Before photos were used in our ancestors’ newspapers and magazines, to have any type of an idea of what a person or event looked like, these print items were dependent on artists. Many of the drawings were very detailed, just as good as a photo and others were more light-hearted drawings.
Political cartoons were also very popular. Many of these took on the form of a caricature (fantastical drawing of a person).
Back at the turn of the 20th century one of the most well-known such cartoon and caricature artists was Eugene ‘Zim’ Zimmerman. He was born in Switzerland in May 1862 and immigrated to America in 1868 after his father and older brother arrived the year before. As a young man, he started as a sign painter but also learned the skill of being a cartoonist. He began working as a cartoonist for different magazines in the 1880s. Over the decades he produced over 40,000 cartoons. He founded the American Association of Cartoonists and Caricatures. Zim died March 1935 in New York.
His book published in 1910 provides great insight to Zimmerman’s drawings and what would have been typical in the early 20th century that your ancestors saw in their printed papers. Click to the right on each page to read and view about Zimmerman’s work in 1910.
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