Forests, Deserts, and Prairies, 1910s.

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From The Children's Encyclopedia, published in the 1910s, and designed by "G.F. Morrell". This illustrated map, ignoring political boundaries and man-made roads or railways, is pieced together from several smaller maps, depicting the various environments of the world. The caption of the maps engages in some scare-mongering, comparing the expanding deserts as proof our planet is moving towards being as arid as the moon, but it also describes deforestation as "a disastrous thing for a country," recognizing that removal of trees and grasses can result in loss of topsoil and a collapse of the food-creating industries.

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ND Songbird Rebus, 1917.

Try your hand at these: rebuses depicting native North Dakota songbirds, circa 1917 (click for larger view). The illustration is by Walter Wellman, a popular illustrator of the time, known for doing naughty postcards as well. From Uncle Will's Magazine for Children, "The Rotary", February 1917.

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The Old Woman Tossed in a Basket, 1910s

An illustration of the Mother Goose rhyme The Old Woman Tossed in a Basket, from The Book Of Knowledge.

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Retro Keep Clean Sign

All the trash cans in a I94 rest area near Fergus Falls have this sign; I don't think I've seen it at any of the other Minnesota stops we've made. I've tried to see if the illustrator is credited, but no luck. Whoever came up with this sign did a very effective job - it's very eye-catching and it has some style. The use of thick lines and watercolory stripes has a very seventies feel. Using no-caps Helvetica is a little pretentious, but fits with the style of the image. I'm rather surprised it hasn't turned up elsewhere -- maybe off the freeway, somewhere.

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J. D. Muldowney and Bro's Kitty Chorus

It's sad when something doesn't come up in Google whatsoever. J. D. Muldowney & Bro. - nothing. Neither address brings anything up. 164 Main looks like a parking lot now on Google Maps, but 373 could still be an old building. Not even the illustrator, J. H. Ives, shows up in search results. So, this little advertising card holds a bunch of mysterious info, guarded by a chorus of partially-anthropomorphized kitties. It's printed on a stiff card, not as thick as a postcard but thicker than paper, and it looks like it may have been gummed.

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