcard is from around 1902.