• 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. . .


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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