Friday, February 04, 2011
News of Yore 1929: Marketing with Cartoons
Something new in the hookup of a cartoon character with advertising has been worked out by Jim Alley, cartoonist for the Memphis Commerical Appeal and his manager, Hugh J. Mooney, son of the late C.P.J. Mooney.
The plan, already under way in Memphis and several other cities where the comic character "Hambone" is used editorially, has a contest angle and presents advertising selling talk through the subtle and philosophical utterances of the darkey. Advertisements, of which there may be a dozen or 50, and six cartoons are packed in a page, to be run weekly for 30 weeks by the newspaper using the series.
It is proposed to offer the advertising plan first to those newspapers using the "Hambone" cartoon editorially, Mooney says.
A series, the first, began in the Commercial Appeal March 7, 39 advertisments being on the page in addition to the six cartoons.
Under the plan, each advertiser is represented in a cartoon one or more times during the series, depending on his position and space on the page.
A hand-coloring contest in which weekly prizes and a grand prize are given is a part of the general advertising stunt. Readers are asked to color the cartoons with crayon or other materials, mailing them with self-addressed envelope to the newspaper office. One of the rules of the contest is that cartoons must not be cut out of the page. Entrants are required to give their name, age and address.
"It is through this hand-coloring feature and the plan under which it is managed that great value comes to the advertiser," Mooney explains. "There are color crayons or water colors in every home. It is inevitable that someone in the family will attempt to color Hambone's clothes, shoes and lips and the background in the cartoons.
"Soon the whole family is crowded around, offering suggestions, trying to help, and all the time unconsciously absorbing the names of the advertisers and what they have to sell.
"Each week the pages are returned to the entrants after being judged for the weekly prizes. They keep them and submit them again at the close of the contest for the grand prize.
"And since one of the rules of the contest is that cartoons must not be cut out of the page, entrants from week to week are referring back to former pages and so reading and re-reading the advertisements. They are comparing this week's work with that of last week and with that of the week before. The advertiser is continually getting his message read, weekly increasing its pull."
Prizes, in addition to the weekly and grand prize, may be offered every week by advertisers who want entrants and others to visit their places of business, according to the Alley-Mooney plan.
"In a little strip at the bottom of the cartoon layout contestants are told to take their pages to certain advertisers on certain days for judging," Mooney says. "In this way the advertiser makes new contacts and friends and can get some idea of results of his advertising."
According to the contest rules, each entrant must give his age. "The age is important information for the advertiser. As I expected, the vast majority of those entering the contest at Memphis and other cities are adults."
The advertiser is urged to change his copy every week under the plan. "I suggest each advertiser use his space, position of which is unchanged throughout the 30 weeks, for specials. General advertisements are discouraged as much as possible.
"One feature of our page is that no two different advertisers, theough they be in the same line of business, may advertise the same product. For instance, we have two auto concerns on the page. One may advertise a special make of car and the other trucks. An effort is made to keep lines non-competitive wherein it is possible."
The six cartoons may be placed at the top of the page or equidistant from one another and the border, as advertisers desire, Mooney explains. And the number of cartoons our advertiser may receive in the series depends on space and position he buys.
One product is named in each cartoon. For instance, in the upper left cartoon of the page advertisement in the Commercial Appeal March 7, Hambone is seen in front of a window, below which "Southern Motor Car Company, 1107 Union Avenue, Cadillac -- LaSalle" is printed. "Hambone", towel on his arm, is giving vent to the following, printed in the balloon:
"Shucks! W'en you buys one dem good cyars you jes' natcherly gits hoss power and mule endurance." Trade names are not mentioned in the balloons. Cartoons are changed each week, advertisers remain the same, but advertisements may change, though space and position do not.
The idea, plans and cartoons are copyrighted by Alley.
"We will lease the method and Hambone commercial cartoons to papers at so much an inch over the regular rate, with a minimum guarantee, both as to amount and number of weeks to run," Mooney says.
"The papers are to sell the same to advertisers, using their regular advertising staffs."
"Neither Mr. Alley nor myself feel he is prostituting his talents in any way.
"He is open to suggestions from advertisers at all times, but reserves the right to express himself in a way he desires and believes best expressive."
Jim Alley, 44 years old, has been on the staff of the Commercial Appeal 13 years, joining that paper in 1915 when the late C.P.J. Mooney was editor. It was Editor Mooney who discovered Alley's talent when the artist was plugging away at a desk in the Bluff City Engraving Company.
For many years it was Editor Mooney who furnished a great many of the ideas for Alley's cartoons, especially those of a political nature. Alley gained prominence in the South the time Ed Crump, boss of Shelby County's political organization, was ousted as mayor in 1915.
Mooney, the son of the late editor, has made an extensive study of advertising and promotion. For the last five years he has maintained a laboratory in Memphis in the Western Newspaper Union building and at the present is working on television and its adaptability to advertising. He believes he is the first person to receive television more than 1000 miles.
Labels: News of Yore
For a visual list of the various fake Hambone cigar boxes and other fake Hambone items, go here.
Not entirely out of the question. In this period you'd be talking about mechanical rather than electronic television. Mechanical television used a system of spinning discs to capture and receive images. Two things are worth noting: first,there were about 18 mechanical TV stations licensed and in operation in the United States in 1929 including a number in the Chicago area; second, most of these stations operated in the Medium Wave band (530 kHz to 1600 kHz) or the low Shortwave band (between 2 and 3 mHz). Propagation at these frequencies is usually quite good; I've heard AM stations from Saskatoon as far away as San Antonio Texas. So TV signals at those frequencies and a less crowded spectrum than today is quite possible.
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Hans Horina
My recent posts about two of Hans Horina's features, Hungry Tommy and Absent-Minded Aunt, stimulated some interest. Horina's great-grandchild left a short note on the blog and we hope to hear more from him/her soon. Alex Jay, our resident genealogical snooper extraordinaire, did some digging and submitted the following about the cartoonist:
Han Horina was born in Bohemia on May 13, 1865. That information was recorded on his naturalization card from the U.S. Department of Labor, Immigration and Naturalization Service. The card said he arrived in the U.S. on March 6, 1906.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
1. New York Public Library
(Details from the NYPL web site)
Description: 50 p. illus. 4to.
Reproduction: Microfilm. New York, N.Y.: New York Public Library, 19--.
Subject: World War, 1914-1918 -- Humor, caricatures, etc.
Call No.: *Z-BTZE+ p.v. 763, no. 2
Research Call Number: *Z-BTZE+ p.v. 763, no. 2
2. Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
News of Yore 1908: Sssh! You'll Get Me in Trouble!
Special Press Service Big Newspapers
Henry Edward Warner, general press representative of the Shubert enterprises, leaves that position August 1 to establish a novel newspaper enterprise.
Donald Morris Jones, who has been Mr. Warner's assistant, will be associated with him in the venture, which will furnish specials and circulation boosters to the larger newspapers of New York and the country generally.
Ryan Walker will be in charge of the cartoon department.
The matter to be sent out will be known as the Wardon Specials and will include fiction, humor, dramatic criticism, photographs and occasional humorous articles by Mr. Warner, who formerly wrote over the nom-de-plume of "Sidelights" for the Denver Times and Baltimore News and who organized and was first president of the American Press Humorists.
Mr. Warner was born in Ohio thirty-four years ago and was educated at the University of California and U.S. Grant University, Chattanooga, Tenn. When about twelve years old he published a paper of his own, called the University Sun. He became city editor of the Chattanooga Times, Knoxville Journal and Tribune, Baltimore News and Denver Times; acted as press agent for Sarah Bernhardt and was appointed general press representative of the Shubert enterprises.
Mr. Jones, who is a graduate of the Temple College, Philadelphia, was born twenty-seven years ago and began his business life with the Ireland Advertising Agency. He made a tour of the best part of the world as a representative of Eugen Sandow, the strong man, and this season became assistant general press representative of the Shubert enterprises.
Sir: Howard Miller, president of the International Syndicate, Baltimore, Md., requests me to write you regarding the announcement which appeared in the last issue of The Fourth Estate relative to my being engaged by the Wardon News Syndicate as their cartoonist. The announcement was a slight mistake, and I sanction Mr. Miller's request to have it corrected. I am at present cartooning for the International Syndicate, and anticipate doing no cartoons for any other organization.
In justice to Mr. Warner, however, allow me to explain that I promised him some time ago to do theatrical caricatures for a theatrical feature, provided it did not conflict with any service put out by the syndicate I am now connected with. Doubtless Mr. Warner made the simple mistake in using the word "cartoons" instead of "caricature."
Signed, Ryan Walker
Labels: News of Yore
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Obscurity of the Day: Mr. Broad of Wall Street
Charles made a little cottage industry out of this bargain basement version of his brother's style. In some of Charles' strips it is pretty clear that brother George either gave him a hand or provided model sheets from which Charles could copy.
Charles' longest-running creation was Dorothy Darnit, but he also penned this strip, Mr. Broad of Wall Street, for the same outfit, Bell Syndicate. Mr. Broad debuted on December 5 1921, changed names to Freddie the Financier on March 27 1922, and is last found running new material on April 7 1923. As with Dorothy Darnit, though, the strip was resold to country papers for many years afterward. I've seen Mr. Broad running as late as 1932.
What I find interesting about Mr. Broad is that the art is a full step above the quality of the Dorothy Darnit strips, which are really pretty cringe-worthy. Did Charles get more help from his brother on this one, did he apply himself more to this one for some reason, or did he employ a ghost? I dunno.
I do know that the brothers were pretty close. Charles eventually got a high-level position at King Features, presumably but not definitely on George's coat-tails, and my impression is that Charles was no bumbling fool but rather had a pretty good head for management and business. But very little has been written about him, so to try and decipher the relationship between the two, and how much of Charles' success was directly due to his famed brother, is up in the air.
Thanks to Mark Johnson for the scans!
According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Charles was the second of three sons born to George and Kate; Leo was born four years before Charles who was followed by George Jr. two years later. Charles was a salesman of dry goods. The family lived in St. Louis.
In 1910 Charles and his parents lived at 549 West 113th Street in Manhattan, New York City. His occupation was printer in advertising.
Charles signed his World War I draft card on September 9, 1918. He lived with his parents at 551 West 170th Street in Manhattan. His occupation was clerk at the Boyle Robertson Company. His description was short height, medium build with brown eyes and dark hair.
In the 1920 census Charles lived with his mother at the same address just mentioned. His occupation was artist in the comic picture business.
Charles passed away on August 31, 1941. His death was reported in the New York Times on September 1.
Brother of George—Idea Man for 'Bringing Up Father' Cartoon
Charles W. McManus, silent collaborator in the creation of the comic
strip "Bringing Up Father" and brother of George McManus, the
cartoonist, died today, after a brief illness, in the Queen of the Angeles
[sic] Hospital. His age was 61.
Mr. McManus, as an idea man, aided his bother in depicting the
antics of Jiggs and other familiar ironies of the Irish character. He
was also an artist, at one time producing the cartoon feature of
"Tiny" and "Mr. Wall in Broad street [sic]."
George McManus, who resided in New York, visited in Southern
California frequently to consult with his brother and had been here
for the last three months.
Another brother, Leo McManus of New York, also survives.
by Alex Jay
Alex, this is interesting stuff. Don't recall having read that Charles helped with gags on BUF before, though I suppose it's natural. I could swear I saw a memo from George to Charles from 1943 regarding the new third-page format for the strip, but that just shows how addled my gray matter is. Thanks for setting me straight.
Monday, January 31, 2011
News of Yore 1908: News Round-Up
Augustus O'Shaughnessy, who until recently was an illustrator on the staff of the Chicago Daily News, has opened a studio in the Fine Art Building, Chicago.
Wallace Goldsmith, a cartoonist on the Boston Herald, made his debut in vaudeville at Keith's Theatre, Boston, recently in a lightning sketch act.
A.W. Scarborough, better known as "Scar," has resigned from the cartoonists' staff of the New York Globe and joined that of the World.
John Farnum, cartoonist for the Springfield (Mass.) Union, was married July 18 at Albany, N.Y., to Miss Martha Ferguson. Mr. Farnum formerly was on the staff of the Boston Post, Boston Traveller, Providence Telegram, Albany Times and other papers.
Walter Saalberg, a cartoonist at different times connected with the New York Journal, Chicago Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner, died recently in Harrisburg, Pa., at the age of thirty-two years. [this cartoonist was in all the same cities as Charles Saalburg but mostly at the wrong papers -- really botched obit or extreme coincidence?]
F.M. Howarth, one of the best known comic artists in the country died in Philadelphia Tuesday, aged forty-three years. He began work on Puck and later was employed on the Hearst papers, is credited with having originated the comic series using the same characters day after day in the newspapers. Two of his best known series were "E.Z. Mark" and "Lulu and Leander."
George McManus, creator of the "Newlyweds" series of cartoons appearing in the New York World, has gone into vaudeville. He appeared successfully at the Alhambra, New York, last week, his specialty being making sketches of his cartoon characters on a blackboard.
The Danbury, Conn., Agricultural Society has awarded a diploma to the New York World for its exhibition, at the recent fair held by the association, of original drawings and plates of the "Newlyweds" series of comic pictures appearing in that paper.
Peter B. McCord, cartoonist and author, died Tuesday in his home, at 190 South 9th Street, Newark. He was forty years old. For eight years he had been on the Newark Evening News' staff. A book entitled "The Wolf," illustrated and written by himself and dealing with the life of the ancient cave dwellers, is about to be published.
Charles Tebbs, manager of the art department of the New York World, has been succeeded by T.O. McGill, an artist of that department and originator of the "Jollys' Bull Pup" series of cartoons. Mr. Tebbs' future plans have not been announced.
George McManus, the New York World artist and creator of the celebrated Newlyweds, Panhandle Pete and other comic pictures, was married to Miss Florence Bergere, the original Mrs. Newlywed, on Wednesday.
Labels: News of Yore
Neither, Walter L. Saalberg (1877-1908) was the brother of Charles W. Saalburg (1865-1947). They were 2 of the sons of William Saalburg (1834-1914), publisher and editor of the Hebrew Observer in SF. (another brother was a journalist).
Thanks for solving that mystery -- weird that the brothers spelled their names differently! Seems you might know a bit about Charles Saalburg, I've been looking for biographical info for many years. Any suggestions?
Lastly, names were at loser a hundred years ago than they are now.
many stated didn't have registered births until the 1910s, and my family actually settled on a preferred last name spelling in the circa 1890s. I've seen Walter's dad spelled both ways.
Walter lived in Chicago, Illinois at 5646 South Boulevard, as recorded in the 1900 census. He was a boarder with the Frink family which was headed by George M., who was employed at the Monotype Foundry (The cartoonist George Frink's middle initial was O.) Walter's occupation was an artist.
In 1901 Walter lived in Cleveland, Ohio where he married Lucile Goodhart on May 24; in the "US, Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Jewish Marriage Record Extracts" his last name was spelled "Saalberg". The couple divorced on July 1, 1905 as recorded in the Cuyahoga County Archives.
Walter's passing was reported in the Patriot (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) on August 25, 1908.
Walter Saalberg, aged thirty-two years, a cartoonist formerly employed
on the San Francisco Examiner, New York Journal and Chicago
Chronicle, but within the past month engaged here on a newspaper,
died yesterday morning at the Harrisburg Hospital.
Mr. Saalberg has two brothers in San Francisco who were notified of
According to the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry, Walter was buried at the Hills of Eternity Memorial Park Congregation Sherith Israel in Colma, California on April 16, 1909.
Walter and his brother Charles are included in the book, Artists in California, 1786-1940: L-Z (Crocker Art Museum, 2002).
by Alex Jay
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Labels: Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics