The Whole Dam Family
Comic depictions of "The Whole Dam Family" with their humorous--yet somewhat scandalous--names were wildly popular subjects for postcards in 1905. The "Whole Dam Family" postcard craze influenced other media, and the Dams also showed up in silent films, vaudeville sketches, printed advertisements, wax cylinder recordings, 78-rpm records, and sheet music.

The Whole Dam Family on Their Vacation
The "Whole Dam Family" postcard craze was in full swing when the Insurance Press asked about the Dams in its May 31, 1905, issue, p. 6:

"Whence the sudden prominence of this family of strong and sturdy patronym? At present writing, the streets of every city and town ring with the name of these celebrities. Venders, fakirs, and newsboys vie with one another in sounding their glories, and stationers' windows are graced with their smiling portraits. On poster and mailing card they are displayed--a handsome, happy group labeled 'The Whole Dam Family,' from Mr. I. B. Dam and Mrs. U. B. Dam through the grades of little Dams, down even to the Dam dog. An ideal family!"

The Last of the Whole Dam Family
The obituary on this postcard (see an enlargement of the text) jokingly announced the end of the Dam (or Damm) family, with the exception of "The Dam Dog." At the same time, of course, the publication of the postcard actually perpetuated the "Whole Dam Family" humor fad.

In any case, the obituary was probably correct in suggesting that "too much notoriety" was what eventually caused the entire family of Dams--and the humor they generated--to fade from the scene.