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The Ha Ha Guy image macro began appearing in January 2003 on SomethingAwful. Two and a half years later, it spread to Fark.com on July 15th, 2005 in what was called “The Grey Wave.”
Ha! Ha! Guy (or Quaker Guy) first appeared in a 19th century newspaper advertising "Forbes’ Insoluble Dry Plates. The advertisements had a cheery Anglican or Quaker laughing about using a insoluble dry plate.
The man himself looks like the man below, depicted in the painting “Midland Man 1874.” In 2008, the painting was sold on shopgoodwill.com for $5.
The Man Himself
However, there is more evidence pointing to Midland Railway of Canada. Sometime between 1873 and 1874, the company’s original manager D’Arcy E. Boulton left his post with the floundering company. It is possible the painting is of him.
What is an “Insoluble Dry Plate”?
What exactly a “Insoluable Dry Plate” is is debatable. There are two opposing sides to this conflict: Photographic HAHAists and Dental HAHAists.
The Photogs say that dry plates are photographic aides and that “Insoluble” means the gelatin coating is not going to disintegrate. It should be noted that the text showing through the image says “Photographic Supplies” which makes this the more plausible possibility.
Then there are the Dents who think that dry plates are dentures. The fact the Ha! Ha! Guy is laughing and is showing his teeth are this side’s strongest arguments.
Ha! Ha! Guy was very popular on the news/community website Fark.
Some examples listed by date.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the first FARK thread, on July 17th, 2010, FARK posted a celebratory image thread with over 600 comments.
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