christmas eve in the hamilton times, 1909

hamilton times 1909-12-24 santa illustration

 Hamilton Times, December 24, 1909. Click on image for larger version.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the 1909 version of a holiday-themed zombie movie, where Santa is under siege from children transformed into the living dead who think jolly old St. Nick would make a good Christmas dinner. The expression on Santa's face suggests his effort to fend them off may be doomed. 

Do you think that in their efforts to diversify their Christmas movies, Hallmark would consider a heartwarming holiday zom-com?

This odd drawing, combined with last post's odd Inuit stories, lead us into an odd mixture of holiday items presented by the Hamilton Times, a Liberal-leaning paper which published from 1859 to 1920. Canadiana has a sampling of issues, primarily from 1907 to 1909

Hamilton Times, December 24, 1909.

When a man is in pain and misery, you don't leave him (literally) hanging from wires just so you can run and grab a disbeliever. 

Half-an-hour passed before Tommy returned with Doubting Dicky, who remained unconvinced it was actually Santa. The boys wondered how long Santa could stay up there, and taunted him with snowballs before getting bored and heading home. 

Hamilton Times, December 24, 1909.

And now, a cheerful headline from our sponsor, Fruit-a-tives, the tablets that promote good liver health.

Illustration by Johnny Gruelle, Hamilton Times, December 24, 1909.

When Tommy got home, he and his sister pondered the great question of Christmas: how did Santa know what they wanted? Luckily Tommy had arrived home before running into Santa, as he found a rifle under the tree. His friend Doubting Dicky wasn't so lucky; instead of the red wagon he wanted, Santa left him a lump of coal. 

In all seriousness, this syndicated illustration was drawn by Johnny Gruelle, who created Raggedy Ann around this time. 

Illustration by A.D. Condo, Hamilton Times, December 24, 1909.

Running for over 20 years, The Outbursts of Everett True was an American comic strip whose success was based on audience wish fulfillment. After grumbling about the kinds of people who annoy us, Mr. True, a large man in striped trousers, either gave the offenders a tongue-lashing or physically beat the crap out of them. Here, he's annoyed by a man dressed as Santa who has taken fire safety lightly. 


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