December 30, 2009

New Year's Art

In preparation for the new year, I looked at some old newspapers to see what the front page held on January firsts past. In my brief survey, I found several treatments of the Old Father Time and the baby New Year theme:

Ringing in the New Decade - January 1, 1900
The Chicago Tribune 1 January 1900

The Chicago Tribune Rings in the New Year - 1911
The Chicago Tribune 1 January 1911

A Happy New Year 1922 - The Atlanta Constitution
The Atlanta Constitution 1 January 1922

Poughkeepsie Journal - New Years 1924 Edition
The Poughkeepsie Journal 1 January 1924

And then I came across this very odd image from the San Francisco Chronicle of 1 January 1920
Happy New Year 1920 from the San Francisco Chronicle
I'm not sure who these people are, but they seem happy about starting the 20s.

It was interesting to see the juxtaposition of the Happy New Year messages with the sensational and generally negative headlines on the front pages.

Most of the papers gathered stories of tragedy, murder and death from around the country to spice up the front page, which probably worked on most days, but seem a little out of place on a page with Happy New Year emblazoned across the top of it.

That 1920 San Francisco Chronicle is a good example. Headlines sharing the front page with the strange New Year's revelers include:
  • "35 Poison 'Rum' Cases Bared by S.F. Officials"
  • "Hunter Drowned, Companion Near Death as Result of Boat Mishap"
  • "Poison Whisky Factory Found, Officers Say"
  • "Woman Plunges Knife to Hilt in Man Refusing to Clear Her Name"
  • "Shots Fired at Police Captain"
  • "U.S. Building is Set on Fire"
  • "Four Scalded to Death in Steamer Explosion"
  • "3 Motorists Hurt in Jitney Collision"
  • "Four Women Shot by Baltimore Celebrants"
Happy New Year in deed. Here's hoping 2010 rings in on a better note.

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