March 12, 2008

Another sliver of history

Posted in illustration, Inspiration at 2:23 am by India


India, Ink., has moved. The live version of this post is now located at Sorry for the inconvenience!


I’ve been working on cleaning up another set of public domain images and posting them to Flickr, and my plan was to unveil them all at once when I’d accumulated a nice, fat stack comparable to this earlier collection. I’m really, really busy this month, however, and I’m afraid I won’t get back to this project for a while, so here’s an aperitif, in the meantime: Selected illustrations—editorial and commercial—from the San Francisco Call, which was published from 1895 to 1913. The newspaper came to my attention via the famous Alberto Forero, who posted a great illustration of hands to his massive collection of Flickrized antiquities back in January. I asked where he’d found it, he sent me the link, and there went my next week and a half. Thanks a lot.

This newspaper—which I’d never even heard of—published so many fantastic illustrations during just the first month of 1900. Take this gorgeous full-page gangster by Methfessel, for example; or these dissolute gamesters by Cahill; or this fluid sketch; or the adorable torpedoes above. And don’t even get me started on the advertisements for quacky gadgets and rather dubious medicines.

I’m still adding captions, tags, and URLs, and eventually I’ll post more images to this set, but I wanted to at least begin to release these into the wild. If you like this kind of stuff, be sure to check out Alberto’s many awesome photo sets. Just don’t blame me if you lose a couple of days or weeks down in that rabbit hole—remember, it’s all Alberto’s fault.


  1. Dylan Tweney said,

    Hey, these are awesome! I also like that you’re putting these images up without copyright, which they don’t have. Your buddy Alberto, by contrast, appears to be putting copyright tags in Flickr on stuff that should be in the public domain, like old magazine covers and photos from the 1880s.

  2. […] Another sliver of history « India, Ink. – […]

  3. KJ said,

    Nice, Thanks for posting these. I really like the shop girls.

  4. Sheila Ryan said,

    I am still looking looking looking . . .

  5. India said,

    And I’m scrubbing scrubbing scrubbing a few more right now . . .

  6. […] As you may have guessed, I love this kind of stuff. Unfortunately, the archive website’s not working—at least, for me. I click on stuff and get nothing but error messages. I’ve written to Gale’s tech support, but I’d be interested to know if the site’s working for other people, especially those in the UK. […]

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