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POSTCARDS AND OLD MAGS: Part One

An Old Mag

Delineator  June 1928  cover
Went to a postcard and paper show last summer. This one, across town at the Jefferson County Fair Grounds, comes around every 4-5 months, but I don’t go to them all. I’m not really into postcards. Some of the dealers have old magazines, though — and books. So I go for that reason, hoping to find a book or magazine that a postcard dealer doesn’t know is a treasure. That almost never happens. But this time, I found a hardcover collection of Ted Key’s Hazel cartoons from the Saturday Evening Post. The book is copyrighted 1946 and includes cartoons as far back as 1943, so it may be the first Hazel collection. Dunno, but I like it.

Found a couple old magazines, too — The Delineator, a woman’s mag of short romantic stories and women’s clothing fashions that started in the mid-1860s; the one I bought, June 1928, has a page of Rose O’Neill’s Kewpies and an article by Ida Tarbell who explains why she’s losing faith in Prohibition.

Tarbell, with Lincoln Steffens, was one of the most famous muckrakers in the early years of the 20th century. In 1902-04, she produced a nine-part series on Standard Oil, exposing the often illegal monopolistic practices of the company, resulting, in 1911, in the Supreme Court ordered dissolution of the monopoly.

I like magazines of this vintage (from, say, 1915 through the early 1950s) because of the illustrations — the ones accompanying short stories, chiefly, but not exclusively. Before the dominance of photography, advertisements were illuminated by illustrators. And in many of the magazines from the last 20 years of the period single-panel cartoons littered the back pages to which long articles and stories were continued: the cartoons broke up the columns of gray type.

As a rule, The Delineator apparently didn’t publish cartoons although I found one by Helen Hokinson, who would soon find fame with her cartoons of mannerly matrons in The New Yorker. I’ve posted her cartoon and some representative illustrations nearby.

Kewpies1

 

Kewpies2

 

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