Lulu And Leander

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This unusual postcard
was one in
a series of cards
issued around 1906 —

It was called a “Magic Postcard”,
and it was heat activated —

the instructions on the card read:

 “run a hot flat iron leander
over the back of these postcards 
or hold
them over a gas jet,
or a lamp, or
a burning match

(but be careful not
to set them on fire)
—and see what happens”.

Then,tearmyself
if you were successful
in not starting
an unintentional
conflagration ——

— on the top card,
called “Where’s Leander?”
you could see a jealous
husband having a
bit of a tantrum —

and on the second card,
“What is the cause
of Leander’s anger?”

while you can clearly see
that same jealous husband
on the left —

he would be suddenly
accompanied by a
rather affectionatecouch
older man, and the
same only-a-bit-reticent
young lady kissing
(in red)
on the right of the card,
— as it was heated.

The ‘invisible’ ink
that was usedlululeander
has absorbed
light and dust
over the years,
making the ‘secret image’
much more easy
for US to see.

Which is good,
because I have no ideahowarth
whether heating your
computer screen
would have had
the same effect.

Somehow,
I’m thinking probably not.

The creator was
an American artisttrials
by the name of
Franklin Morris Howarth
(1855-1908), who did illustrations for
popular publications like:
Puck,
Judge,
and Life Magazines.

The characters in greeneyed
these cards are from
his 1900’s cartoon strip
called “Lulu and Leander” .

Basically,
the plot of the comic
was thus:

The lovely doe-eyed
Edwardian lady in
question, Lulu,
seemed to have had
several admirers
in her social circle,
which would upset
the husband Leander
to no end.

In particular,
Leander disliked a
young man namedcharleyonthespot
Charley Onthespot,
who always seemed
to be conveniently
present whenever
Lulu was around…..

Leander was a
bit of load  —

— for one thing,
he didn’t like dogs
(and they didn’t like him),
which I always
think is a bad sign —

And his pride
and impetuosity
was always
getting him into the
most difficult situations ….

— he was also prettya1
arrogant and pompous,
as I guess you’d expect
some male members
of the upper crust
would have been back then,

And Lulu, on her part,
didn’t seem to put up
all that much resistance
to the many advances
coming her way….

….. but she did seem to have
complete control over what
was going on around her.

To me she seems
rather charming, bold,
and harmlessly coquettish,
not to mention
warm-blooded,17
although Leander
didn’t seem
to appreciate the finer
points of all that.

The comic strip started in 1904–
(using characters Howarth
had developed in the 1890’s)a1a
with Leander and Lulu dating……

Lulu’s parents weren’t
all that crazy about Leander,
and with his various
misadventures in
courting her, Leander
wasn’t making
it easy for them
to come around
to the idea
that he would make
Lulu a good husband.

Eventually, “Popper”
(the father)
banned the idea altogether —

— after Leander fell
off a ladder
on top of him in
the middle of the night. eloped

Not good.

Anyhoo —

Leander finally convinced Lulu to elope to Niagara Falls with him by train —

— Leander hiking the last 25 miles by himself after foolishly getting off
the train to pick Lulu
some wild flowers
during a short
maintenance stop.

It was a strange
little comic strip
full of love’s pathos
and human frailties,

and lasted only a
couple of years
before Howarth’s
death in 1908.

It’s also a favorite of mine,
for some reason.a11

And I’ve included some strips
from the Sunday Funnies
of the Chicago
Sunday American
— from 1904 to 1906 —
in the hopes that
you may like it too.

HOY !

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