Bests of Luck on Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is fast approaching…

by Henry Bischoff from Collier’s, July 27, 1946

If you’re superstitious, that means that your Friday is certain to be filled with bad luck.

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by Peter Arno, from The New Yorker, June 4, 1960

The odds of having a black cat cross your path….

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by Samuel Nelson Abbott, from Saturday Evening Post, May 28, 1938

Will most definitely increase on Friday the 13th…

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by Samuel Nelson Abbott, from Ladies Home Journal, September, 1926

Meaning you’ll have even more bad luck.

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by Perry Peterson, from Saturday Evening Post, August 1946

Who knows what else might go wrong after that?

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by William Cotton, from The New Yorker, March 20, 1940

And you won’t be able to escape from it as hard as you try …

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by Russell Sambrook, from American Boy, December 1931

Or perhaps you can…if you take an impromptu trip to Italy.  According to Italian tradition, the number 13 is lucky — it’s Friday the 17th that is the unlucky day.

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by Constantin Alajalov, from Saturday Evening Post, August 2, 1958

But if a trip isn’t in your plans, then Modern Graphic History Library wishes you the best of luck on this upcoming Friday the 13th…and good luck trying to avoid those black cats!

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book cover by George Ziel, 1980


The Henry Bischoff and Perry Peterson images are from the Charles Craver Collection.

All other images are from the Walt Reed Illustration Archive.

For more information about Friday the 13th:

Padden, Kathy. Why People Think Friday The 13th Is Unlucky., September 13, 2013.

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.