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Posts Tagged ‘cartoons’

Dear siesta sympathizers,

Those of you following the Lazy Scholar blog may be asking yourself, “Who is that handsome devil on the homepage?” No, dear readers, it’s not a portrait of yours truly, but rather the official Lazy Scholar mascot—known in his own time and place as Paul Nebeker Bogart. The mixed-media caricature comes from a clever 1905 portfolio depicting famous businessmen from that center of international commerce: Terre Haute, Indiana. Bogart himself was a locally-born lawyer (and later a banker)–but not one afraid of distraction. As the authors recounted, “Law books do not furnish all of Mr. Bogart’s reading. He enjoys literature of another kind occasionally, and frequently looks up authorities other than law, when ‘down’ for a paper before the Literary Club.”

I stumbled across the book while digging around the Internet Archive’s ample Americana collection, which includes a surprising number of similar books, practically a genre of illustrated guides to your local chamber of commerce, apparently quite popular at the beginning of the 20th century. So whether you’re looking for a realtor in Seattle (pictured below), a banker in Indianapolis, an opera treasurer in L.A., a grocer in Fort Wayne, or a New Haven professor—should you find yourself in the early 1900s, you’ll know where to go!

realtor

My favorite, though, for sheer whimsy, has to be the 1918 book Mother Goose Comes to PortlandMaine, that is—one of the few of its kind to include women, not to mention nursery rhyme parodies. Here’s a verse about the president of the local chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (pictured below): “Where are you going, my pretty maid?”/”I’m going a-milking, Sir,” she said./  “What’s the idea, my pretty maid?”/  “Constructive criticism, Sir,” she said./  “In asking that people shall give up wine,/  I offer a substitute in its stead.”

wctu
For yet more caricatures, check out the exhibits from the Library of Congress’s Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon. And don’t forget our Canadian neighbors!

Internationally yours,

Stephen

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Dear Partners in Leisurely Labor,

For this entry, I want to highlight the digital collection at University of Maryland, a mid-size but nice to navigate site.

One of their newest additions is a book of drawings from a Confederate soldier who was imprisoned in a Union camp in Point Lookout, Maryland for the last year of the Civil War. The illustrations are oddly funny–almost like a Robert Crumb or Art Spiegelman comic. I’ve attached a close-up from one of my favorite drawings, called “A Prisoner’s Dream,” featuring an unusually buxom woman playing a mandolin. (Read whatever Freudian symbolism you’d like into that.)

University of Maryland Manuscripts, item 5213

The site also has a nice exhibit of World’s Fair imagery, searchable or organized by location. Journey back to a time when “The World of Tomorrow,” (Trylon and Perisphere included) was just one architect’s dream!

I will say the one singular disappointment of the U. of Maryland archive is that there Jim Henson collection is only viewable from their campus. Which just goes to show, sometimes you do have to leave your computer after all.

Lazily yours,

Stephen

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