History Nebraska Blog

Flashback Friday Encore: Comics, Cartoons, Drawings and Doodles

The Library/Archives holds the collections of various Nebraska artists and cartoonists. One such collection is that of Guy Spencer, cartoonist for the Omaha World-Herald from 1899-1939.

Guy Spencer (Omaha World-Herald, Jan. 15, 1939)


Born in Missouri in 1878, Spencer grew up in Falls City, Nebraska. The only formal art education he received was the six months he spent at an Omaha penmanship school. After submitting several drawings to the Omaha World-Herald, Spencer was hired on at $10 per week. Guy Spencer worked for the Omaha World-Herald for 40 years, retiring in 1939. The Guy Spencer collection contains several scrapbooks of cartoons and drawings cut out of the Omaha World-Herald, as well as various original pen and ink drawings. Here are a few examples:

Cartoon about County Government (RG1503.AM)


The Raiders cartoon (RG1503.AM)


From these cartoons you can see that Spencer illustrated both local and statewide issues, but he also drew cartoons relating to national and international events.

“On the carpet” cartoon (RG1503.AM)


“In the hollow of one man’s hand” cartoon (RG1503.AM)


In the Winter 2008 issue of Nebraska History, there is an article by Patricia Gaster entitled, “A 1914 Cartoon Calendar: Drawings by Guy R. Spencer.” You can see the complete article on our website. For additional information about this and other collections held by the Nebraska State Historical Society, visit our Search Collections page.

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