• PrintMag

The Ages Of “21”

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.


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”




Jack Kriendler & Charlie Berns.



Illustration: Guy Hoff



Illustration: McClelland Barclay



Illustration: McClelland Barclay



Charlton advert.



Illustration: Alex Raymond



Cartoon: Ham Fisher



Illustration: Bradshaw Crandell



Cartoon: Sid Hydeman



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



Cartoon: Paul Webb



Cartoon by Popeye’s creator, Elzie Segar.



Illustration: Albert Lefcourt



Design: Constantin Alajalov



Illustration: Paul Frehm



Cartoon: Otto Soglow



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



Article by Ben Hecht.



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



Cartoon: C.D. Russell



Illustration: Carl Ericson



Pencil sketch: James Montgomery Flagg



Cartoon: Jefferson Machamer



Cartoon: Ad Carter



Article by Damon Runyan



Illustration: Arthur William Brown



Life Magazine cover: George T. Eggleston



Cartoon: Gladys Parker



Illustration: Dean Cornwell



Illustration: Charles Baskerville



Advert with William Steig cartoon.



Advert with Gluyas Williams cartoon.



“Seein’ Stars” by Feg Murray.



Illustration: Russell Patterson



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



Illustration: John LaGatta



Cartoon: Billy DeBeck



Libien Press advert.



Illustration: Carl Mueller



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



RKO Radio Pictures ad.



NY Herald Tribune ad.



Illustration: Bradshaw Crandell



Marlboro ad.



Article by John Steinbeck.



Warner Brothers ad.



WQXR radio (NYTimes station) advertisement.



Illustration: Frank Godwin



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



Cartoon: Otto Soglow



Updated cartoon by Ham Fisher.



Cartoon by Frank Lasswell.



Cartoon by Ray Gotto.



Cartoon by Wally Bishop.



Pontiac ad.



Cartoon by Hal Foster.



Cartoon by Dave Breger.



Cartoon by Don Flowers.



Rube Goldberg



Russell Patterson



Dick Wingert



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



Edwina



FoMoCo ad.



Jefferson Machamer spread.



Gene Ahern



Bela Zaboly



C.D. Russell



Employee spread.



“Bringing Up Father’s” George McManus



“Polly and Her Pals'” Cliff Sterrett.



Mischa Richter



Constantin Alajalov



Mel Graff



Updated James Montgomery Flagg illustration for 1950 edition.



Hilda Terry



Gladys Parker



Hannah & Ad Carter



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



“21” matchbook. . .


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  1. Turn your publication into a 360 brand with this OnDemand DesignCast “Designing Across Multiple Platforms,” by John Miller.

  2. Join Mario Garcia for this OnDemand DesignCast in our Master’s series: “Design for Publications in the Tablet Age.”

  3. Interested in digital magazine publishing? Join Scott Dadich on “Best Practices in Digital Magazine Publishing.”

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