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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Professor Tigwissel’s Experiment with Blue Glass: Tigwissel Tuesdays #50

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 appearanceProfessor 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.

Doug Wheeler

ProfTigwissel NYDailyGraphic


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