The Ages Of “21”

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In 1936, the former speakeasy and NYC restaurant-club, Jack & Charlie’s “21” (what we now know as The 21 Club) published, “The Iron Gate.” Compiled as a self-promotional tool, this 194-page leather-spined volume featured the articles and illustrations of many of the establishment’s famous clientele. It also served as an opportunity for advertisers to promote their association with the venerable Manhattan institution. The book is like a vintage Society Of Illustrators annual, or a “Dutch Treat Yearbook.” It contains lots of tasty drawings — all done especially for the publication.

The Iron Gate

In 1950, “The Iron Gate” was revised and re-issued to act as a memorial to Jack Kriendler, one of the two original owners who’d recently passed and also to commemorate the 25th year of the restaurant’s founding. Although some of the original illustrations and articles were included, most of the revised edition is new material. It’s also interesting to see how much the motion picture industry had become a part of the mix.

I’ve scanned selects from both editions to show how well they define each era of illustration and even print advertising. Enjoy!

The 1936 edition of “The Iron Gate”

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21"
The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21"
Jack Kriendler & Charlie Berns

Jack Kriendler & Charlie Berns.

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", illustration by Guy Hoff

Illustration: Guy Hoff

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", McClelland Barclay

Illustration: McClelland Barclay

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21"

Illustration: McClelland Barclay

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21"

Charlton advert.

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", Alex Raymond

Illustration: Alex Raymond

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", Ham Fisher

Cartoon: Ham Fisher

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", Bradshaw Crandell

Illustration: Bradshaw Crandell

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", Sid Hydeman

Cartoon: Sid Hydeman

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", Russell Patterson

April 1936 Ballyhoo cover by Russell Patterson used as source material for Hydeman’s parody above. (Thanks, Craig Yoe !)

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", Paul Webb

Cartoon: Paul Webb

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", Elzie Segar

Cartoon by Popeye’s creator, Elzie Segar.

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", Albert Lefcourt

Illustration: Albert Lefcourt

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", Constantin Alajalov

Design: Constantin Alajalov

The Iron Gate, Jack & Charlie's "21", Paul Frehm

Illustration: Paul Frehm

21 015

Cartoon: Otto Soglow

21 016

Cartoon: Rube Goldberg. This illustration configuration looks interestingly similar to Goldberg’s design of the National Cartoonist’s Society “Reuban Award” trophy.

21 017

Article by Ben Hecht.

21 018

“The Monmouth” advert with airship Hindenburg. One year later and airship travel wa
s nonexistent.

21 019

Cartoon: C.D. Russell

21 020

Illustration: Carl Ericson

21 021

Pencil sketch: James Montgomery Flagg

21 022

Cartoon: Jefferson Machamer

21 023

Cartoon: Ad Carter

21 024

Article by Damon Runyan

21 025

Illustration: Arthur William Brown

21 026

Life Magazine cover: George T. Eggleston

21 027

Cartoon: Gladys Parker

21 028

Illustration: Dean Cornwell

21 029

Illustration: Charles Baskerville

21 031

Advert with William Steig cartoon.

21 033

Advert with Gluyas Williams cartoon.

21 034

“Seein’ Stars” by Feg Murray.

21 035

Illustration: Russell Patterson

21 036

Advert with illustration design by William Oberhardt. He also illustrated the very first cover for Time magazine (March 3 1923).

21 037

Illustration: John LaGatta

21 038

Cartoon: Billy DeBeck

21 039

Libien Press advert.

21 040

Illustration: Carl Mueller

21 041

Photo-montage by John Robert Powers.

The 1950 Memorial Re-issue of “The Iron Gate”


Jack Kriendler 1898-1947


1950 intro by Robert C. Ruark

21 x2 001

RKO Radio Pictures ad.

21 x2 002

NY Herald Tribune ad.

21 x2 003

Illustration: Bradshaw Crandell

21 x2 004

Marlboro ad.

21 x2 005

Article by John Steinbeck.

21 x2 006

Warner Brothers ad.

21 x2 007

WQXR radio (NYTimes station) advertisement.

21 x2 008

Illustration: Frank Godwin

21 x2 009

Illustration: It says “Walt Disney”, but w
e know HE didn’t do it. . .

21 x2 010

Cartoon: Otto Soglow

21 x2 011

Updated cartoon by Ham Fisher.

21 x2 012

Cartoon by Frank Lasswell.

21 x2 013

Cartoon by Ray Gotto.

21 x2 014

Cartoon by Wally Bishop.

21 x2 015

Pontiac ad.

21 x2 016

Cartoon by Hal Foster.

21 x2 017

Cartoon by Dave Breger.

21 x2 018

Cartoon by Don Flowers.

21 x2 019

Rube Goldberg

21 x2 020

Russell Patterson

21 x2 021

Dick Wingert

21 x2 022

American Airlines ad. A pre-cursor to the “Mad Men” era. . .

21 x2 023


21 x2 024

FoMoCo ad.


Jefferson Machamer spread.

21 x2 025

Gene Ahern

21 x2 026

Bela Zaboly

21 x2 027

C.D. Russell


Employee spread.

21 x2 028

“Bringing Up Father’s” George McManus

21 x2 029

“Polly and Her Pals’” Cliff Sterrett.

21 x2 030

Mischa Richter

21 x2 031

Constantin Alajalov

21 x2 032

Mel Graff

21 x2 034

Updated James Montgomery Flagg illustration for 1950 edition.

21 x2 035

Hilda Terry

21 x2 036

Gladys Parker

21 x2 037

Hannah & Ad Carter

21 x2 038

Publishers Printing Company & Rogers-Kellogg-Stilson, Inc. advertisement.


“21” matchbook. . .

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