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Category Archives: Holidays

Chicago Tribune, January 1, 1908. I assume these are national statistics, not municipal. I must do some research into the matter of electric swings and scenic railroads. It was tough luck for that lone victim of the discus.

Philadelphia Inquirer, October 31, 1912.Whatcha got here, left to right, are quality caricatures of the three contending presidential candidates, Teddy Roosevelt (Bullmoose Party), William Howard Taft (Republican) and Woody Wilson (Democrat). Old-timey editorial cartoonists were much more observant of Halloween than ours today, and hit that holiday mark with clockwork regularity.

Wilkes Barre Times Leader, October 28, 1913. The basic thrust of old-timey Halloween pranks was vertical: You took some mobile piece of your neighbors’ property and hoisted it onto their or someone else’s rooftop.

Chicago Tribune, November 1, 1900. The reactionary Trib was naturally agin the presidential candidacy of arch populist William Jennings Bryan, and didn’t spare the venom in its deadly caricatures of “The Great Commoner.” Bryan actually wasn’t a bad-looking chap, though the artist definitely nailed a likeness: Read More »

Duluth News Tribune, October 27, 1918. The influenza pandemic of 1918 killed between 10 and 20% of infected persons; the death toll in the U.S. has been estimated at 675,000—slightly more lives than were claimed by the Civil War. All told, it was a preview of Apocalypse, so it weirds me out to see it treated so lightly in contemporary ephemera like this editorial cartoon, which it often was. I know the resolution isn’t so great so I’ll transcribe the captions:

“If you duck for apples you will duck alone or else it will be staged like this.”

“No chance to see witches and things on this dope.” (I guess that would be unfermented cider in the bottle?)

“Safety signs for gates.” (It was a standard Halloween prank to steal your neighbor’s gate and throw it on his rooftop. Knocking over latrines was also S.O.P.)

“Even the pumpkins will have to wear flu masks.”

“You will have to stay in bed a week.”

“It will be soft for some.”

“Gee this is a dull night.”

“The only witch on the job.”