Archive for the ‘Weird But True’ Category
Friday, March 21, 2014
Continuing our Women’s History Month coverage, today we have a several pages from a variety of year 1913 issues of Cartoons Magazine, of male cartoonists’ commentary on women’s fashions. And in particular, on prudish by even 1913 standards, attempts by male politicians to regulate what women could wear, for the reason that “scandalous” dress by women could lead to the corruption of men’s morals. (Sounds pretty similar to Taliban reasoning, though not dealt with nearly as harshly.)
Click on the above & below pages, to make the cartoons & text large enough to read.
Women’s History Cartoons Magazine Centennial
Friday, February 28, 2014
Closing out this year’s African American History Month postings, we have more extracts from the late 1940s/early 1950s advertising booklet Dreams Come True! (click here to see Part 1). It was published by the Black and White Company (which made beauty products company for African Americans), and illustrated by African American artist George Lee.
The pamphlet consists mostly of cartoon-illustrated ads, plus a number of one-page cartoon bios of African American historical & contemporary figures. Above we have a bio of Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Johnson, and below, musician Fats Waller. Further below are found bios on Robert Abbott and Richard Wright.
Click on the above & below pages, to make them large enough to read.
Most of the Black & White Company’s beauty products, were aimed at making African Americans appear more like whites. The ads shown in last week’s extracts involved bleaching/lightening skin color; the first two ads above are for products to slick down one’s hair, making it appear more like white people’s hair. Beneath is for an acme treatment.
Black History Month AdvertisingStrips
Friday, February 21, 2014
Next in our African American History Month postings, we have the late 1940s/early 1950s advertising booklet Dreams Come True!, illustrated by African American artist George Lee. Primarily targeted towards African American women, the booklet promotes various beauty products from the Black & White Company of Memphis, Tennessee, and New York City, NY. These products, such as skin bleaching cream, were largely to make African Americans appear less black, and more white, and in that sense is reminiscent of an appallingly racist 1892 promotional soap booklet we showed last year.
Click on the above & below pages to view them in greater detail.
In addition to the ad pages, there are also a number of one-page cartoon bios of African American historical & contemporary figures. Included in today’s page extracts, are musician William C. Handy, scientist George Washington Carver, and early Civil Rights Leader Frederick Douglass.
Embarrassingly, another aspect of the book is how to turn your dreams into numbers for gambling.
I attempted to find out more about the history of the Black & White Company online (such as, were its owners black and/or white?), but had no luck. Another extract of pages will be posted next week.
Tigwissel Tuesdays Women’s History AdvertisingStrips
Friday, December 13, 2013
This being the last Friday the 13th in a year ending 13 that we’ll see for a century (or in other words, that no one reading this right now, will see), we present artist W.A. Ireland‘s cartoon on the subject, from one hundred years ago. Found in the August 1913 issue of Cartoons Magazine.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
In 1877, medical journals and newspapers were filled with efforts to debunk what was being called “Blue Glass Mania” (or, Chromo-Therapy), in which fraudulent healers were claiming they could cure illnesses by bathing people in light passed through color glass. The practice was made popular by Augustus Pleasonton, who experimented with panes of colored glass in his greenhouse, publishing his claims in 1876, in The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Colour of the Sky.
This blue glass mania obviously inspired comic artist Livingston Hopkins to bring back his recurring comic strip character, Professor Tigwissel, for that character’s eleventh adventure. “Professor Tigwissel’s Experiment with Blue Glass” (above), appeared on the front page of the February 22nd, 1877 edition of the (New York) Daily Graphic.
Click on the above comic strip, to view it in detail, and read the captions beneath each panel.
With it having been a year since I last posted a Tigwissel strip, below follows a review of all of the Professor’s appearances I’ve shown so far (there are more yet to come).
August 6th, 1873, The Baseless Fabric of a Vision, presents the 1st appearance of Hopkins’ Tigwissel prototype, Professor Simple. Simple strongly resembles the eventual look of Tigwissel.
Click on any picture below, to be taken to the individual posting explaining that episode.
July 8th, 1974, Tales of the Comet, Professor Simple’s 2nd appearance. Also found in this strip, is another character — “Mr. Tigwissel”.
February 22nd, 1875, a character who in appearance looks like the “Mr. Tigwissel” of the above strip, engaged in the scientific pursuit of Phrenology — and on our own artist, Livingston Hopkins, no less!
May 28th, 1875, Professor Tigwissel’s Life-Saving Apparatus. For Professor Tigwissel’s 1st appearance, Livingston Hopkins has now largely taken the look of Professor Simple, but (permanently, with this appearance), swapped in the name “Tigwissel”, from its previous use.
Professor Tigwissel’s 2nd appearance, July 3rd, 1875, The Day We Celebrate. In it, Tigwissel gets into a tussle with a Dr. Jingo, whom Hopkins will later give a second strip appearance of his own.
July 28th, 1875, the Professor’s 3rd appearance, in Professor Tigwissel’s Arctic Experience.
Tigwissel’s 4th appearance, consist of a few panels buried within the August 7th, 1875 strip, Midsummer Musings by our Cynical Artist.
Tigwissel’s 5th appearance (and for several decades incorrectly heralded as his debut appearance, by authors swiping from each other, none of them bothering to research the matter on their own) — September 11th, 1875, Professor Tigwissel’s Burglar Alarm.
September 25th, 1875, the Professor’s 6th appearance consists of a couple cameo panels, in The Calendar of Fashion — Calling in the White Hats.
Professor Tigwissel went rogue on his 7th appearance (you’ll have to click on the picture, and read the posting, to find out what I’m referring to), in the December 11th, 1875 episode, Professor Tigwissel’s Trip Up the Nile.
In his 8th appearance, January 10th, 1876, we learn of Professor Tigwissel’s Experiences with New Forces in Nature.
On January 15th, 1876, we got Tigwissel’s 9th appearance — Professor Tigwissel’s Journalistic Venture.
Professor Tigwissel reached his 10th appearance on March 18th, 1876, with a parody on a rather bizarre true life incident, in That Kentucky Meat Shower.
On May 1st, 1876, in A May Melange, Livingston Hopkins included in his piece, a drawing of a man who looks somewhat like Tigwissel, but is not named as such. I make note of it here, but I’m not officially counting this as a Tigwissel appearance.
In addition to the above appearances, as I’ve shown in other postings, in the 1880′s Livingston Hopkins swiped/re-used his own comic pieces — including ones involving Tigwissel — for his new Australian audience, in the Sydney Bulletin. In these rewrites, Professor Tigwissel’s name was dropped or changed.
To view all prior Tigwissel Tuesdays postings (which include other comic strip takes on scientists and science experiments), click here.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Nearly a year ago, we showed a number of cartoons of the Victorian Age cartoon character Mr. GoLightly, who some people out there contend was a real person (Charles Golightly), who in 1841 filed a patent for his riding rocket. We at SuperITCH contended his first, undated cartoon (below) was published circa 1830, and whoever filed the patent in 1841, did so as a joke. The fact that no GoLightly cartoon had been found with a pre-1841 date definitively printed on it, enabled the debate to continue.
To those who maintain that Mr. GoLightly’s invention & its patenting were real, I say sorry. The definitive proof that the joke preceded 1841, is in. (Not of course, that facts have ever ended debates.)
I found the above cartoon — clearly based upon the original cartoon version — printed on Page 53 of the Philadelphia published book, Every Body’s Album, Volume 1 (not to be confused with the earlier British publication of the same name). The date of that book’s publication — printed on its title page — was 1836. Interestingly, this American copy of the still earlier original British cartoon, refers to writers of patents (mayhaps inspiring the later prank filing).
Also of note, is that the Gold Rush-era American cartoon, Mr. Golightly Bound to California, appears to have incorporated several of the elements original to the 1836 American variation (i.e. the cigarette, and the smoke patterns emerging from the rear of the rocket, and out of its steam pressure cooker), while retaining the lost, flying hat of the original.
Click on the above & below pictures, to view the cartoons in detail, and read their captions.
To find previous postings of Tigwissel Tuesdays, click here. Next week — for posting #50 — we’ll return with an as-yet shown episode involving our namesake, Prof. Tigwissel himself!
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Tigwissel Tuesdays resumes, with an extract from issue nine, October 1825, of the Glasgow, Scotland based Northern Looking Glass, with art by William Heath. Above, Heath parodies the proposal of a Vacuum Tube Company (which appeared in the January 29th, 1825 issue of The Mechanics Register), to transport passengers between Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England, via vacuum!
Beneath, text appearing in the same Northern Looking Glass issue.
Click on the above picture, to view the cartoon in detail, and read the text captions in it.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
With the approach of April Fool’s Month (one day is not nearly enough!), it seems appropriate to conclude this year’s Women’s History Month coverage, with a bit of silliness — Photo Funnies from the April 27th, 1895 issue of the New York City publication, The Standard.
Click on the above & below pictures, to view the cartoons in detail, and better read the words within them.
The Standard was one of a handful of 1890s/early 1900s periodicals, that fairly regularly featured photo funnies (or, “fumetti”). Sequential photographic comic strips were hardly something new — going back to the late 1850s in the format of series of stereographic cards — but it wasn’t really until the 1890s that printing technology allowed for mass, cheap reproduction of photographs in magazines and newspapers. I suspect there was a certain degree of overlap between printed photo funnies and stereograph sequences (there are certainly instances I’ve spotted of cartoonists stealing from stereograph sequences — and vice-versa). And even more likely, an overlap in camera crews, actors, and studio sets involved. But I’ve not yet explored that possibility.
At any rate, the type of comedic material The Standard (and at least one other parallel publication) regularly featured — as you can see in the example shown here — tended to be more out-there risque than American & British (at least) stereoviews tended to go.
The “sequence” of events in these photographs (and to be more accurate, some of these have combined images of photographed players, placed atop/in front of cartoon or drawn backgrounds; with the last scene, below, being purely cartoon), is somewhat artificial. They all refer to the same/similar incident, but I’ve rearranged them to read in a more fun, sequential manner — this is not the order they appeared in the magazine.
Finally, I’d like to point out the similarity of the above 1895 photographic comedy, with the below panel from an 1851 comic book I posted here earlier this month… (Clicking on the below picture, will take you to that comic book.)
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Above, The March of Science: Electricity at Christmas, by artist Harry Furniss, from the 1879 Christmas issue of The Illustrated London News. At this time, electricity — on the brink of lighting cities — was still more a toy of the rich, used in parlor games. One popular activity, shown at the bottom, was to have a long line of people hold hands, and pass an electric shock through all of them! (No, I am not making this up!)
Click on the above page, to view the cartoons in detail, and read their captions.
The above page was part of a Victorian Age Christmas Comics book I once put together, that went nowhere. I’ve been holding those cartoons back the past several years, but, this month will see several pages from that never-published collection.
Click on Tigwissel Tuesdays and/or Christmas Comics, to find prior postings in those “series”.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Above, The Flight of Intellect. Portrait of Mr. Golightly experimenting on Messrs Quick and Speeds’ new patent high pressure Steam Riding Rocket. By artist George Edward Madeley, and published by Charles Tilt, most sources estimate this cartoon to have originally been published circa 1830.
Some web sources, though — such as the blog site Voyages Extraordinaires, Scientific Romances in a Bygone Age, which is following its own path covering Victorian Science, similar to our own Tigwissel Tuesdays but not as concentrated on cartoons — propound that “Mr. Golightly” was an actual person, Charles Golightly. According to the afore-mentioned website (which, by the way, has color versions of the above and below cartoons), “In 1841, the English Mr. Golightly took out the patent for an aerial steam rocket, intended for personal aeronautic use.” If true, then obviously the usual “circa 1830″ date given for the above cartoon, is a decade too early.
However, I have serious doubts concerning the veracity of Charles Golightly having been real. While some people are named “Golightly”, the odds of someone by that name having patented a fantasy personal rocket in 1841, is highly unlikely. The name smacks of satire. Plus, my own guess at the date before I’d seen others’, was late 1820s to 1830s, based on what I’ve seen from that period. My own searches (limited to the incomplete resources of the internet) have not found any references to “Golightly” combined with “rocket”, other than cartoon references. None of the sites propounding that Charles Golightly was real, offer where that information came from. As we here at Tigwissel Tuesdays know, our own namesake character has been the subject of misinformation for decades, due to one person making an unsubstantiated statement, followed by a great many who, not bothering to do research themselves, simply repeated that misinformation, until it became a widely repeated “fact”.
But one of the biggest doubts, is raised by the British publication Picture Magazine, which reprinted the above cartoon in 1893, and from whose pages I scanned this image. Click on the image, to see what Picture Magazine had to say about it: “This is one of the innumerable skits which appeared at the time of the introduction of Railways, and is specially directed against Stephenson’s first locomotive, ‘The Rocket’.” Robert Stephenson’s Rocket locomotive was built in 1829.
Click on the above & below pictures, to view the cartoons in detail, and read their captions.
This image of a man riding a rocket, was copied numerous times by other cartoonists, some of whom acknowledged the original source. Each of the cartoons below, come from the Library of Congress website. Each of these, involve Mr. Golightly as a gold prospecter, using his rocket to race to the California gold fields, in the Gold Rush of 1849. Clicking on the titles of the titles of these cartoons, will take you to the Library of Congress site for that picture. Clicking on the pictures here, will enlarge them.
Below, Mr. Golightly, Bound to California. His words — difficult to make out even in the enlarged view, are, “I wish Jemima could see me now, goin through the Firmament like a streak of greased lightnin on a Telegraph wire; I guess she’d feel a sorter vexed that she didn’t pack up her fixins and go long — When I get to Californy I’ll let others do the diggins while I do the swappins!”
Above, close-up of Mr. Golightly, from the top left of the below 1849 broadsheet cartoon, The Way They Go To California, by artist Nathaniel Currier.
Below, from the Oakland Museum of California, we find another Nathaniel Currier broadsheet cartoon — Grand Patent India-Rubber Air Line Railway to California.
A group of “passengers” are shown, sitting upon a rubber band, which apparently stretches all the way from West to East Coast. While behind them, a worker chops at the East Coast end, to send the passengers on their way to California! In the distance, top left of the cartoon, we see Mr. Golightly making his own way to California.
Lead Passenger: “It looks awful foggy ahead, yet I think I see something shiney at the other end. Bless me he is cutting away. When it goes, I hope it won’t jerk my head off.”
Next Passenger: “If that chap don’t mind his eye, I’ll larn him.”
Third Passenger: “Hold on tight, he is going to cut…”
Fourth Passenger: “O Lord deliver us from evil!”
Sixth Passenger: “Och! Teddy darlint don’t ye feel quare to be sthraddlin a sthring?”
Fifth Passenger: “Faix an I do, Judy; but howld on tight as we’ll sthraddle the lumps of gould ferment the whole pack of thim.”
Seventh Passenger: “Who’s Afraid, I ain’t.”
Eight Passenger: “What a peeples! What a peeples!”
Worker, Cutting: “One, two, three, four and five, off they go all alive.”
The Museum of California website lists what the text along the bottom says.
Finally, after writing above, I found this posting about the Mr. Golightly cartoons, at io9.com, where author Ron Miller has not only posted three additional Golightly cartoons than we have here (plus some alternate hand-colored versions), but, raises further doubts about the questionable existence of a “Charles Golightly”. It frankly sounds to me that the 1841 British patent, was entered as a prank by someone familiar with the earliest cartoon versions.
Next week, more up-to-the century (or older) comic scientific developments, from Tigwissel Tuesdays!
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