Thursday, February 2, 2017

Rose O'Neill, Kewpies and the Gibson Art Company

Rose O'Neill was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on June 25, 1874, the second oldest child with six siblings.  The family moved to rural Nebraska when she was three years old and she lived there during the remainder of her childhood.  Rose loved the arts; writing, poetry, painting, sculpture and drawing.  When she was thirteen years old, she entered a drawing competition for children sponsored by the Omaha Herald Newspaper and won the first prize. Not long after  that she started working doing illustration for various magazines.  In 1893, Rose's father took her to New York to visit publishers in the hopes of selling some of her sixty drawings.  She sold all of her drawing and took orders for many others.  Soon she was a well known in demand illustrator and was being paid a substantial wage.  Rose was the first woman cartoonist and she had her own comic strip.
Rose's father bought some land in the Ozarks in southern Missouri and Rose moved from New York back to her family.  In Missouri she created her loveable Kewpie characters that she is famous for to this day.  She also became very rich. Rose copyrighted the Kewpie characters and many products were produced including Kewpie dolls, books and postcards.

Around 1912, Rose and the Gibson Art Company began to produce Kewpie postcards for all occasions

Gibson Greetings, Inc was started around 1850 by George Gibson and his family. They brought a French made lithography press with them when they immigrated to the United states from Scotland. The brothers printed anything that needed to be printed; bonds, checks, cards and novelties.  By 1870, the brothers were designing their own greeting cards for Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day.  In 1895, the business was incorporated as The Gibson Art Company. Over the years, The Gibson Art Company had many changes becoming the third largest greeting card company in the United States.

Happy Valentine's Day

Reuzeit Emporium

For more great postcards visit Reuzeit Emporium

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