War and Type

On the home front during World War II, New Yorkers received a regular diet of good and bad news through screaming headlines on the front pages of the city’s tabloids. Illustrator and satirist Rick Meyerowitz’s father, Hy, kept dozens of these front pages. Rick has collected, framed and organized them to tell the tale of Nazi and Axis victories, missteps and ultimate defeat. The type on these pages, known as “woods,” dating back to old 19th century wood types, are the stuff of history. Newsprint is not easily preserved, but these were respectfully maintained and now enshrined.


“Although [my father] saved over a hundred tabloids,” Meyerowitz told me, “there were very few from the years 1941 to 1944. The news out of Europe was scary, especially for jews. Maybe  he could not bring himself to save those papers… or perhaps my mother threw them out. She would.”

Meyerowitz added “I read and reread all these front pages and the interiors and the ball scores on the back pages over and over when I was a boy. They brought me into the reality of the war that I was too young to remember by way of their visual impact and sparked my love of reading history.”

2.Sept6.39x 3.Sept30.39x 4.Sept21.39x 5.May11.40x 6.May17.40x 7.May27.40x 8.June10.40x 9.June15.40x 10.June14.40x 11.June11.40x 12.June11.40x 13.June5.44x 14.Sept12.44x 15.April13.45x 16.May2.45x 17.May8.45x 18.May8.45x


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3 thoughts on “War and Type

  1. Gerry L'Orange

    Love these old “woods.” I once used Railroad Gothic (not in wood but in phototypesetting) for an Air Canada poster apologizing for a strike that had grounded the airline. Railroad Gothic as in You’re going to have to take the train. I told the account guy at the agency about this little bit of font-choice humor. Ever careful, he said, “Don’t tell the client.”