22 May 2022

Stretching Your Legs in 1912

Q: What is the doctor doing to the man that he's holding in his left hand?

LOWELL, Orson. Life Magazine, Doctors' Number, Nov. 21, 1912 © Flickr user Halloween HJB under Creative Commons.

A: He's stretching the man's leg. • The small print under the illustration says,

A Game of Patients

The two men kneeling on the right of the chessboard are praying to the nurse. The man behind them is standing on his stretched leg. What does it all mean?

For more about the artist, see Wikipedia's Orson Lowell. The page informs,

Orson Byron Lowell (1871–1956) was an American artist and illustrator of covers and interiors for magazines. Born in Wyoming, Iowa, Lowell was the son of landscapist Milton H. Lowell. [...] By 1907, he became known for his cartoons with a social message published in the humor magazine Life.

'Humor magazine Life'? That doesn't sound like the Life magazine I knew as a youngster. Another Wikipedia page, Life (magazine), informs,

Life was an American magazine published weekly from 1883 to 1972, as an intermittent "special" until 1978, and as a monthly from 1978 until 2000. During its golden age from 1936 to 1972, Life was a wide-ranging weekly general-interest magazine known for the quality of its photography. Life was independently published for its first 53 years until 1936 as a general-interest and light entertainment magazine, heavy on illustrations, jokes, and social commentary. It featured some of the most notable writers, editors, illustrators and cartoonists of its time...

Is there an archive of pre-1936 Life somewhere?

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