Advertising the 19th Century Detachable Collar

By Maria Dorfman on January 3, 2017 in Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, Special Collections

A distinguishing characteristic of menswear in the ~1860’s-1920’s was the detachable collar. Collars were naturally more susceptible to dirt and deformation that the rest of the shirt. Detachable collars allowed men to achieve the appearance of neatness and cleanliness, while reducing the time and expense of laundry. One could replace the collar, but re-wear the shirt. The detachable collar was first conceived […]

The Madcap Master Poet of the Improbable

By Maria Dorfman on December 15, 2016 in Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, Special Collections, What's New

“Madcap master poet of the improbable” was a phrase used by Pat Calhoun to describe the illustrator George Carlson (1887-1962). The words “madcap” and “improbable” refer to Carlson’s frequently nonsensical comic plot lines and illustrations for the Jingle Jangle comic book series. In addition to his Jingle Jangle work, Carlson illustrated a number of Wanamaker’s Jollybook and […]

Al Parker: Celebrity Illustrator

By Maria Dorfman on December 6, 2016 in Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, Special Collections, What's New

“I could praise the work for pages, but it might sound like a love letter.” J.W. Jemmings, letter to Al Parker, July 24, 1939. Imagine a magazine illustrator getting fan mail. Al Parker (1906-1985) was once one of the leading magazine illustrators in America. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he attended Washington University’s School of […]

Political Cartoons of 1908 and 1912

By Maria Dorfman on November 7, 2016 in Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, Special Collections

With the 2016 presidential election so rapidly approaching, it seems only fitting to look back at past elections for insight and perspective. The political cartoons of the 1908 and 1912 presidential campaigns are particularly illuminating, as they so clearly depict the same shifting balances of power, the intra-party divisiveness, and the debates over economic policy […]