Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Bert Link

Bertin Frederick “Bert” Link was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 16, 1884, according to his World War II draft card which also had his full name. Information regarding Link’s education and art training has not been found.

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census said Link, an engraver, was the third of four children born to Frederick, a German emigrant and insurance agent, and Elizabeth, a Pennsylvania native. The family resided in Pittsburgh at 370 42nd Street.

Link’s brother-in-law, George Schmitt, was the head of the household in the 1910 census. Schmitt was married to Harriet and had a son, George Jr. The household included newspaper artist Link, his widow mother, sister Viola, Schmitt’s brother Henry and his wife Lenore and daughter Gladys. They lived in Pittsburgh at 4707 Ben Venue Avenue.

Pittsburgh city directories listed Link as a cartoonist at 521 Oscelo (1912 and 1913), 543 Lowell (1915), and 5217 Powhatan (1916 and 1917). The last address was on Link’s World War I draft card which he signed September 12, 1918. The card said he was a newspaper cartoonist with the Pittsburgh Press. His wife’s name was Maybelle. His description was tall and slender with brown eyes and hair. He had a lame right leg.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Link produced two series for World Color Printing. The panel That Little Game ran from April 16, 1917 into 1927. Some of the cartoons were collected in a 2004 book. A Reel of Nonsense began April 30, 1917 and ended in July.

Link’s home address was the same in the 1920 census. The cartoonist had two daughters, Maybelle and Eleanor.

Link’s father-in-law, William Flinn and sister-in-law, Mathilda Flinn, were part of the household in the 1930 census. Everyone resided at 365 South Atlantic Avenue in Pittsburgh.

All of the children were gone in the 1940 census, leaving art editor Link, his wife and father-in-law at the 1930 address.

Link signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942 and was at the same address. His employer was the Pittsburgh Press.

A 1952 Pittsburgh city directory listed Link and his wife at 5742 Northumberland. He continued as an art editor at the Pittsburgh Press. Link was honored by the Press Club according to the Pittsburgh Press, March 18, 1956.

Link passed away in early March 1964, at the “Fairwinds Home near Freeport [Pennsylvania]” as reported by the Pittsburgh Press, March 6. He was laid to rest in Smithfield East End Cemetery

—Alex Jay


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