Independence Days Of The Past


Though it was celebrated long before that, the 4th of July has been an official holiday since 1941.  In honor of the Fourth’s long history, here are some vintage photographs from Independence Days of the past.  As you can see, you don’t always need fireworks to celebrate America’s birthday:

1920s

1923

1925

1939

1942

1956

1960s

1969

1970s

1976

1987

1996

I hope everyone has a good 4th of July!  Usually, I celebrate Independence Day by taking a lot of blurry photographs of the fireworks exploding in the sky above me and then posting them to twitter.  I won’t be doing that this year but I’ll still find a way to celebrate everything that’s good about my home country.

United We Stand: The Patriotic Magazine Covers of July, 1942


Photographed by Erin Nicole

In July of 1942, with America newly engaged in the second World War, over 500 magazines had one thing in common.  They all featured an American flag on the cover and the words “United we stand.”  These magazines may have had different publishers and different audiences but, for that month, their covers all carried the same message: America stands united against its enemies.  Could we do something like that today?  I don’t know.

In honor of that moment in time and in hope that America will someday against be willing to stand united, here are a few of those patriotic covers from July of 1942.  The artist is credited where known.

by Armstrong Roberts

by Allen Saalburg

by Malcolm Bulloch

by Toni Frissel

Artist Profile: William Jacobson (1921 — 1992)


While I was searching for information about the artist William Jacobson, I came across 1992 Chicago Tribune obituary for an artist named William “Babe” Jacobson.  According to the obituary (and assuming that the William Jacobson who did the covers below is the same Jacobson who was written about in the Tribune), William Jacobson studied at at the Art Institute of Chicago, the American Academy of Art and the Chicago Academy of Fine Art.  After serving in World War II, Jacobson became an artist with the Stevens-Gross Studios before, in 1960, opening up a studio of his own, William Jacobson Illustration.

I could find much more information about Jacobson so, as often happens with the artists of the pulp era, his work will have to speak for him.  Here’s a sampling of it: